Facebook is going to be implementing bots with certain businesses to test how they can handle simple transactions. Some of these transactions could be shipping information or simply info on a news headline. It’s interesting to see how times are changing away from going onto the internet or downloading several apps to using a one stop shop for information. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, wants this stop to be his Facebook Messenger app. Businesses will be able to provide a faster level of customer service without the man power of people sitting behind Facebook waiting for a message to respond to. This allows companies to utilize the bots to handle simple questions and let their employees handle more complicated and complex ones.
Losing Personal Touch
It is going to be interesting to see how businesses will use this without losing that personal touch. These messages will likely be handled in the same way that an automated phone system is handled. This would allow you to type words like “representative” or “agent” to get someone that can handle more complex questions. The conversation may start by letting the individual know they are talking to a bot unless they say representative. This would be exactly like calling a company and getting an automated message to press 1-9 for services, products, installation, hours, tracking etc. and to press 0 for a live representative.
Reponsive Bot Artificial Intelligence
Most of the questions can be handled by the bots and will then eventually evolve to learn how to handle any and all conversations. This would give businesses using the bots a competitive advantage over others that are not. Keep in mind, as companies struggle to keep up with the pace of change in social media, they have to rely on platforms such as Facebook. They would need to rely on something like Facebook because they cannot build their own artificial intelligence or virtual reality. Initial partners using these bots will include Bank of America, online travel service Expedia and Burger King, as well as news organizations such as CNN and Business Insider. This will be another place for businesses to post information that may relate to a specific service or product.
Messaging Participating Companies
For example, let’s take an instruction manual of a car part. If I want to message Chevrolet on how to install a radiator on a 09’ Impala, according to the new breakthroughs, it would be possible for me to get this information from Facebook Messenger. Using a bot with all the right information stored in its database could be a way to remove searchers from Google all together. Not that you wouldn’t have the information posted both online and in the database for the bot, but if people begun only using Facebook Messenger as their source for information, there would be no need for all the businesses to have their own individual apps either.
I do not have insight on how the bots will be setup within Facebook Messenger for the businesses, but it could possibly grow to even be an interactive messaging system with touch pictures that link you into their database for more information. The possibilities are endless and this is just the beginning.
Author:Josh F., Social Media Manager