This post is sponsored by Facebook.
People’s expectations for real-time service and meaningful human interaction have never been higher. If a customer has to wait too long for a response, they’ll simply move on to the next seller. And according to an eMarketer report, the majority of the world is using some form of mobile messaging app to communicate (76.3% to be exact), proving that this communication method should not be ignored.
A recent Facebook-commissioned survey found that 64% of respondents message businesses because “they’re already messaging anyway.” But it turns out that messaging isn’t just convenient, it also inspires trust. Sixty-six percent of people surveyed by Facebook said that being able to send a message to a business made them feel more confident about the brand.
Fortunately, tools like Facebook Messenger are available to help small businesses get started with messaging to engage customers quickly and effectively.
Managing customer relationships online
If your business has a Facebook Page, you’re already on Messenger, and you can communicate directly with customers, respond in real time and lessen your risk of missing a sale. And since small businesses and customers alike are constantly on the go, Page tools can be accessed via mobile devices or desktop computers. Having access like this not only gives small businesses a presence on a platform where their customers spend a lot of time, but it also lets them use that platform to respond to customers instantaneously, if need be.
Messenger helps businesses with their day-to-day operations, like tracking orders and scheduling appointments, but it also drives results by simplifying customer acquisitions, enabling transactions, driving awareness by getting products and services in front of more people and adding another level of customer care.
Additionally, Facebook offers the distinction of a “very responsive to messages” badge for businesses that respond to at least 90% of their messages in 15 minutes or less. Having your business readily identified as responsive to customers on social media can pay off with today’s digital customers.
What does it look like when a business successfully handles online customer engagement to its advantage?
Messaging in action: Amanda Sews
Put off by the high cost of having her newborn’s clothing monogrammed, Amanda Hendrickson bought a sewing machine in 2014 and did it herself. She started offering her services to friends, and between word-of-mouth and the Facebook Page she created, the young mom was in business.
Once Hendrickson realized that Messenger was built into her Facebook Page, she started using it to manage orders. And today, she manages most of her orders through her Page inbox, where she can search for orders by keywords. When she fulfills an order, Hendrickson moves the message thread to the “Done” folder, where she can easily check in with customers to make sure they received and liked their orders.
Hendrickson estimates that by using messaging to track orders and communicate with customers, she saves herself up to 15 hours a week. The real-time conversations Hendrickson has via messaging have also helped her forge a closer bond with her customers.
The opportunities for real-time communication facilitated by Facebook’s tools are vital for a small business like Amanda Sews. The business has been able to utilize Messenger and other engagement tools on the platform to truly connect with its customers and meet their demands.