Best Practices for Business Messaging On FB Messenger
Communication has greatly changed in the last few years. And is continuing to reform rapidly as more and more businesses are investing in their online presence, which has become absolutely essential in current times. People prefer communication that is more convenient and instantaneous and hence they are shifting from emails and phone calls to SMS and messaging apps.
Messenger has taken the lead as a channel for digital marketing. The reason it has become so popular with marketers is because it is similar to how email marketing worked. Plus the added advantages of being much more conversational. It is a perfect way to have a personal and instant connection with customers. Secondly, people are much more likely to open and click on a messenger than they are with an email. Also the spam rate in emails is too high and that is why people often ignore it.
Facebook has been testing and expanding the capabilities of its Messenger app. And It has turned out to be a leading platform for messenger marketing. However, there are some best practices for messaging that should not be overlooked if we want to make full use of the potentials of this marketing platform.
Get permissions from users to receive your bot’s messages, and make opting out easy
The first rule for business messaging is to get consent of the user to contact them. Facebook requires users to provide consent to your business page, before they start receiving messages from you. There is a ‘Get Started’ button on the page, and once the user taps on that then he/she will start getting messages from your page. While Facebook makes it easy to get the consent from the user for your business to contact them, you should be making sure to provide them an option to unsubscribe easily.
When you provide users the option to ‘stop’ receiving messages from your end, you give them the impression that your brand respects their choice and privacy. This action helps customers to develop trust in your brand. On the other hand if users can’t find a way to opt out of your bot’s messages, they may get annoyed and block your page which gives negative feedback to Facebook about your page.This may result in Facebook banning your page or permissions.
Communicate at the right time
Facebook distinguishes three different message types when using messenger: Standard, Subscription and Sponsored.
Standard messages can be sent during a 24-hour window after the user has sent a message to you.
Subscription messages can be sent any time, but they are strictly forbidden to contain any promotional content. Facebook allows only news publishers to have subscription messaging permissions.
Then there are sponsored messages which are paid, and you can use these to re-engage users from the past who haven’t interacted with your bot recently. The 24-hour rule doesn’t apply to these messages, and you have the freedom to include promotional content too.
This messaging strategy of Facebook is applied to protect users from spam and unwanted messages. This was largely a problem with emails. Even today when we see our inbox, it is inundated with unwanted emails and so we tend to ignore them more.
When we communicate with our customers is a defining parameter in business communication. If a customer is approaching a business for help or business, it is important that customer queries are answered or resolved quickly. And when communication is targeted towards engaging customers it’s important that we aim for times when our customers won’t be busy. It’s best to be aware of customers’ location and time zone differences that apply. As a general rule don’t send messages before 9 am or after 9 pm.
Next important thing is to decide how often we want to contact customers. Nobody wants to see a lot of messages from businesses. Sending Two to four messages per month should really be enough for any business.
Communicate with the right information
A single message that you send is basically an ‘opportunity’ for you to provide for the customer’s needs. Make sure you clearly present the information that the customer is looking for. Customers observe and respond more to the messages that directly address them. Hence a little personalization goes a long way such as addressing subscriber’s with their names or having a discourse that reflects customer’s needs. You can also target customers based on their needs and then tailor conversations with them accordingly, rather than sending the same message to everyone.An effective approach is to use tags at multiple parts of the conversation so you can better segment your audience and provide the best experience possible.
When a customer subscribes to your business they put a lot of trust in you with their information and online space. It’s your responsibility to uphold their expectations Refrain from sending any message that even hints of a spam or something that is not required for the customer. It’s better that you ask them their preferences and then communicate keeping in mind their priorities.
Keep Messages Simple
Simpler is always better. When you are sending a message to customers try to be brief, engaging and ingenious. If you are not providing for what the customer is looking for and your messages are taking up his/her unwanted attention span, then he will surely opt out and that can make your subscriber list shrink quickly.
Your main objective should stand out in the message. In contrast to email, messages have an informal nature. Most of them should be able to be read from the lock screen of your mobile and understand quickly. So keep messages short and to the point. Be sure to include a clear CTA and incentive. If you have a special offer only for limited customers, let them know
Bring intelligence to your messaging
Bringing intelligence to messaging means responding to customer queries quickly and efficiently without compromising the quality of your interaction with customers. Chatbots allows businesses to automate customer service live chat conversations. Chatbots can help automate routine customer service tasks to reduce human effort. When most of the mundane queries are handled automatically, human agents can focus on more rational tasks. Developments in AI are improving chatbots rapidly and enabling them to even handle logical tasks efficiently. These conversational agents are also not limited by working hours, providing support 24/7, 365 days a year.
Messenger is also a rapidly growing marketing and sales platform because customers can directly convey what they need. Earlier marketers used to conduct surveys in order to understand customer behavior. It still is a common practice, but through messaging apps you can directly know what customers are asking for. Chatbots are also a great tool for gathering data from the customers, which can in turn help understand customer behavior and perfect up interactions with them by providing relevant information and recommendations.
Engage in Two-way communication
The main popularity of messenger app as a marketing and sales platform lies in its ability to support two-way communication. This is where SMS and email has lagged way behind. Most customers not only want to receive information from business, but they also want to reply or engage in conversation. Customers’ trust and confidence with the brand grows manifold when they know their query will be responded quickly.
To keep them engaged you can use a chatbot to send back a personalized follow-up message, or provide customers with recommendations and sales information. But certainly all tasks cannot be automated and a response from a human agent in the form of live chat can win customer’s confidence in your business.
Integrate your messaging
When you integrate your messaging with other flows of your business like customer, order or transaction information from CRM, ERP or other business systems, it adds to the contextual information that you have regarding your customer. This will help you personalize and improve customer service experience with your client.
Integrations with messaging will help you quickly land to the resolutions of customer queries, hence improving response time. When you know your customer’s buying behavior or his/her transaction history you can tailor your messaging experience with them accordingly. Basically integrations contribute a great deal to improve messaging intelligence, hence exactly providing for the customer needs.
Measure what matters
Measuring performance is important to bring improvements. Same is true for messaging. When you are measuring your messaging performance, you take notice of your activities and you get to know where the focus needs to be.
Measuring your results will let you know which messages or campaigns worked best for which segments of your customers. You can then continually refine them. If the focus was on sale, you can capture leads and analyze responses for sales follow-up
If customer support is your messaging objective, measure how quickly and effectively customers were catered. You can also analyze customer satisfaction with your support service through a simple poll or survey which can be sent to the customer after their query has been resolved.
By analyzing or working on the key metrics that apply to your business, you can improve and perfect your messaging experience with the client.