So What is a Messenger Bot?
Your phone dings and you instantly pick it up. Your friend just sent you a text message with information about that cool new coffee place you have been wanting to check out.
Well, a Facebook Messenger Bot is like that, sort of. Except that in this case, the message originates from a Facebook Messenger Business Page that you agreed to receive communications from.
If you use Facebook to communicate with people you are using Messenger – either on your mobile device or within Facebook – that is where the message is coming from. Facebook is a very powerful tool for interacting with your customers and generating leads. If your primary client base is on Facebook then it is a must that your business is too. Add in Messenger as a marketing tool and watch your business skyrocket!
The first thing to know is that there are different types of ChatBots – Bots for websites and Bots on Facebook Messenger. The focus of this article is about Facebook Messenger bots.
Sephora has a representative who can zero in on your favorite lipstick, and its availability at your nearest store, in just a few questions and under five minutes. That’s impressive enough until you realize she’s also picked out gloss, eyeliner and mascara, seemingly before you even know yourself. She isn’t pushy, waits for you to talk and won’t begrudge you if you ask questions all day long and never purchase a thing.
And she’s not even human. Wait, how?
Now, what if I told you that a Messenger Bot is credited with helping Sephora become one of the fast-growing and largest cosmetics retailers in the world?
We all know that Sephora is an incredible retailer that has become as indispensable as the corner CVS used to be. But they’re also very successful at communicating online, with 17 million followers on Facebook. Let’s just emphasize that – SEVENTEEN MILLION followers on Facebook alone.
Think of Sephora’s Bot as an extremely knowledgeable consultant who also has her company’s inventory memorized. She treats every last visitor with courtesy and cheer and never gets tired of the same question! We all wish we could have someone like that as our personal assistant.
Well, the technology that powers Sephora’s online Bot is available for your small to medium-sized business – and is priced as low as free! Communicating with customers is easier than ever in 2018, thanks to amazing smart Bots.
So, what’s a Bot again?
A Bot is an automated representative of your company that is available to chat with your customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And if the conversation ever gets to be too much for your Bot, she refers your customer directly to you. (“Let me fetch a human to assist you… I’ll forward your questions and she’ll get back to you within a few hours.”)
Let’s clarify a few things. Bots aren’t human and don’t have genders, but you can create a personality for your Bot. Hey, if you want a “Butler” Bot answering your basic business questions (“What time do you open tomorrow? Do you accept American Express?”), you can call it a “him.” You can name him or her, too. Whatever floats your boat.
At its core, a Bot is a computer program trained (written!) by you to answer and ultimately steer conversations with your customers or prospects. Now don’t confuse this with AI – Artificial Intelligence – that is an entirely different topic and your Facebook Messenger Bot isn’t that smart.
What can a Bot do for Your Business?
“Bots are a way to automate the repetitive tasks associated with promoting your business, such as answering frequently asked questions about your business or products. This allows you to streamline your processes while staying connected with your audience. They are also a great option for attracting new leads and increasing brand awareness. They are more personal and conversational than email, with extremely high open rates.”
If you have a Facebook business page and your customers are on Facebook, then Messenger is a phenomenal avenue for marketing and providing value. With 1.2 billion people using Facebook every month, WE think it’s the way to go.
So how does it work?
Bots start with a simple leading question and give the visitor choices :
- “Hi, welcome to my Lularoe page. Have you shopped with me before?” YES | NO
(In one almost instantaneous exchange, you’ve learned if this is a prospect or a returning client.)
- “What can I help you with today? Sizing | Available Products | The Business ”
You’re quickly narrowing down a visitor’s intentions.
- Available Products > Great! What item are you looking for? TOPS | LEGGINGS | SKIRTS | DRESSES
Boom! You’ve moved from wandering to shopping!
- Leggings > Your Bot then provides a Gallery of the inventory you have available for sale.
Get the idea?
To create a helpful Bot, you want to narrow the scope of the conversation while providing value and information. Bots are not meant to be pushing and only about sales – they are about having a conversation with someone, just like those text messages you get from your friends.
If you want a Messenger Bot for your FB business page, there are 2 applications that are fairly easy to use ManyChat & Chatfuel. The Web Expertista really likes ManyChat**.
ManyChat does have a basic platform that won’t cost you a penny (if you’re the trial and error type). But it’s their Pro level (starting at $10/month) that we really like because of the extra features for the price. Of course, if you find yourself short on time or are not the do-it-yourself type, then shoot me a note to find out about my three levels of Bot setup programs.
**( that is not a sponsored advertisement – I get nothing for the recommendation)