Facebook Updates Messenger Platform With New Customer Service Capabilities

Facebook is doubling down on its commitment to becoming a customer service player, updating its Messenger platform to version 2.2 this week. One of the key updates includes a chat plug-in, which enables brands to embed a Messenger bot directly onto their website. 

Facebook’s been making a number of changes to Messenger recently, including the addition of Smart Replies back in April and built-in natural language processing in July, but the introduction of the chat plug-in, called the Customer Chat Plugin, is a big step for the social network—one that is aimed at providing an alternative for call centers.

“The phone model isn’t efficient enough anymore and it’s a lot more efficient for them to be on Facebook Messenger. The sky really is the limit in terms of how big this can become,” said Stan Chudnovsky, head of Messenger products at Facebook, at Web Summit in Lisbon this week, Marketing Week reports.

Facebook’s rolling out other updates to Messenger as well, including a call-to-action feature that enables businesses to drive clicks to videos, images, or other content and an improved feedback capability that streamlines how businesses access customer feedback. Plus, the new Broadcast API now gives businesses with certain account permissions the ability to message multiple subscribers with just one API request.

Because unforeseen circumstances like weather constantly impact airlines, Facebook has made airlines’ use of a Messenger for service a priority. KLM, Air France, and Volaris already use Messenger for customer service, for example. Other early adopters come from different industries and include companies like Argos and Aviva.

Facebook’s news comes on the heels of Salesforce’s announcement that it would be bringing automated bots to Einstein, its AI platform, and that the customizable bots will not only support conversations but also have other functionalities like menus and buttons for deeper interactions.

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