Communicating with customers is not a new concept. But unfortunately, brands and customers have gotten used to the idea that “customer service” usually means being on hold for an hour and being transferred back and forth between nearly everyone who works for the company. That is everyone except for the person who can actually help you.
If you’re already posting on Facebook, it makes sense to utilise the platform as a way to directly communicate with existing or new customers. In fact, 2 billion messages are sent between people and businesses each month on Facebook. 53% of people are more likely to shop with a business they can message directly and 56% of people would rather message than call customer service. Messenger allows businesses to build an audience, strengthen their connections and prove social reach and credibility to consumers.
Here’s an example of a message we received on behalf of one of our clients, Alan Coban Studio.
Not only did this customer use Messenger to commend the service she already had, but also expressed her interest in rebooking. The first message sent back to her was automatically sent via ‘Instant Replies’. The second one was sent by me not long after. Due to her quite detailed description of what she desired in her next visit, I referred her to call the salon she intended to visit so she could talk to the hairdresser directly.
Holly’s Top Tips:
1. Set-up Instant Replies
In a customer’s eyes, waiting a few minutes might feel like an eternity. To avoid this, instant replies will send an automatic response to people when they message your page. You will even be able to customise your message depending on the product or service your business provides, or even your tone of voice. For example, Hustle’s instant reply is set to “Hey _____! Thanks for reaching out. Looks like you’re ready to get your hustle on.” 😏
2. Respond as promptly as possible
Hopefully, this goes without saying, but a quick response from a real person will allow your customer to trust and validate your business. When messaging a business, customers will often check a page’s response rating. Your response rating is calculated based on how long your page takes to respond to new messages. Keep in mind that this rating doesn’t include the instant replies you’ve already set up!
3. Don’t be afraid to use the ‘away’ status
Whilst the idea of being constantly available to customers 24/7 may sound good in theory, sometimes it just isn’t reality. This feature is especially useful for small businesses, where resources and staff members are limited. Whether you’ll be out of the office for a long weekend, or you’re on an oversea’s holiday, using the ‘away’ status will automatically let the person know that you’re unavailable at the moment. Bonus: When you’re page’s messaging status is set to away, your responsiveness rating isn’t affected!
4. Deal with the negatives
Positive feedback, reviews, and even enquires/questions are reinforcement that you’re doing a good job. But sometimes the messages you get aren’t always sunshine and rainbows. Every now and then, you may receive a message in regards to a bad experience or complaint about your product. While you might want to sweep it under the rug and ignore it, it’s important to respond to it. Negative messages should be treated the same way as a phone call or in-person complaint is dealt with. Who knows? Once everything is resolved, maybe they will come back to you!