Facebook Offers New Response-Time & “Away” Messaging For Pages, Customer Management Tools
Pages evolving into CRM platform -- for local businesses especially.
This morning, Facebook is announcing that, globally, there are “over 50 million active business Pages” on the site. This figure includes both enterprises and small businesses. In addition, the company is announcing some new communications and customer services tools for Page owners.
In September, Facebook introduced a new public badge for Pages. Page owners who respond to 90 percent of messages within five minutes will receive a “very responsive” badge. Now Facebook is rolling out new options and messages around customer response time.
Page owners can show messages that indicate they’re able to respond “within minutes,” “within an hour,” “within hours” or “within a day.” Facebook will calculate an average response time for the Page, but the company will allow Page owners/administrators to create a public message to set customer expectations:
[E]ven if a Page typically responds to messages within an hour, they can can set their visible response time to within a day and set customer expectations accordingly. This updated feature gives Page admins more control and flexibility to use their Page as a communication channel.
There’s also an “away” message that can be shown or delivered when no one is available. Messages submitted during an “away” period (e.g., at night) won’t be factored into the business’ response time calculation. Facebook is also allowing “instant replies,” which are automatic and can contain any message from the Page owner (e.g. “thanks for your inquiry, we’ll get back to you within 24 hours).
As shown above, Facebook is also giving Page owners more information and context on the users reaching out and communicating with them:
Now when Page admins message with people, they’ll see past interactions the person has had with the Page, as well as information the person shares publicly on their profile, like their current city. Admins can also add notes about the person, like current orders, past customer service preferences, or any other relevant information. Admins can also add tags to categorize conversations and make them easier to find and respond to later. Notes and tags are visible to Page admins only and, especially for Pages with more than one admin, empower Pages to communicate with customers in a personalized and seamless way.
In addition, there’s a new tool available under the Activity tab that “offers admins a single place to view and respond to customer comments on both desktop and mobile.” Page owners can see, monitor and respond to comments under this tab.
All of these features help and encourage Page owners to do a better job of communicating with customers and prospects visiting their Facebook Pages. They also advance Facebook’s mission of making Pages a communications platform for enterprises and local businesses — especially local businesses. In the process, Facebook advances further into the CRM business.
Facebook says the new tools and capabilities are “starting to roll out globally now and will be available to every Page in the coming months.”