Earlier this month, Facebook launched Page Messaging, which gives customers more ways to send private messages to businesses and Page admins ways to manage and respond to them. Users can send Pages messages through local awareness ads, and Pages will see an attachment that shows the ad that prompted the message. Once a user initiates a conversation, the business can respond as they like.
Businesses can also now respond privately to public comments. When the business responds privately, the comment shows a note that the business did so so it doesn't look like they're ignoring it. Users have the option to block private messages from businesses. Pages who are "very responsive" to private messages (they respond to 90% of them and have a median time of less than five minutes) will get a "Very Responsive to Messages" badge on their profiles.
Facebook now has a guide out for Page admins with some advice on how to use Page Messaging. It basically has five best practices, but of course elaborates on each of them: Turn on messaging when you're ready; write the way you'd speak to someone in person; be helpful and to the point; limit saved replies to frequently asked questions; and respond to sensitive questions.
"Page messaging is a feature that Page Admins can turn on and off for their Page, and once you enable messaging for your Page, people will expect you to respond," Facebook says in the guide. "So turn on messaging only when you can commit to responding to messages. If you respond to 90% of messages within five minutes, you’ll earn a “Very responsive to messages” badge that tells Page visitors that you can be reached effectively through messaging. While we don’t expect every Page to meet this threshold, we recommend being as responsive as possible to build rapport with your customers. And, only the messages you respond to count toward your response rate. You can also turn off messaging (in Page settings) during your business’ off hours, if you like."
"Messaging is a direct and personal communication channel, so make sure your tone is friendly and respectful," it adds. "Write to your customers in the same way that you’d speak to them in person. It’s also important to think about the context of messaging before you reply to or initiate a message with a customer. Messages are interruptive, meaning they get the attention of the recipient right away, so we suggest using messaging for matters that require immediate attention. For general marketing communications, consider boosting posts from your Page or running ads."
The new features are still rolling out, and will continue to do so for the coming weeks. Once all businesses have access to them, it should really help in addressing some major customer service issues they have. Report after report has shown that businesses struggle to adequately address customer service on Facebook and Twitter. Luckily, both companies have been adding features of late to help in this area.