What is a Messenger Bot?

Shannon Menard
By Shannon Menard

If you’re a marketer or business owner and aren’t using messenger bots, you are missing out on an invaluable opportunity to take your customer service to the next level. Acting as a mini virtual assistant, messenger bots help fill the gap when it comes to communication. After all, we are only human, and there are only so many hours in the day! This article will dive into the specifics of messenger bots so you can familiarize yourself and get a jumpstart on your bot strategy.

Defining a Messenger Bot

Bots have been around for decades, but have slowly evolved and developed over the years. A few of our modern day bots include familiar virtual assistants such as Alexa and Siri which use artificial intelligence to engage in conversation. Messenger bots are essentially the same thing, but instead of communicating via speech, they communicate via text. These capabilities have allowed messenger bots to quickly become the best way to ensure on-demand customer service no matter the time of day.

RelatedHow to Leverage Facebook Messenger for Your Brand

Ways It Can Help Your Business

It’s clear that messenger bots are an extremely useful business and customer service tool, but how are they specifically making a difference? Let’s take a look:

Helps to build a strong relationship with your audience – Messenger bots connect with your audience personally through conversations. If you know your audience and their needs, messenger bots can provide your customers with relevant information and products on demand. While bots are usually trained with example questions initially, the more interactions a bot has, the more data it can use to improve future interactions. In a world where customer satisfaction can make or break a business, this tool can ensure your communication is always top notch.

Simplifies account management – With messenger bots, users can manage their info instantly, saving them the time and hassle of trying to get into contact with a customer service representative. This includes updating billing info, changing email addresses, managing orders and updating any personal details.

Saves you time – When it comes to commonly asked questions or issues, messenger bots are the perfect solution. If you think about it, most customer problems that arise usually fall under the same categories. With messenger bots, you can program in instant answers so that you don’t have to spend your time dealing with the same problems over and over again. Some basic use case scenarios include: getting quick answers, resolving a complaint, paying a bill, buying a basic item, adding yourself to a mailing list, making a reservation and so on. In addition, bots are available 24/7, allowing you to sleep easy knowing your bot can handle any and all basic inquiries!

Saves you money – If you think about how much it would cost to pay multiple customer service representatives and compare it to the one time cost of a messenger bot, it’s clear that a bot is the cheaper option! While it is still recommended that you have real-life customer service agents, investing in a messenger bot can help reduce the number you need. Instead of passing on all questions and queries to your support agents, you can allow your bot to handle the simple problems, while your agents can handle the rest.

Allows you to handle more customers at once – As I mentioned earlier, humans can only handle so much at once. On the contrary, bots can facilitate thousands of conversations at once! This ensures that no customer question or problem ever goes unnoticed. For larger businesses, this is especially useful due to the immense number of queries they receive each day. Since messenger bots are programmed to respond a certain way, you can also rest assured that the number of errors made will be extremely low.

Things to Consider Before Choosing a Bot Platform

Choosing a bot platform can be overwhelming due to the number of options out there. Consider the following before deciding which platform is right for you.

Flexibility – There are many different chatbot platforms on the market, and they are not all created equal. You want to ensure you find a flexible platform that allows you to meet your goals. If you create a bot, but it isn’t facilitating meaningful conversations with your customers, you will end up hurting yourself more than helping yourself. A few helpful things to look for include: good subscriber insights, ability to change templates, advanced scheduling and excellent data tracking capabilities.

Integration – On their own, bots are not enough. Integrated with your other marketing and platforms, they can take your marketing strategy to new heights. When choosing a platform, take into account whether you will be able to integrate it with your existing systems.

Scalability– A bot’s number of interactions will vary widely day-to-day. Make sure that you choose a platform with dynamic scaling abilities so that your bot can handle the fluctuating demand and uncertainty. If you fail to take this into account, you may end up with a low functioning bot, reflecting poorly on your business.

Availability – While it may seem like a no-brainer for bots to be available 24/7, not all messenger bots are made equal. When choosing a platform, look for a high-quality bot with a proven track record of high response speeds and low failure and crash rates. This will ensure you end up with a messenger bot you can rely on 24/7!

How to Make the Most Out of Your Messenger Bot

Once you’ve decided on a bot platform, it’s up to you to make the most out of your messenger bot! It takes hard work and strategic thinking to create a successful bot, so take your time in the development stages. Below are four ways you can best reap the benefits of your new messenger bot.

Keep it simple – In the beginning stages of developing your bot, try to narrow in on a specific topic and enable your bot to answers lots of questions about this specific topic. Later on, you can expand the scope of your bot’s knowledge if you wish. It’s also important that you avoid using any jargon or difficult language. By starting off small and keeping your communication concise, you can observe and learn from your audience’s behavior and develop your bot further from there.

Evaluate frequently – While it’s smart to start off simple in the beginning stages, you must evaluate and update your bot frequently if you want to get the most out of it. Set goals based on what you hope to achieve through the use of your bot and continue to improve its functions regularly.  If you take the time to focus on optimization, you’ll end up with the best results!

Inform customers – When using a bot, you must inform customers directly that they are talking to a bot and not a person, starting with an effective greeting and welcome message. Many people are still unfamiliar with bots, so it’s your job to educate them and set expectations. By letting customers know about the scope of the bot’s knowledge, you can avoid disappointment if the bot is unable to answer.

Be compelling – Just because your bot isn’t human, doesn’t mean you want your audience to feel like they’re talking to an actual robot. Try to infuse some personality into your bot so that users are more likely to engage. By getting creative with your messaging and asking important questions, you can better ensure that you are meeting your customer’s needs.

Conclusion

It’s clear that messenger bots have completely changed customer service as we know it. Assisting brands in ways we once never thought possible, bots are filling the gap where humans can’t, providing fast conflict resolution and happier customers. With automation tools such as these becoming faster and smarter, they will only continue to grow in popularity in the coming years. As brands take steps towards improving their overall customer experience, leveraging messenger bots will no longer be an option, but a must-have for all businesses. So, what are you waiting for? Choose a bot platform and prepare to take your business to another level!

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