Facebook Messenger is becoming an increasingly interesting tool for all kinds of brands. It started out as a personal space where friends connected with each other. But now Facebook is opening up this messaging application to connect users and businesses.
Various scenarios can be considered here: Messenger is an excellent tool for customer service. Displaying a news ticker in the chat screen is another possibility. Or purchased products and services can be processed by an intelligent chatbot.
Facebook wants to open up Messenger for commercial purposes – this much is known, and not just since the f8 conference in San Francisco where Mark Zuckerberg discussed these plans. We went looking in the past few weeks for examples of the direction being taken.
KLM has been partnering with Facebook ever since “Business on Messenger” was first announced in 2015. The airline also announced this past March that its customers will be able to access additional benefits and services on Facebook Messenger, beyond just customer service functions.
Passengers can store boarding passes in the chat window, for example, or sign up for automated check-in reminders and flight updates. A live chat function allows KLM customers to connect with customer support for their questions or to rebook flights.
Sports fans can generally rely on Bild for the latest news that matters to them. The journal is known for its great contacts in the German Football League and rapid reports on game days. Now the Springer publication delivers faster than ever with a transfer ticker for its readers in Facebook Messenger.
Interested users first have to send a message to the “Bild Ticker” Facebook page, to receive the latest rumors of transfers via Messenger. The service has been available since January of this year. Fans can also sign up for push notifications about their favorite club with the command "Bild + Wunschbundesligaverein" (= favorite Bundesliga club).
The Hyatt hotel chain also began testing Facebook Messenger as a customer support channel in the fall of 2015, and found it to be of value, a judgment supported with some figures at the end of last year.
Since users have been able to communicate directly with the company via Facebook Messenger, according to Hyatt, the number of message requests via Facebook has multiplied by twenty. Around one-tenth of all social media requests were processed through Facebook in December 2015 – along with Instagram, Twitter and WeChat.
Uber, the online ride service that is subject to some controversy in Germany, has also earned a place in this list of examples. At the start of the year, this startup and Facebook announced that customers can now book a ride via Messenger – without having to download the Uber app.
Users in the US can select an address and order an Uber driver at the same time that they're messaging with friends. The expected arrival time can also be displayed, and the cost for the ride can be shared with friends.
Chatbots should also play a big role on Facebook Messenger in the future. This opens up fun possibilities for companies in the entertainment sector in particular, such as Universal with Back to the Future.
For Back to the Future day, fans of the classic film could chat with the Doc Brown character. The oddball professor took advantage of this opportunity to ask his discussion partners about the year 2015.
Universal thus brought to life a beloved character from the science fiction trilogy. Something similar could be imagined for sports clubs and their mascots, for example. There are plenty of exciting possibilities!
Everlane is a US fashion brand known for it radically transparent production chain, and now also for its delivery support on Facebook Messenger. Buyers are notified via the messaging app when their purchase is shipped, and especially about where it is at any given time.
And this is no one-way communication. Customers can also initiate contact and ask for information, if their package doesn't arrive on time.