Messenger bots help businesses save time and money in their customer support efforts. They can respond to simple (and sometimes complex) questions quicker than a human agent could.
Now, you may ask yourself, “What is a messenger bot, and how is it different from a chatbot?”
Well, they work much the same way. However, there’s a slight difference in how they function – more on that in the next section.
Messenger bots are powerful tools that help you eliminate mundane customer support tasks while collecting valuable customer data. They also boost customer satisfaction since your clients can get instant responses to their queries.
In this article, you’ll learn what is a messenger bot and why it is a good idea to have it in your business. Let us get started.
What Is A Messenger Bot?
A messenger bot is an AI-powered software solution that sends written message responses to basic questions from users. It uses the information stored in its database to generate and send these responses.
Messenger bots usually imitate human conversations via text or SMS. Here’s an example.
While the terms messenger bot and chatbot are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. A messenger bot is only used for written communication, while a chatbot software solution can have both written and verbal communication with users.
Additionally, text bots only send quick answers via SMS, while chatbots send them via the Internet. This makes messenger bots much more accessible since every mobile device can receive text messages.
Human agents can take over a conversation from messenger bots at any time. In case the bot runs into a new or complex query from a customer, a notification can be sent to a customer support agent. The agent will then take up the conversation and provide the required guidance.
You can also integrate your messaging bot service with the project management tool you use for your business. You’ll be able to reach customers through text messages in addition to your online channels. Here’s a list of the best project management software for small businesses by Cloudwards if you need some suggestions.
How Do Messenger Bots Work?
Messenger bots use keyword recognition, machine learning techniques, natural language processing algorithms, and artificial intelligence to comprehend user queries and send out an appropriate response. The process begins when a user submits a question or request to a business’s shortcode or designated phone number via SMS.
Once the text message is received, it is processed using a set of pre-programmed rules or AI for the bot to determine an appropriate response. The messenger bot then replies to the text by sending the most appropriate response to the user. All this happens on mobile devices connected to a telecommunications network.
The process can continue for as long as the user has questions and the bot has relevant answers to them. If it runs into a complex query, the messenger bot will ask the user if they’d like to speak to a human agent. If they say yes, they will be transferred to a human support expert.
You can feed the bot with responses to the frequently asked questions from customers. That way, you’ll save time while ensuring your customers receive support on time.
There are three messenger bot options that you can choose from as you generate your automated responses:
- Standardized messages – These are relevant, quick replies sent to customers that lack personalization. For instance, “Welcome to Lintons Beauty. How may we assist you?”
- Menu messages – These automated texts provide customers with a list of options to pick what they need. For example, “Kindly choose what you would like to do: make an order, track your order, raise a complaint.”
- Personalized messages – These messages address the customer by name and include details about their previous engagements with your business. For instance, “Welcome, Rand. Would you like to repeat your order of Coffeenate (6 pack)?”
Messenger bots are simple to create and require no coding experience to develop. There are numerous bot builders like Botsify to help you with that.
As shown above, they can be set to automatically generate various dynamic responses in multiple languages using the info available in your database.
Benefits of Using Messenger Bots for Business
We’ve answered the question “What is a messenger bot and how does it work.” Let’s now go through the benefits of using these bots for your business.
Messenger bots have many helpful benefits for businesses. They’re also highly accessible and customizable.
Here are the benefits you can expect:
- Helps Automate Repetitive Tasks
Having a text messenger bot helps reduce the time your customer support team spends sending simple responses to common customer questions. This is helpful considering that 265 billion customer service requests are made yearly, and businesses spend $1.3 trillion to service them.
Order checking is one example of a repetitive task a messenger bot can help you with.
Using a messenger bot ensures that you take care of repetitive tasks. As a result, you’ll need fewer customer service reps, and this reduces your business’s operation costs. All this is achieved without reducing the quality of your customer experience.
- Sends Reminders and Important Notifications
Messenger bots let you automate sending important reminders of scheduled meetings and events to customers. That means you no longer need to call or manually text each customer or attendee, reminding them of a scheduled appointment. This saves you and your team lots of valuable time and effort.
In addition, you can send out key brand information and notifications to your customers. For instance, let’s say you’ve brought in new stock or limited edition products. Use the messenger bot to notify customers who have shown prior interest in similar products.
57% of customers say they would sign up for SMS messages from bands to receive immediate notifications on promotions, updates, and offers.
In the end, the text messenger bot can help you boost sales.
- Boost Lead Generation Efforts
Since messenger bots engage customers in human-like conversations, they can collect valuable lead information and qualify each one based on specific criteria.
You can set specific keywords for the bots to look out for in customer queries and responses. These keywords will act as triggers for the messenger bot, allowing it to automatically qualify leads from potential customers with ease.
An effective messenger bot will qualify customers or leads based on their specific preferences, engagement, and customer interactions. They can also gather valuable information that you can use to personalize your email marketing campaigns and other marketing initiatives.
- Collects Customer Insights
The ability to send surveys to your customers using messenger bots is a huge plus. This helps you collect audience insights, understand their needs, and improve service delivery by incorporating the feedback.
Don’t forget to protect your customers’ data privacy when collecting their feedback; it helps keep their info safe and fosters trust.
For instance, let’s say you run a restaurant in the middle of town. Rather than using online forms or traditional paper-based surveys, you can send personalized messages to customers directly to their phones.
Customers can then easily respond by replying to the text message with the appropriate answer. It’s a simple and hassle-free way of getting to know your customers and their preferences.
- Promotes Round-the-Clock Customer Support
It’s interesting that 34% of customers now expect to get support from brands outside the 9-5 working hour model. Additionally, 76% of companies now offer support beyond these eight hours.
This means that brands now have to find ways to provide basic support to their clients even during off hours. Messenger bots come in handy here because they are available 24/7 to give responses and support.
Even when your customer service team is busy or you’re low on staffing, the bots will send quick, relevant responses to simple questions. Only complex issues will be sent to your team for specialized attention. This can reduce customer churn and boost user experience.
Challenges of Using Messaging Bots
Businesses face a few challenges when using messaging bots. These can impact the brand’s image, customer satisfaction, user experience, and return on investment.
Let’s break down these challenges:
1. Offer a Less Interactive Experience
Since messenger bots are, in fact, robots, they lack the human touch and may end up sounding bland and scripted.
Businesses need to give customers a conversational experience that first empathizes with their concerns. A personalized experience is key to making customers feel heard and boosting their experience with a brand.
You can address this challenge by using simple language and injecting humor into the responses. You can also prepare the messenger bot with a polite answer to complex questions it is unable to respond to.
You may also want to let your customers know they are talking to a bot. Being straightforward can help reduce the chances of them getting frustrated.
2. Limited Support for Different Languages
All messaging and chatbot services are highly rigid in the way they perceive and generate answers to customer requests. Most of them use Natural Language Processing (NLP); a combination of Linguistics and Computer Science, to make sense of text and develop a valid response to each query.
However, NLP finds it difficult to adapt to different languages and different dialects of the same language. It also has a hard time comprehending different colloquial terms of a language. Therefore, messaging bots can be limited in giving customer support to all customers.
The solution to this will come with time and technological advancement. Developers will continue innovating and developing intelligent bots that can overcome this hurdle.
3. Limited Query Responses
Since messenger bots are automated response systems, they are unable to respond to a wide range of customer inquiries. The bots only respond to specific questions or statements as preset by human developers and agents.
In the example below, notice how the messenger bot limits the user’s responses to “yes” or “no”. This limits their ability to ask further questions whenever they need to.
In addition to this, the messenger bot may have a limited understanding of customer intent based on its original programming.
To solve this problem, ensure that your developers keep adding the responses that were previously absent to the bot. That way, every challenging question becomes an opportunity to advance the capabilities of your messenger bot further.
4. Inadequate personalization
Even though some messenger bots provide a bit of personalization, most of them lack this crucial feature. This is because they are designed to provide quick responses based on specific scripts and rules. In other words, they give generic responses and may not understand a customer’s needs.
Incorporating NLP with AI will help solve this issue. That way, the bot will analyze customer data, understand their intent, and give personalized responses to each customer based on their needs.
How to Choose a Messenger Bot For Your Business
There are a few factors to keep in mind when choosing the best messenger bot for your business.
Look out for messaging bots that incorporate AI and Natural Language Processing in their approach. These tools can understand user intent or emotion in real time and respond appropriately.
Your tool should also be within your budget. Compare tools and their price points before settling on the best one for you.
Additionally, ensure that the messenger bot service you choose has all the features you need. It will not be worthwhile to pick a cheaper tool that lacks some key features that your business needs.
Ensure that the messenger bot service you use offers seamless bot-to-human transfers. If that’s not the case, customers may end up falling through the cracks.
A pro tip is to pick two or three tools that stand out for you and try them out. If you have the budget for it, conducting A/B testing will help you see the functionalities of each tool and settle on the best one for you and your business.
With the quick advancement of AI and machine learning technologies, the question “What is a messenger bot,” is essential for business. Messenger bots help you send quick responses to your customers on their mobile devices through SMS. It helps your team get rid of mundane customer support tasks while focusing on higher-priority issues.
Text messaging bots boost your lead generation efforts, collect valuable customer insights, send reminders, and provide round-the-clock support to customers. On the downside, these bots offer a less interactive experience, inadequate multi-language support options, limited query responses, and few personalization options.
That being said, messenger bots are an essential tool to have because they let you communicate with customers, no matter the type of mobile device they use. In this fast-paced world, the benefits outweigh the challenges.