Facebook now lets you chat with businesses via Messenger

Will You Use It, though?

An update to the Page Plug-in lets businesses add a message box and event information to their page.

The new messaging function does pretty much exactly what you expect. Customers can send messages directly from their Facebook inbox and they’ll show up via Facebook Messenger or the desktop chat interface.

+Commentary: While this is inline with the developments they’ve brought to the Facebook Business Pages of late, it seems almost a dangerous proposition for a micro-to-small business. While it will certainly afford greater accessibility, if you are a solo-entrepreneur and your phone is the way all your clients contact you, I’m not sure adding another layer by way of the Facebook Messenger will be effective.

Sure for inbound marketing, and quick questions, but the ability to have some complex conversations (as has happened over the years) with either disappointed or frustrated clients & customers might be a challenge through the application, on the go, and in the middle of things.

Having not seen it, or what it offers, again in the case of unwanted or unwarranted swarm, it could easily overwhelm your major asset as a business. Your phone.

Obviously this is a coup to social selling, social customer care, and so on. Yet it also seems like it is exactly the wrong type of solution to a problem that is more complex. Facebook’s business pages have zero to no CRM (Customer Relationship Management) features, and to really do this sort of thing, one would obviously need to know the history of the client, not just give them another way to contact you?

Given that there are trolls, stalkers, and the other unsavory consequences ~ this would need a better infrastructure to be a true step in the right direction. Facebook Business pages already display (with no way of managing) what your “Response Time” is as a page, which seems wholly unnecessary, but again, see where they were trying to achieve, and likewise applaud it.

However, in just the few small businesses worked with in the past or on future projects none of them seem to be too happy with the prospects, but hope in some way it might make the process easier. Yet, without the CRM portion, without being able to track & make it a part of the overall marketing tool, this seems like it could be a disaster waiting to happen.

The desktop app seems like it could be maintained, hopefully by a manager or owner, but in the cases where it is an intern or low-level employee, this seems like it is a branding disaster waiting to happen. We do live in & with the Screencap Generation, and a terse reply, you think is ‘private’ could be anything but. So please proceed with caution, for all our sake.

Source: Facebook now lets you chat with businesses via Messenger on their website | The Next Web