Facebook Messenger is no longer just a way to privately speak to friends or family. It’s a platform that adds value to a transactional relationship between customers and brands. One way is through customer service. Recently, “KLM Royal Dutch Airlines became the first air carrier to adopt [Facebook Messenger] for its customer service.”
That information comes from this article by CRM Daily. According to the author, “KLM will enable travelers to access information about boarding passes, flight times, check-in times and more, via a single thread on Messenger.”
And this is working!
“KLM president and CEO Peter Elbers noted that the carrier has seen customer interactions via Facebook increase by 40 percent since it activated the Messenger button last year.”1
KLM isn’t the only company that is integrating services for its customers through Facebook Messenger. There are 12 businesses that are deeply integrated with Messenger. This begs the question: what exactly is Facebook Messenger trying to become? And more specifically, how can retailers take advantage of the new Facebook Messenger?
What do we already know?
We know Facebook Messenger will allow brands to sign up to provide customer service to their customers. On top of that, Facebook already offers brands the option to launch a buy button on their websites and Facebook Messenger enables money transactions similar to Venmo.
What else could they add?
I am no psychic, but I see a few features they could support:
- Fun experiences – Facebook Messenger already allows you to play basketball within the app (screenshot to the left). However, they could add – or allow brands to add – more fun experiences to create more reasons to interact with the application.
- Brand Tracker – Every conversation through Messenger creates new data points, which they can repackage into a brand tracker for their business customers.
Ways to take advantage of existing and plausible features:
- Offer coupons and one-click buying options directly from Messenger – Retailers could message coupons and promotional offers directly to consumers and get them to buy the product directly from Messenger.
- Grow brand affinity – Provide consumers an interesting new experience on Messenger to not only create new and more loyal customers, but also to increase the chances of word of mouth conversations.
- Track affinity – Use this new communication channel to talk to your customers and find data on how you can improve your products and experiences. Or, if Facebook does create a tracker, find out how people are talking about your products and services on Messenger.
These are just some of the features they could add and ways retailers could take advantage of them. Whether or not they are true is not important. What is important is to keep an eye on the new updates Facebook Messenger releases to their product. The updates will undoubtedly serve to benefit brands and those brands who capitalize on the updates will gain an opportunity to better serve their consumers.
1Siluk, Shirley. “Facebook Messenger Becomes Airline Customer Service App.” CRM Daily RSS. CRM Daily, 30 Mar. 2016. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.