By Maia Wilson @maiawils
Facebook is now involving itself with retail companies by creating chatbots. Chatbots are like chats on a company’s ecommerce site but now it is through the Facebook messaging app. This allows for customers to get quick responses right through their phones without having to login to their profile on the retailers website and ask their questions. Another way that is helpful to the customers is they can actually pay through this app making for a quick and easy checkout (socialsprout).
Image source: http://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-trends/
The chart above showcases the top choice for customers when receiving customer service. This is because it is not only less effort, but communication through social media is much more casual and approachable for the customer to ask questions. The chatbot mainly answers frequently asked questions, so it is not a full customer service chat, like the computer is but there are efforts to advance this service into a full-on chatting service controlled by robots.Currently, there are 11,000 Facebook messenger bots and by payment credit card companies including Mastercard, Visa and American express are all credited payment services (The Verge). Also, there are currently 300 million people using both voice and audio Facebook messenger, which means there is more room for an increase of use through Facebook (Forbes).
The use of chatbots will decrease the need for human customer service and will also decrease lead time for customers answering questions. No longer will customers have to wait numerous minutes and even hours get a response via phone or email, but instead can be answered immediately by Facebook on simple questions they may have. There is hopes that in the future more companies will be using this communication system, but for now Nordstrom is a big player in talking to their customers in this way (Geekwire).