What messaging means for businesses

We are messaging more than ever. In fact, over seven billion conversations took place every day on Messenger in 2017. That was twice as many as the year before.

Once primarily used as a way for people to communicate with friends and family, messaging has also become the preferred way for people to connect with businesses and get things done. According to a Facebook-commissioned study by Nielsen, 56 per cent of people surveyed would rather message a business than call customer service.

Many businesses have picked up on this, and we’re seeing more businesses of all sizes communicating with their customers in the way they prefer: messaging. Businesses large and small are using Messenger to connect with their customers, including Aussie brands like Transport NSW, ABC News, and the AFL.

If you haven’t gotten started yet, here are three reasons why messaging matters to businesses:

It makes business personal

Customers are increasingly choosing to connect with businesses via messaging to receive immediate and personalised responses. In that sense, it has become essential to providing effective responses to customers inquiries in real-time. Unlike phone calls, messaging allows both brands and customers to preserve the context of their conversation, making it easier to pick up where things left off and solve inquiries.

Messaging has also opened the door for businesses to communicate with their customers in a variety of new ways to not only respond to issues or one-off questions, but to re-engage them and upsell products. This is transforming customer service from being a one-off resolution to building an ongoing relationship with customers.

It provides real-time customer care

We’re seeing an increasing number of brands using bots as part of their customer care strategy. For smaller businesses, bots put the power of automation to work for them, giving them professional and personalised customer service capabilities they might not otherwise be able to afford.

Bots are great to deal with frequently asked questions in the fastest and most efficient way, keeping human time for more high-touch queries. Bots operate on multiple platforms including Messenger, and their development exploded in the last year for a multitude of wide ranging services.

Today, there are more than 300,000 active bots available on Messenger worldwide, and we expect this number to continue to grow in 2018. In Australia, we’ve seen a variety of brands successfully use bots for customer service. Some great examples, include: Qantas, Domain and Domino’s.

It’s a powerful marketing channel

Messaging empowers businesses to reach more people at scale. Small, medium and large businesses have the opportunity to use it to stay competitive. Over the last year, more and more marketers have acknowledged that messaging is the next great channel to connect with customers – whether it’s to raise brand awareness, generate sales conversion or to provide customer care. With so many possibilities, some businesses can find it daunting to identify the right messaging experience for them.

We’ve seen brands from all trades leverage messaging as part of their marketing strategy. And we’ve found that the most successful ones are those that have created a unique and effective experience, staying true to their brand.

Messaging represents a huge opportunity for businesses to deliver ongoing customer care, engender goodwill and engage with their customers in new and creative ways. We expect to see it becoming a must for businesses in Australia and worldwide.

Sophie Blachford, Brand Development Lead, Facebook Messenger

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