Chatbots on Messenger may be a breakthrough for customer service on Facebook, but they’re far from perfect. For the time being, they’re hard to find via search, and for many companies, the functionality is limited. Still, there are already some brands that are getting it right. Here are five companies delivering solid service through the emerging channel.
Customers using this bot can place flower delivery orders from right within the chat environment. The company blends e-commerce and service within the app, enabling customers to also keep track of their orders and see when they’re delivered. So far, 1-800-Flowers is seeing success with the bot, which is drawing in new audiences.
Chris McCann, president of 1-800 Flowers, told Digiday that over 70 percent of chatbot orders were from new customers. “They are already using the Messenger platform, so it’s been easy to engage them. They’re able to place an order in a minute; it’s gives them that fluidity,” he told Digiday.
Fandango’s Messenger bot is less service agent and more personal concierge. The tool helps customers track down movie show times, buy movie tickets, and find extras. The goal is to use simple service engagements to create experiences. "We are thrilled to be the go-to moviegoer resource and ticketer on Facebook Messenger, where we can serve millions of entertainment fans on this exciting new platform," Paul Yanover, Fandango president, said in a company statement.
The largest online dating service in Europe, Meetic has a very personal approach to the Messenger bot. Instead of filling out an online dating profile, users can now speak to a virtual agent—Lara the chat bot. Lara asks users questions about their background and their dating preferences to create their profile, making the process more conversational and natural.
Few prices change faster than airfare and hotel fares, which is why the urgency of Messenger is a potentially ideal setup for travel and hospitality. Hyatt’s Messenger bot provides up-to-date information on prices and can book rooms for users, change reservations and handle other basic service requests. Plus, once customers check in, they can order room service and make other requests on-site.
“The addition of Messenger to our around-the-clock social care efforts was a no-brainer, it’s just one more channel in which we get to have meaningful conversations with guests and help them to be their best, on the road and right away,” Dan Moriarty, director of digital strategy and activation for Hyatt, said in a statement.
eBay’s bot, ShopBot, is search-based. It provides service by using artificial intelligence to sort through eBay’s massive inventory and find what customers are looking for faster than they’d find it themselves on eBay’s website.
“With more selection available to online shoppers than ever before, finding items that are perfect for you and your budget can be time consuming. At eBay, our focus is to help shoppers find their version of perfect and simplify the shopping experience,” eBay’s chief product officer, RJ Pittman, said in a company statement.