Facebook messenger – one sales chat client to rule them all
Facebook messenger version is now being drip fed to some early adopters for beta testing. This new iteration of the Facebook messenger brings the social network another step closer to being omnipresent in both our personal, and our business lives. Whether you consider it an annoyance or a vital channel for communicating with friends Facebook Messenger is undeniably popular.
The Facebook-owned chat service WhatsApp is incredibly popular, it requires the installation of an app on your mobile device, and optionally, a lump of software on your desktop computer. The appeal of Facebook Messenger is that is requires nothing more of customers than for them to have a Facebook account. So if potential customers spot a Facebook messenger chat box appear on your website then there’s a chance they might be more willing to talk with you.
Brand familiarity is important to potential sales leads. Based on nothing more than familiarity and an indefinable cozy trust there’s a theory that your sales leads may view having a quick chat as passive and non-threatening. When it comes to customer resistance, if a high-pressure, timeshare style sales event is at one end of the scale of perceived sales-hassle, Facebook messenger is at the matey, friendly other end of the scale.
But is Facebook messenger any good as a business tool?
I’m not denying that the appeal of giving customers the opportunity to converse with you through Facebook is strong. In terms of convenience alone Facebook messenger is also incredibly convenient for you and your sales team. There’s an incredibly high possibility that everyone at your company already has the messenger app installed on their phone and tablet. I have been working with marketing-led chat clients for many years and the fact that nobody needs to install extra software to start using Facebook Messenger is great.
But once a potential sales lead starts chatting with you then how will you capture their data? If you use one of the many other website chat systems, like the fantastic Intercom platform, then as soon as someone starts talking there’s an opportunity to easily add them to your lead management system. Platforms like HubSpot and Mautic take things forward another step by automatically adding anyone who chats through your website chat system directly into your CRM (customer relationship manager).
Encouraging people to speak to you is only one part of an effective sales process. How you handle the data the conversation captures is where the real power of chat reveals itself. I’m a huge fan of making inbound marketing processes as efficient as possible. Less time spent on administration by copying and pasting between systems equals more time spent looking after customers. In fact I recommend taking one things further and integrating conversations with an all-in-one communications package like Slack. But that’s a conversation for another time.
So is Facebook messenger good or bad?
Neither. I just thought this question would look good as a headline. Like any sales or marketing tool Facebook messenger is exactly what you choose to make of it. It’s my opinion that right now Facebook Messenger is just one of several fascinating options for chat. Integrating Facebook Messenger with your website is just another opportunity to try something new, to see if it can help boost your profits. As with any other marketing activity choosing the right chat client is a matter of testing and seeing how good the fit is for your business goals.
If you’ve never tried website chat as a sales took I heartily recommend you try it, the results can be remarkable.