Ultimate Guide to Boosting Your Business with Facebook Messenger Chatbots 

Release notes | BotSurfer Blogger
Messenger chatbots can be intimidating. Think about all of the coding you have to do and all the content you have to set ahead of time for it to work correctly.

Messenger chatbots can be intimidating. Think about all of the coding you have to do and all the content you have to set ahead of time for it to work correctly. For many business owners, figuring out how to use bots on Facebook is enough to make them run for the hills. But, believe it or not, bots for business are here to make your business run more smoothly! New technology and builder apps ensure you don’t have to worry about complex coding to get a professional chatbot.

Messenger chatbots and other forms of AI take on your time-consuming and menial tasks. This allows you to focus on the big issues and serve your customers better. We'll tell you how to use bots, give you examples of bots in action, and fill you in on everything you need to know to get the most out of your Messenger chatbots. 

What Exactly Are Messenger Chatbots?

Chatbots are automated programs that answer incoming messages without any human input. You can program your chatbots to adapt responses to a situation, to supply general messaging to your customers, and to give different responses based on sets of keywords or phrases. 

Bots on Facebook work the same way. However, they let your staff communicate with people directly through Facebook's messaging app, Messenger. Instead of calling and waiting on hold to talk to an agent, customers can chat to the bot, and the bot can relay certain information like: 

  • Bookings
  • Contact Information
  • Purchasing information
  • Return Policies
  • Sizing Guides
  • Tracking Information

Many platforms support chatbots but Facebook Messenger is arguably one of the most important platforms when it comes to improving the customer experience. The reality is, if you don't have bots on Facebook for your business, you may miss out on marketing and sales opportunities. 

How Businesses Are Using Messenger Chatbots

Do you want to know how businesses are using bots on Facebook and other platforms – while thrilling prospects and customers at the same time?

Many large businesses like Whole Foods, Fandango, and Sephora use Messenger chatbots to connect to their customers. These businesses improve the customer experience by helping them quickly find answers to their questions. Other uses include driving engagement, sharing promotions, and relaying general information about products or services. 

Sephora helps makeup lovers try on makeup in the comfort of their own home using the Sephora Colour Match bot. Users can hold their cameras up to their faces or any images, and an algorithm will suggest a set shade and matching products. These products could be blush, eye makeup, lipstick, or a combination of all three. 

This technology can give potential customers ideas about certain products, but it can also introduce them to new product lines they wouldn't have thought to try. This allows them to bundle products for larger purchases. 

Another example of a company that's embraced Messenger chatbots is MasterCard. Cardholders can check any account transactions and buy items directly from MasterCard partners including Subway, FreshDirect, and Cheesecake Factory. 

This is a solid way for a banking service to build strong partnerships and ease the customer along the buying journey. It'll help them track and retrieve money, understand their spending habits, and it makes shopping more convenient.

How to Use Bots for Your Business

To stay competitive in today's digital business world, automation is important. Over the past few years, companies have switched to automated services including kiosks and self-checkouts. Limiting human interactions and having support available 24 hours a day can make processes more efficient for the customer and the business.

Messenger chatbots offer a way to take advantage of the AI trend and make a big impact on customers' lives. Messenger chatbots:

  • Use Time and the Marketing Budget Efficiently - Automating conversations through a chatbot eliminates the need to dedicate an employee to answering these questions. This uses the business's marketing budget more efficiently, and the bot is available 24 hours a day to give customers instant replies.
  • Generate Better Leads - Bots on Facebook use direct messaging to pull information to provide support to the customers they chat with. For example, a person could ask the chatbot about information about a specific product. The chatbot could then pull up product pictures or specifications.
  • Creates a Streamlined User Experience - Customers may not be able to find information on a business's Facebook page or website. If these customers use the Messenger chatbot, the business can program it to ask them a series of questions that will show them the best place to look for the information they need. Qualifying questions include:
    • What are your goals?
    • What problem do you want to solve?
    • Would you like a live agent?
    • Which industry are you working in?
    • What is your location?
    • Have you looked in X area of our website for information?
  • 24/7 Support - Most businesses can't afford to have staff on the clock 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. One of the most popular reasons companies utilize chatbots is to give answers outside of business hours. A chatbot helps customers get the information they need when they need it.

How to Get Started with Messenger Chatbots

How do Facebook bots work? When you get over your fear of chatbots and get a good understanding of the benefits they offer, you can get started designing one. Let's go over the important factors to consider when you start with Messenger chatbots. We'll also give you steps to take to set up your bots for your business. 

Figure Out Your Purpose and Goals 

Before you dive into the technology behind Messenger chatbots, you need a plan on how you'll use the chatbot. Make a list of the must-have features and consider the following: 

  • Should it promote new products?
  • Should it resolve customer service complaints/issues?
  • Should it share content?
  • Should it help you generate better leads?
  • Should it give an interactive way for people to preview your services and products

You can consult your content marketing, social media, and sales teams to make sure you're picking the best uses for your Messenger chatbots. 

Build Your Business's Content Strategy 

When you have your business goal set up, you'll write out the phrases you want your chatbots to offer for your customers. Try to address and answer: 

  • General Information
  • Contact Information
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Purchase Information

Think about your user experience and customer journey. Try to come up with questions your customers will potentially ask your chatbot. Use this information to build out your content strategy to give your users the best answers and information. Use open-ended questions that get people engaged and interacting. Involve your marketing, sales, social media, and customer service teams to help create the content for your bot. 

Write a Welcome Message 

Crafting a well-written welcome message to introduce your customers to the chat experience is essential. This step will engage your users and get them to respond to the chatbot. Create a welcome message that sets expectations, is compelling, and is personable. 

Create a Decision Tree

A decision tree is a logical flow for your chatbot to follow based on user questions. For every question a customer asks, the chatbot needs to select the best responses and allow customers to choose the info they’re looking for. Creating multiple responses to each question can help satisfy your customers' needs. Conversations and questions build from one another, so keep potential responses and directions in mind. When the conversation goes through several cycles of questions and answers, it might be time to suggest the customer connect to a live person. 

You're now ready to get started setting up your Facebook Messenger chatbot. 

How to Create a Facebook Chatbot

Although the thought of coding a chatbot can stress you out, there are several excellent chatbot-building programs available that are user-friendly. Examples include our own platform Botsurfer and other options such as Dialogflow and ManyChat.

These three programs give you simple coding options that let you create interactive Facebook chatbots for Messenger. These programs are free to use with paid upgrade options. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a Facebook chatbot with Botsurfer.

Step One - Connect Your Facebook Account and Business Pages

All you do for this step is to log into your business's Facebook account on the browser you want to use. Go to Botsurfer and click on the "Get Started" button to sign into the program through your Facebook account. Authorize Botsurfer to access your Facebook information and pick the business pages you want to work with. Then, you will be redirected to the Botsurfer dashboard. 

Step Two – Pick the Facebook Business Page 

In this step, you need to pick the business page you want to create the Facebook chatbot for. You should see the dropdown menu above all the tabs on the left bar. In this menu, you could see all your connected pages and switch between them.

Step Three - Create Your Greeting Message

When starting a conversation with a business page for the first time, customers will be greeted with this message, together with a Get Started button. Consider your greeting to be an introduction and a summary of your experience. Greetings have a 160 character maximum, so keep it concise. Optionally, you can personalize the message with dynamic keywords: first name, last name, full name. You could end the message with a call to tap the Get Started button.

Step Four - Set Up the Main Menu

In the next tab you can set up a permanent menu for your chatbot (e.g. link to your website, a conversation reset option, contact support option). You can add up to 3 hierarchical levels with 5 calls on each level. Each item can have 5 nested items and each nested menu can have another set of 5 items. In total your main menu could have 93 items.

The main menu helps users to find the right topic while in conversation with a chatbot or when a user returns to the conversation later.

Step Five - Set Up Conversation Scenarios

In this step, you will build conversation scenarios. The scenarios define how your chatbot conversations can travel from point A to point B.

You begin with the Starting point, this text block will appear after the button Get Started (step three) was submitted by the user. Create your message to introduce the user to your chatbot. You want to make the text obvious so people know it's a chatbot and not a live person. The Starting point message should be snappy and engaging while introducing the chatbot service and adding a follow-up question to start the conversation.

You should build the whole conversation flow with a new sequence for every possible question and response and connect them. Drag and drop new elements as a sequence, you can choose from elements on the left side: text, image, giphy gif embed, link, audio, video or file option. You will end up with conversation scenarios for your chatbot and you can edit and add new sequences anytime you need to.

Step Six - Add Action Keywords

When you map out the conversation scenario flow, you can create the content that customers will see when someone makes comments or asks questions. On the left, you can see the Action keywords tab. Click on the tab and you will see options for creating keyword rules.

The very first rule “Unknown users keyword” is predefined to send an answer in case your customers send something that you didn't set your chatbot up for. A default message can be: 

  • "This is embarrassing! I am not sure about the answer to your question. Do any of the following help with your question? If not, I can connect you to someone on our live team."
  • "I'm slightly lost, do you mean (list of options from the sequence)"
  • "Oops, I can't understand what you mean by your question, do you want to talk to a live agent instead?"

Other rules for the keyword (or keywords separated by commas) are based on the content of the message received from the user:

  • the message contains a keyword/keywords
  • is exactly a keyword/keywords
  • begins with a keyword/keywords
  • message is an image
  • message is a gif
  • message is an emoji
  • message is a video
  • message is a link
  • message is inappropriate – using this option, you can add keywords that you consider inappropriate and the chatbot will recognize them

Use the simple text field to create your answers for every rule, or you can connect the rule with a sequence in conversation scenarios with a dropdown menu.

You can also disable the open text option for your customers and let conversation scenarios to guide them through the chatbot experience. To disable this feature, you need to visit Messenger settings within your business page.

Step Seven – Launch the Chatbot

Finish building your chatbot experience and go through each tab to double-check your work on the left side of Botsurfer.

You can test your settings with the Messenger bubble on the right corner of the screen. This feature shows you how a real conversation with the chatbot will work. The whole process of creating and editing your chatbot is safe because your chatbot is still in the draft mode, you can see this information in the right-hand upper corner of the screen. While in draft mode, the chatbot is active only for admins of the business page. When you are ready to launch your chatbot, just switch the toggle button from draft to live mode. Your chatbot is now live and ready to talk with your customers.

Step Eight – Send Direct Message

With this feature, you can broadcast messages to all users who have interacted with your chatbot in Messenger. There is one specific Facebook limitation that applies to this feature: you can only send messages within a 24-hour window after the last interaction.

Contact Botsurfer for Messenger Chatbot Help Today!

If you need help to create your Facebook Messenger bot, contact us. We are ready to tailor our solutions to suit your needs.

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