When most people think about chatbots, they immediately envision a fully automated messenger bot that works entirely on its own—fully hands-off, responding to questions and comments with intelligent pre-written responses.
And that, of course, is a HUGE part of chatbots and Messenger Marketing.
But the fact is that you can’t automate a chatbot to respond to every possible question. At least, not yet 😉 When you start doing Facebook Messenger Marketing, sooner or later you (or someone at your company) is going to need to respond to some messages personally.
Chances are you’ve probably done this in the past using your Facebook Business Page Inbox, which looks like this:
The problem with handling your messages inside Facebook is that it can be a pretty clunky interface—especially if you have to manage dozens or even hundreds of conversations taking place at once.
That’s why we created the “Live Chat” tool in ManyChat, which you can access on the left-hand side of your dashboard:
I’ll get into the specifics of how to use ManyChat’s Live Chat tool in just a minute. First, though, it’s important that you understand…
What Is ManyChat Live Chat & How Should You Use It?
Live Chat is essentially a Messenger conversation taking place in real time between you and the customer.
Take a moment to think about how powerful this can be.
Most of our other communication channels—I’m talking about things like email, traditional mail, and even phone calls—are overflowing with unwanted ads and other commercial spam. As a result, we don’t really trust or pay attention to messages from these channels as much as we used to.
- Email open & clickthru rates continue to decline as our inboxes get more and more saturated with promotional messages.
- We open letters over the trashcan, barely glancing at most direct mail pieces.
- And many people are so tired of of telemarketers that they won’t even answer a phone call unless it’s from a number they recognize.
But Facebook Messenger is different. It’s a trusted place, a safe place. Why? There are a lot of reasons.
- Everything is hosted on the Facebook Messenger ecosystem, where people already feel comfortable and safe.
- All conversations take place through a Facebook account, which means we know exactly who is messaging us (and for the most part, they’re friends & family members).
- Because Facebook has set strict rules around how often promotional messages can be sent, we aren’t being bombarded by ads inside of Messenger.
These are just a few of the reasons why Messenger is such a great place for businesses to connect with their customers.
And it’s also a versatile tool! Here are 5 ways you can use Live Chat to reach customers and grow your business:
1: Qualify Leads & Prospects
I expect Live Chat to become very useful for salespeople, especially if your company is doing high-touch sales and consultative sales.
Take a look at the right-hand side of this conversation. Notice how many different tags have been applied to this customer.
As you can see, Live Chat makes it easy to keep track of all the tags that have been applied to the subscriber you’re chatting with—giving you instant context into each lead’s history (their interests, sequences they’re subscribed to, etc.).
It’s also easy to add new tags, unsubscribe the user from your ManyChat list, or subscribe the user to a new sequence.
How might you use some of these features?
Maybe someone complains that you’re sending them too many automated bot sequences. When that happens, you may want to simply unsubscribe them from your chatbot.
Or maybe in the course of your conversation, you learn that the prospect would be a great fit for another product or service. If that’s the case, you can tag the user with that interest (such as “b2b_lead”) and then subscribe them to a sequence that nurtures them on the benefits of that service.
You can essentially use this tool as a full-blown CRM to keep track of leads & prospects as you guide them through the sales process.
2: Deliver Great Customer Service
Customer service is probably one of the most common uses of Facebook Messenger for businesses, and for good reason. It’s a quick and easy way for your customers to get in touch with your company to get the answers and support they need.
Many people are tired of waiting days for an email response or sitting on hold for long periods of time over the phone. Instead, they would prefer to message your company using a familiar channel where they feel comfortable.
Messenger gives customers an easy way to ask questions about your products or service, such as getting advice on sizing:
Or to get help with their order, for instance if their coupon code doesn’t seem to be working:
Using Live Chat, you can take better care of your customers by quickly answering their questions and solving their problems.
If you’re going to use Live Chat to provide customer service, just make sure you have an adequate number of customer service reps available to respond in a timely fashion. You don’t want customers sending you questions that go unanswered for long periods of time.
3: Answer Sensitive Questions
One of the things we love about Messenger Marketing is that it gives people the immediacy of a phone call combined with the privacy of an email.
And depending on the nature of your business, you can take advantage of this fact to give your customers a way to ask sensitive questions they might be uncomfortable discussing over the phone.
For example, this customer is inquiring about bra sizing information:
Some people may be uncomfortable discussing topics like this over the phone or in person. So why not give them the opportunity to contact you in a more anonymous fashion?
This is just one more way you can use Live Chat to serve your customers in the way they want, giving them a better experience with your company.
4: Build Relationships & Rapport with Customers
One of my favorite things about Messenger marketing is how personal it is.
It’s not like email blasts, banner ads, or promoted YouTube videos—all of which are examples of “one-to-many” communication. They’re mass communications from a company, in which the company is speaking AT people.
Messenger marketing, on the other hand, is a form of “one-to-one” communication. These are personal conversations in which the company is speaking WITH people.
And the personal nature of this communication channel means you have the special opportunity to establish greater trust and rapport with your customers. To develop more meaningful relationships between them and your brand.
It doesn’t have to mean much. It could be something as simple as a customer service rep asking the customer if their package arrived:
But these little snippets of real-life connection will stand out to your customers, because people will know they’re coming from another person who is displaying real concern for them.
5: Give the User a Great Experience
We’ve all had poor experiences with companies in the past. And because of this, many of us have developed pretty low expectations when it comes to customer service.
But there’s a silver lining in this cloud: it means you don’t have to do much to deliver a superior user experience.
And Live Chat gives you a great opportunity to do just that—to go the extra mile and make sure your customers have a great experience with your brand, helping you to stand out from all the other companies that have disappointed them in the past.
For example, Kindred Bravely empowers its customer service reps to issue refunds for customers who have trouble using a coupon code:
Once again, it’s a simple thing—but it makes a big difference to a busy consumer.
ManyChat Live Chat settings, 3 New Features, and 1 Caveat
Now that you have an idea of how companies are using Live Chat to connect on a deeper level with their customers, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of this tool.
But first I want to mention one caveat. You can only use Live Chat to message a person who has interacted with your page within the past 24 hours…UNLESS that message is responding to a customer service issue that required more than 24 hours to resolve. This is done to ensure that people don’t receive unwanted messages.
If you’re ever unclear on how that rule works, just hover over the “?” in the Live Chat window:
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s a quick overview of 2 features that can help improve your experience with Live Chat.
Live Chat Behavior Setting
By navigating to the “Live Chat” section of the settings tab, you can change how messages are opened inside of Live Chat.
You have 2 options:
Any message starts a conversation. This means that any engagement with your chatbot will open a Live Chat conversation.
Conversation should be opened explicitly. This means that normal automated bot conversations will be kept out of Live Chat, and a conversation will be opened only if the user clicks a button or uses a keyword that triggers an “Open Conversation” action:
In most cases, I recommend choosing the second option—Conversations should be opened explicitly—unless you’re really small and just getting started with ManyChat marketing. For anyone using Messenger marketing at scale, the first option is going to result in way too many conversations to manage on your own.
New Live Chat Feature 1: Hide Messages From Bot
Another new feature that’s on its way is the ability to “Hide messages from bot.” You’ll find it at the very top of your Live Chat message window.
This will allow you to filter out messages that have been sent by a bot, as opposed to messages that have been sent by a human.
It’s a really helpful feature that will remove a lot of junk from the window, making it easier to follow the thread of conversation with someone who has interacted with both a live person and a bot.
New Live Chat Feature 2: Add Notes
This feature allows you to add Notes to your conversations so you (or your team members) can store and share useful information about the particular subscriber with others. After you add a Note, it appears as a message on the yellow background — this information is visible only to page admins. You can switch between a Conversation and adding Notes using buttons above the message window.
New Live Chat Feature 3: Pause Automation
This new feature allows you to pause all bot automations during the conversation — this subscsriber won’t get any Broadcasts, cannot trigger Keywords or Default Reply, and all the Sequences will be queued until the pause time runs out. You can set a pause by clicking a button (you will find it under your subscriber’s profile picture), each click adds +30 minutes. Pause automation can be cancelled at any time manually.
In nearest future you will get even more cool features. Stay tuned!
Join the Future of Marketing!
If you’re starting to realize the immense potential of Messenger Marketing, I have good news: You can start building your own chatbot for FREE with a new ManyChat account.
With a free account you can build out sequences, flows, keyword responses, and growth tools. Send out unlimited broadcasts to your followers. And, of course, keep touch with your leads and customers with Live Chat.