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Facebook Chatbots – Automated Customer Service

Back in April this year, Facebook announced a new addition to the Messenger app[1] which allows developers to create automated reply software called ‘chatbots’. These chatbots are powered by artificial intelligence (AI), a technology large tech companies such as Google and Facebook are starting to employ. They automate replying to frequently asked queries such as ‘what do you have on sale?’ (for e-commerce businesses) or ‘do you have coupons for dominos pizza?’ (for coupon websites). The bot then replies to these messages by providing the user with relevant links to the company’s website. So, for the examples given, the first bot may reply with a message saying: “Hi, you can find all our sale items at www.mystore.com/sale”; and the second reply with: “Hi, luckily we have 17 vouchers for dominos pizza. Check them out here: www.coupons.com/dominos-pizza”.

Yelp Bot Conversation

What it means for businesses

Managing a business is hard, really hard. And keeping up with every conversion taking place about your business across the internet is a near impossible task. With chatbot technology making its way onto the world’s most popular social network, it should become easier for businesses to keep up with direct conversations with their customers, automating many of the common questions they find themselves answering every day. With customers increasingly turning to social media to interact with business’s customer service (in fact, 62% of consumers have used a company’s social media channel for exactly that), keeping on top of questions is essential, and chatbots are looking to become an excellent way of taking some of the strain off from answering the more frequently asked questions.

Conclusion

Whilst this technology is still relatively primitive, is it improving every day, and just like with other technologies (such as the internet itself), given time it could become an incredibly power customer service tool that will help free-up some of your time so that you can focus on building your business. Companies such as Facebook and Google are rolling out new features all the time, some of them minor and some of them huge. With over 11,000[2] now available for you to try, chatbots are looking to become a huge part in how consumers interact with businesses.

A good example of a chatbot you can try today is ‘And Chill’. This bot suggests movies based on your preferences and is a fun way to introduce yourself to this technology – http://www.andchill.io/

Currently, chatbots are made by developers using tools from the website wit.ai. If you’re interested in having one designed for your business, we would recommend getting in touch with a developer who has worked with this technology before.

If you’d like to learn more about social media customer service, we offer a half day training course. Check it out here: http://www.socialmedia-trainingcourses.com/courses/exclusive-social-media-for-hr-recruitment-one-day-course/

Citations

1 – https://developers.facebook.com/blog/post/2016/04/12/bots-for-messenger/
2 – http://venturebeat.com/2016/06/30/facebook-messenger-now-has-11000-chatbots-for-you-to-try/



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