Facebook Messenger is getting an upgrade. And it's great news for businesses.
Shortly after revealing a new mobile payments feature last week — which lets users send and receive money straight from the Messenger app — Facebook announced that businesses can now use Messenger for customer support, too.
At its F8 Developer Conference, the social network launched "Businesses on Messenger," a new feature that lets consumers and businesses interact with one another straight from the Messenger app. Mark Zuckerberg previewed Businesses on Messenger at the event, showing off a number of capabilities that can help businesses better communicate with and retain customers. [Facebook for Business: Everything You Need to Know]
Businesses on Messenger gives Facebook users direct and immediate access to a wide range of customer support, straight from their mobile devices. Designed to be as easy as chatting on Messenger or text messaging, it eliminates the inconvenience and wasted time of being on hold over the phone, waiting for email support or submitting helpdesk tickets. This new feature also helps businesses personalize their service to provide better support and even grow sales.
For instance, prospective customers who have questions about a particular product or service can contact the company in real time and quickly get their questions answered. Businesses can then use this opportunity to further help customers find what they're looking for and ultimately make a purchase.
In addition to having their concerns addressed, current customers can also use the service to stay in touch with the business. To illustrate, Facebook shared the following real-world use-case scenarios that can be done via Messenger:
- Make purchases right from the conversation
- Order confirmations
- Receive automatic shipping updates
- Request receipts and invoices
- Track shipments
- Process returns
Businesses on Messenger also works exactly the same way the Messenger app does; conversations are presented in one, continuous thread, making it easy to see a history of the conversation and keep it going for future interactions.
The new service is part of Facebook's new Messenger Platform, which opens the app to third-party developers and is launching with several partners, such as live chat and helpdesk provider Zendesk.
It is not clear when Facebook plans on rolling out Businesses on Messenger, but the company says it will share more information soon. Those interested in the service can learn more about it and sign up at messenger.com/business.