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It wasn’t too long ago when Facebook declared that they would start supporting what they call Messenger bots. In less than two years since its’ introduction, the latter has already proven itself invaluable for businesses.

Today, nearly every reputable business on Facebook looking to build up its brand depend heavily on chatbots. For one thing, they help immensely with customer service. In this article, we go over the significance of chatbots for businesses and how to set up one yourself.

What exactly are Facebook chatbots?

 

At a fundamental level, chatbots are just what they sound like. They are robots or AI (artificial intelligence) programs that automatically respond to chat messages. They are painstakingly designed to mimic human responses in basic conversations. As a result, businesses have come to depend on them to fill rudimentary customer service roles like chat support.

Most people online have interacted with a chatbot at some point whether they realise it or not. Think back to a time when you didn’t have to wait for an actual salesperson to give you answers to questions about a particular product or service. A chatbot can swiftly provide the answers that you need and are available around the clock. Such a scenario highlight the typical use-case for chatbots and as you might have already realised, can prove invaluable to growing one’s brand.

Today, you will find chatbots across a diverse range of marketing platforms, but the one for Facebook Messenger is probably the most significant when it comes to e-commerce. Imagine customers clicking on the “message” button on your business website or Facebook business page. Chatbots can immediately launch a chat session and respond to questions as though customers are interacting with an actual person. Using Facebook Messenger Chatbots, just about any interaction with customers on the social network can be automated and managed more efficiently.

The significance of using Messenger Chatbots

 

Now if you already have a strong team of well-trained and highly dependable support staff, then you might think that there is no need to use chatbots, which is not the case. The latter offers benefits that are easy to overlook, which includes the following:

  • Eases the strain on support staff by handling basic issues and enabling live agents to devote their time and energy on complicated issues
  • Chatbots are available 24/7 and can respond to customer queries outside of business hours and even on holidays.
  • Provide quick and straightforward access to information which makes it more convenient for customers to get a hold of your product or service

As you might have already realised, the contributions of Facebook Messenger Chatbots to businesses online are immense. According to one study by Juniper Research ( a forecasting and consultancy firm for technology markets), Chatbots are estimated to cut business expenses by as much as $8 billion by 2022. If you currently do not have a Messenger Chatbot supporting your business, then you can bet that you are leaving a lot of money on the table.

How to get started with your own Facebook Messenger Chatbot

 

Having mentioned the advantages of using a Messenger chatbot for your business, you might think that it is extremely difficult to get one which is fortunately not the case at all. In fact, just about anyone can set up their own Messenger Chatbot for their business with little to no technical knowledge thanks to online tools like “Chatfuel”. Using the latter, one can start using a Messenger Chatbot in just a few minutes with practically no coding required.

If you already have a Facebook business page, you can start using a Messenger Chatbot by going through the following steps:

 

  1. Go to the Chatfuel website or other similar online tools and sign up for an account. Most of these services offer a free trial and in doing so, you will be asked to log on to your Facebook business account. You may also be prompted to provide permission to access your email address and Facebook profile.
  2. The next step is to link your Facebook business page. The process may vary depending on which Chatbot service you use. In the case of Chatfuel, there should be a “Connect” option on the account dashboard which you can use to link your Facebook page. Once confirmed, you should receive a prompt on your account stating that you have linked your Facebook business page correctly.
  3. At this point, you will need to set up the greeting message for your Chatbot. This message will be the first interaction that customers see after clicking on the “Message” button on your site or Facebook page. For this reason, such a message is essential as it presents a golden opportunity for businesses to make a good impression on prospects. You can start by enabling the “Show a Messenger Greeting” option from the “Settings” page (under “Messaging”). Fill out your greeting message and hit “Save”.
  4. You will also need to create your Welcome message on Chatfuel or whichever Chatbot tool you are using. In the case of the latter, you need only go to the Account Dashboard and select “Welcome Message”. Here, you can set your desired copy such as “Hello {first name}, how may I assist you?” or something along that line. The idea is to greet customers by name and obtain information that the Chatbot will need to help with customer queries. Once done, you can check that everything is working correctly by clicking on the “Message” button on your business site or Facebook page.

Setup a default response for your chatbot

 

Now there will be times when your Messenger Chatbot won’t know the answer to a particular question. In this case, you need to set up your Messenger Chatbot in such a way that it automatically sends a response on what they can do next. You can ask them to call, write an email, rephrase the question or all of the above.

You can create a default response on your Messenger Chatbot in a few simple steps:

 

  1. Look for a “default answer” option on your Chatbot tool. In the case of Chatfuel, you will find the option on the Dashboard.
  2. Edit the placeholder line to come up with a friendlier and more professional response like (“Apologies, I don’t recognise your question. Please try rephrasing your question or call our support staff to learn more”).
  3. Save your changes and test the Chatbot response by clicking “Message” on your site or Facebook page and sending a random message.

Setup the AI for your Chatbot

 

Of course, the real value of a Messenger Chatbot is its’ ability to understand and respond to customer queries by leveraging the power of artificial intelligence. Most Chatbot tools rely on keywords to guide their AI.

You can add keywords to “train” your Messenger Chatbot through the following steps:

  1. Go to the Dashboard of your chatbot tool and look for a “Set up AI” option. If not, you can try to find anything similar that lets you specify an AI rule
  2. Add keywords that customers are most likely to use when interacting with your Chatbot. In the case of Chatfuel, you can put these keywords under the “If the user says something similar to” section. You can start with keywords like “shipping” and “warranty”.
  3. For each keyword, there should be an option for the Chatbot to reply with a given text. Craft an appropriate reply and repeat the process for as many keywords as want. Ideally, you would want someone from your support staff to help you with this step.
  4. Check that your Messenger Chatbot is working correctly by sending some frequently-asked questions about your product or service.

Don’t see a Message Button on your Facebook Business Page?

 

In some cases, you won’t find the “Message” button on your Facebook business page by default. In this case, you will need to enable it yourself through the following steps:

 

  1. Log on to your Facebook Business account and select the option “Add a Button”. In the next window, Choose “Contact” then “Send Message”.
  2. In the next window, you will be asked where the button would direct users to, choose “Messenger”.
  3. Check that the “Send Message” button is now on your Facebook business page and working correctly.
  4.  

Other things that you can do with a Messenger Chatbot?

Messenger Chatbots are capable of so much more than just automating one’s customer support. For one thing, you can use them for visual elements such as videos and galleries to improve user experience. You can also use them for marketing your brand on Messenger. You need only add a live chat widget on your business site. Business can then send marketing messages to users who have signed up for their Chatbot.

Summary

 

So there you have it — everything that you need to know about getting started with Facebook Messenger Chatbots for businesses. As you may have already realised, the process is easier than it looks. There’s no coding or any technical knowledge required. If you follow the tips mentioned above, you are well on your way towards leveraging all the benefits that Messenger Chatbots have to offer. This includes the opportunity to optimise customer support and reducing costs without sacrificing quality and availability.