Yesterday at its F8 developers’ conference in San Francisco, Facebook unveiled Businesses on Messenger, a way for businesses to communicate directly with customers via its popular messaging app, which is currently used by more than 600 million people worldwide.
Zendesk, which provides cloud-based customer support solutions, has partnered with Facebook to allow businesses to support and interact with their customers directly over Messenger through an integration of its Zopim live chat product.
“Messenger has changed the way people communicate with their friends, and now it’s opening new opportunities for businesses to interact with their customers,” said Adrian McDermott, Zendesk’s senior vice president of product development. “Consumers can communicate and engage with retailers within the messaging app they already use every day, on their own terms.”
Online retailers zulily and Everlane are the first two companies using the integration to support their customers. Consumers can choose to receive order information through Messenger and can use the app to directly contact the companies for quick answers and customer service, while support personnel can manage multiple Messenger chats at once, collaborate with one another to solve a customer’s issue, and access chat history to easily continue a conversation after a break.
“At Everlane, we pride ourselves on the personal connection we have with our community,” said Aaron Ginn, Everlane’s growth product manager. “Our close customer relationships are how we differentiate ourselves. Not only can our customers now connect with us through Messenger, but they also can receive personal attention and immediate service from us thanks to Zendesk’s integration.”
Businesses are already seeing the benefits of live chat, including its efficiency, speed, cost effectiveness and ability to boost customer satisfaction. Chat agents can typically engage in as many as six simultaneous chats, depending on how complex the issues involved, and live chat is typically half the cost of a phone call centre.Furthermore, consumers have reported the highest satisfaction rates on live chat (73%) as compared to traditional platforms like email (61%) or phone (44%).