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Facebook Messenger - the future of website chat?

By Lois Ransome on September 02, 2019

Have you spotted the new online chat icon in the corner of our website? You may recognise the logo - that’s because our new live chat functionality is powered by Facebook Messenger.

Live chat has been around for a while and we’ve experimented with a few providers with differing degrees of success. Below we look at why you should consider adding live chat to your website and why Facebook Messenger could be the perfect online chat provider for your business. 

Why add live chat to your website?

Provide great customer service
Customers just love live chat! Infact, 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live agent while in the middle of a purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer.

Live chat provides convenient, real-time interaction that’s often less time-consuming and frustrating than picking up the phone. 

Improve user experience
You’ll want to keep users engaged with your content whilst browsing your website. Therefore, if they have to navigate away from a page in order to ask a question or make an enquiry, then they may never make it back to the original page.

By adding live chat to your site you can answer any queries your users may have without them leaving the page. This helps improve their experience, reduce your bounce rate and provide the opportunity for cross selling.

Gain a competitive advantage
If your competitors aren’t using live chat, then you definitely should be! A recent survey found that just 14% of companies are currently using live chat, so it’s your opportunity to stand out from the crowd. Live chat shows your potential customers that their enquiries are important to you, building trust and increasing the chances of conversion.

Opportunities for automation
Chatbots are often used with live chat. This could involve something as basic as a scripted welcome message or holding response, but at its most sophisticated you can programme automated responses to frequently asked questions. 

This smooths the buying process for customers and also frees up your time from dealing with enquiries manually. 

If you’d like to learn more about Chatbots, check out our recent blog - Are chatbots the future of marketing? 

Increase sales and conversions
The biggest benefit of using online chat is the potential to increase sales. It gives you the opportunity to answer questions in real time and guide your customer through the buying process, much like a sales assistant in a traditional retail environment.

You can also be super strategic with live chat. If there’s a particular point in your sales journey with a high dropout rate, some chat providers will allow you to pop up at that particular point to offer help and advice. 

Why choose Facebook Messenger?

Facebook launched its Chat plugin at the end of 2017, but it has only really taken off in the past few months, with the familiar icon popping up in the corner of websites all over the internet. 

Pros of Facebook Messenger Chat
  • The basic version is FREE! - Most online chat platforms are relatively inexpensive, depending on the degree of functionality, but why would you spend $20 a month when you could get the same thing for free! 

  • Customer Data - By its nature Facebook offers you a tremendous amount of customer data. By taking a peek at your customers profile you can provide bespoke responses and interact better with your customer.

  • Easy to use - Facebook’s Customer Chat Plugin is super easy to use for both the customer and the administrator. Facebook users are already familiar with the system, whilst administrators can respond to messages on the move, any time of day, via the Facebook Pages app. 

Cons of Facebook Messenger Chat
  • Not everyone has Facebook - In order to engage on Messenger you'll need to have a Facebook account. Of course, Facebook does have over 2.4 billion monthly users so this generally isn’t a problem, but if you’re targeting older people for example, who are less likely to have a Facebook profile, you may wish to choose another platform.

  • Privacy concerns - In light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, some users are being a bit more careful about where they share their data. As such, some customers may choose not to engage with you as they don’t want to share their Facebook data.

  • Limited functionality - Some live chat platforms provide features such as screen sharing, remote desktop control and ticketing. In comparison to this, Facebook Messenger is relatively basic. If you’re a small business though, and just use live chat to answer queries and send files, then Facebook is the perfect platform. 

Are you ready to take your website to the next level? Get in touch now to discuss your requirements with one of our digital experts.