Facebook Messenger Chatbots: how brands are using them, 3 questions to ask
Once chatbots were simple tools. Known as automated text software, they were operating on instant messengers, answering questions instantly, but only as long as they were simple. What has changed? Today they are powerful, AI-powered tools, which quickly gain popularity.
Facebook API is 1-year-old, long live Conversations!
It’s been one year since the launch of the Facebook API. It allows developers to build Chatbot applications and add them to Messenger conversations. Nowadays there are thousands of them, but they are still predominantly simple programs, where users can chat and get instant information about weather, exchange rates or cinema repertoire.
With the conversational interface, there is much more space for fun and interaction between a brand and a user. With chatbots, a simple act of asking questions can lead to a longer and more engaging conversation, which is not limited to a few selected phrases.
Transactional e-store chatbot can immediately inform about delivery date, terms of discounts, follow complaints, or provide detailed records of the rules. Shoppers say they perceive such a conversion as a more intuitive way of communicating with brands.
Changes from Facebook.
Today’s thousands of chatbots installed on social media fall into 3 key categories:
- Providing instant information (Have my package already been sent? How is the weather today in my location?)
- Facilitating online transactions (I want to book a movie ticket for tomorrow, need a train reservation for April 3)
- Providing entertainment (Watch the video every day at 09:30).
There are a few problems with these ‘answering machines’, though.
The first one is raised by the Facebook team itself – consumers may find it difficult to reach them via Messenger. Crowds of friends and hundreds of messages daily can make finding a given chatbot difficult.
Other issue developers were facing, was the complication in building advanced scenarios and “chatting” capability. Fortunately, these problems have become apparent to the Facebook team.
Changes made to APIs introduced during last month not only make it easier to run bots but also to increase their reach. Additionally, a number of features were introduced to boost interactivity among others. Easier programming of the most used buttons, and easier selection of a possible interview with a live agent.
3 questions to ask yourself, before picking the right Chatbot for your brand.
Chatbots differ significantly in functionalities and price. It’s crucial for decision-makers to understand what exactly AI-Chatbot is, and what their company will get in return for an investment. Therefore, one should ask himself 3 vital questions, before picking the right Chatbot:
Question 1:Does it have a “built-in intelligence” instead of a programmed set of questions and answers?
The flow of conversation between a customer and a Chatbot should be as natural as possible, based on so-called virtual dialog. It needs to understand the questions, the context, eliminate typos and adjust the answers accordingly, rather than just using templates. This is only possible when a Chatbot is powered with AI-algorithms, such as those in the NLP technology (NLP stands for natural language processing).
Question 2: How will you edit content (the flow, the answers) or expand when you need to?
Whenever answers or facts in Chatbots’ dialog must be changed, or scenario or the look and feel, how your team will deal with it? And how long will it take? Will it require re-programming of the entire chatbot platform?
Make sure that your Chatbot is built on scalable and easy to manage platform, with a variety of administrative tools (such as the Administration Panel). Then, any change can be done instantly by you or your team, without further investments. This will save you time and give you more control.
Question 3: Will the Chatbot be able to provide real-time information and data?
Professional Chatbot should be geared with a so-called API – functionality that makes it able to communicate with a company’s vital data systems, inc. CRM, e-commerce, ERP and HR system.
This feature enables Chatbots to provide users with information like transaction status, customer billing data, weather, or account balance. Without it, Chatbot will not be able to answer at least 30% of frequently asked questions that users input through Facebook Messenger.
When considering a Chatbot for your organization, make sure that it comes with easily manageable integration features.
Interested in discussing a Chatbot opportunity? Contact our team.