Facebook Messenger Bots | What is It and How It Works?

Facebook messenger bots are here to stay. The latest mobile tech trend is about software that pretends to be a person you can message yourself with via your preferred instant messaging platform.

Therefore, businesses and brands are turning to Facebook Messenger bots in particular, attracted by Facebook’s huge user base, to interact with and service their customers using the platform. In fact, more than  100,000 bots  chat and help people through Facebook Messenger every day.

Facebook Messenger Bots | What is It and How It Works?
Facebook Messenger Bots | What is It and How It Works?

Let’s analyze what bots are, how you can use them, and how you can create a successful bot. In addition, we will see some of the most popular and notable Facebook Messenger bots.

What are Facebook Messenger bots?

A messenger bot is a computer program that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and converse with you. The more you chat with a bot, the more it will learn and offer more useful responses.

A bot is like an application, but the interface is a conversation rather than a menu. At least that was the original intention when bots first appeared on the scene in 2016. Likewise, many bots today use menus with predefined phrases, such as “Tell me what’s new.”

Businesses in the tourism, finance, media and entertainment, healthcare and retail sectors in particular have had success with these pocket personal assistants.

For example, you can open Facebook Messenger at breakfast and ask the weather bot what Mother Nature has in store for you that day. Then you can ask your favorite  news bot  for the latest on sports or business. Are you planning to travel? Message a travel bot  for flight and hotel recommendations, car rental, and more.

Bots use AI technology to understand your question, find the best answer, and deliver it in the most conversational and “human” way possible.

Benefits of Facebook Messenger bots for businesses

Bots are the first large-scale appearance of AI technology in real life. Before that, AI was more in the realm of science fiction like 2001 Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, and WestWorld. There is no doubt that this gives bots that novelty factor that attracts a lot of new users and generates publicity, further increasing adoption.

However, bots are not gadgets; people really find them useful. If you’re one of the 1.2 billion people who use Facebook Messenger a month, it’s probably because it’s convenient and easy to use. Also, your Facebook friends use it.

The bots offer the same practicality and ease of use. In addition, it allows you to perform tasks within Messenger that would otherwise have required you to open an application, connect, or make a phone call. You can do simple tasks like  order a pizza  or do something more complicated like  contest a parking ticket.

Additionally, bots offer automated customer service in a more personal way. Type a simple “Hello” in the chat window and most Facebook Messenger bots will respond immediately, answering questions in a real-time and conversational way. It feels more like a conversation with a friend than with a customer service agent.

From a business point of view, bots offer many benefits.

Not to mention the huge Facebook Messenger user base. It makes sense to use a platform that everyone is already using to improve the customer experience.

Additionally, bots offer automated customer service in a more personal way. Type a simple “Hello” in the chat window and most Facebook Messenger bots will respond immediately, answering questions in a real-time and conversational way. It feels more like a conversation with a friend than with a customer service agent.

From a business point of view, bots offer many benefits.

Not to mention the huge Facebook Messenger user base. It makes sense to use a platform that everyone is already using to improve the customer experience.

Customer service is a popular use for Facebook Messenger bots. It is a way to help customers in a more personal way that incorporates the values ​​and voice of your brand. In addition, they help to see you with greater availability in the eyes of your customers.

For example, if you are an insurance company, you can allow users to obtain information about the policy or even file a complaint. Or, a retailer may allow people to access their most recent orders, track a delivery, or find the return policy.

In addition, companies use bots to help employees research their products or provide information. For example, the  Whole Foods bot focuses on helping people search for recipes. Others offer specialized services and allow transactions.

Additionally, brands use bots for awareness campaigns. For example, to promote its “Genius” series, National Geographic used Facebook Messenger to allow people to chat with an Albert Einstein bot.

10 examples of Facebook Messenger bots

If you’re wondering how Facebook Messenger bots might fit into your Facebook customer service or marketing strategy, here’s a rundown of the brands that are good at bots.

1. SnapTravel

Looking for a hotel can be a hassle, especially in the short term. SnapTravel asks you for your destination, dates and budget, and sends you messages with some promotions that you can book on their website.

2. 1-800-Flowers

The company that made it easy to order flowers by phone now lets you do it through Facebook Messenger. You can select the occasion, your flowers, add a delivery address and place the order. In addition, the bot allows you to connect with a live service agent.

3. TfL TravelBot

If you’ve ever tried to get to London, you’ll love this bot from the city’s transport organization. You can look up the date the next bus will arrive, check for interruptions on the London Underground, and generally try to explore one of the world’s largest cities.

4. Trulia 

Real estate and bots are a good combination. Home buyers typically have a list of things to look for, and this bot allows you to narrow down your options. In addition, the bot will send you a message with your new daily list

5. TransferWise

Send cash to your friends or family around the world, TransferWise is an instant messaging version of the application that does the same. Account holders can quickly send money abroad by answering a very small series of questions on Messenger.

6. AndChill

Indecisive movie buff (that’s the way we all are, right?) The bot AndChill is a movie buff on your Messenger contact list. Tell the bot the type of movies you’d like to see and it will send you a suggestion and link to preview the movie.

7. TechCrunch

This tech savvy chatbot tells you about the latest in the tech industry. To tailor your conversations, subscribe to specific topics or authors and the bot will send you TechCrunch news about what interests you most.

8. HealthTap

Forget about long waits at the clinic. Thanks to HealthTap, healthcare is right at your fingertips. The bot offers you a wide range of health and wellness assistance, using information from a network of more than 100,000 doctors.

9. Sephora

The makeup company bot uses a quick quiz to deliver content and products tailored to each individual’s taste. These include how-to guides, lipstick colors, and contouring methods.

10. Skyscanner

Another travel bot, Skyscanner helps you find the right flight at the right price, and connects you to where you can make a reservation. You can set an airport of origin to speed up your travel planning, you can even type “wherever” as the destination to get some ideas.

To check out these and other bots, just open Messenger and search for a brand name. The bot will take you from here. Remember that bots use AI, so the more you chat, the more they learn and the more useful their responses should become.

5 tips for using Facebook Messenger bots

Like any new marketing tactic, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the tips and caveats before venturing out. These are some important aspects to consider:

  1. Have a strategy : Don’t create a bot just because other businesses have them. Analyze the needs of your customers and how you can benefit what they can get from one. Then design the bot around those specific needs.
  2. Consider the customer journey : Analyze where your bot could be useful during your typical customer’s purchase process. Do you need a different bot for each purchase stage? A bot doesn’t have to be a sales tool; it can help customer service and research too.
  3. Test it works : Be like a bot and know how your customers use it to provide a better experience. Your goal is to constantly hone and improve the bot experience for your customers. For example, you can try a conversation-oriented interface versus a more menu-driven interface.
  4. Fine- tune the bot’s voice : Bots are created to be conversational, but the voice and tone still need to match your overall brand’s voice. Also, consider “style” as well as voice and tone. That only means using a slightly different tone of voice in different situations. For example, a reassuring tone for someone looking for the return policy. Or, a helpful and encouraging tone for someone researching products.
  5. Write great scripts : Think of all the possible questions a client might ask and how they might ask them. Then come up with a variety of responses and interactions and test how they work. Use a tool like  IBM’s Watson Tone Analyzer  to check your tone of voice.

Tools to create Facebook Messenger bots

So, are you already intrigued enough to start exploring the idea of ​​creating a Facebook Messenger bot for your business? Here are some tools for creating and managing bots, including those that don’t need coding ability. Most of these tools have the option of a free trial.

Chatfuel

Chatfuel allows you to create a Facebook bot without having to know how to code. You can easily add and edit content through the WYSIWYG interface. Among the large portfolio of clients on Chatfuel’s list are Adidas, British Airways, MTV and BUzzFeed.

OnSequel

OnSequel is another tool that allows you to easily create a bot without coding. Create any type of bot, including a story bot, personal bot, game bot, and many more.

Botsify

Botsify is another option that does not “require encryption”. Plus, she’s the only one on this list that seems to lead by example by welcoming you to the site with its own customer service bot.

Conversational

Conversational is for cases where you are really serious about bots. With a client list that includes Whole Foods, Pizza Hut and Marvel; It offers you a full-featured business solution that includes analytics, training, and conversation flow modeling.

Facebook Messenger platform

The Facebook Messenger platform itself also allows you to  develop your own bot. It’s a bit more complicated than the previous options, but it’s worth checking out. Offers a wide variety of developer documentation and resources.

Some e-commerce platforms even allow businesses to integrate the functionality of the Facebook Messenger bot. For example, Shopify allows users to connect with customers through Facebook Messenger.

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