Using Facebook Messenger to Communicate with Customers

By Stephanie Diamond, John Haydon

Did you know that more than 1.3 billion people use Facebook Messenger each month? Also, according to Business Insider, in 2015 the “combined user base of the top four chat apps (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and Viber) was larger than the combined user base of the top four social networks (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn).” This trend toward using chat apps shows no signs of abating.

Facebook added Messenger to its business Pages in 2017 in recognition of the fact that real-time and two-way communication help businesses more effectively find and convert customers. Messenger, with its near instant gratification and self-serve features, provides a more satisfying customer experience than calling tech support or emailing with questions. Most people know from first-hand experience that calling customer support and sitting on hold is deadly. In fact, according to a survey done by Nielsen in 2016, 56 percent of people would rather message than call customer service.

Benefitting from Facebook Messenger

So how can your business benefit from using Messenger? Here are several ways for both you and your customers to benefit:

  • Offers a better customer experience: Direct messaging gets customers quick answers that make the customer experience more satisfying.
  • Differentiates your company: You stand out when your customer responses are top notch. Competitors with lackluster performance will fall behind.
  • Provides a one-stop shop for purchases: Customer can place orders and you can accept payment right from your Facebook Page, which is great for impulse buys.
  • Supplies better information for customers: Customers can engage with Messenger to get product information when they need it.

Understanding guidelines for Facebook Messenger

To protect customer privacy, Facebook set down some guidelines for using Messenger to communicate with fans. Here are some things you can’t do with Messenger:

  • Initiate a messenger conversation: You may communicate only with someone who makes a comment, either privately or publicly.
  • Download customer email addresses: When someone communicates through Messenger, you won’t be able to download the person’s email address.
  • Send messages if your Page is blocked: If someone has chosen to block you or your Page, you can’t communicate using Messenger.

Enabling Facebook Messenger

To use Messenger, you need to enable it from your Facebook Page. Enabling Messenger is straightforward and takes only five steps:

  1. Click Settings at the top of your Facebook Page.
  2. Choose General from the list of links on the left.
  3. Click the edit link next to the word Messages.
  4. Select the Allow People to Contact My Page Privately by Showing the Message Button box.
  5. Click Save Changes.