A general understanding.
In an era where people are looking for the easiest method of doing things it looks as though businesses might be the front runner for this. Over the years, businesses have been looking for the easiest option for not only themselves, but for their customers too. This is a huge step for Facebook if they can make this work as it puts them in position to compete with Twitter and their ability to allow businesses to communicate with customers through direct message – the fact of the matter is, you just don’t see many businesses dealing with customer service issues through Facebook messenger. Facebook seems to be influenced by a successful Asian company, WeChat, which allows customers to make simple purchases, pay for movie tickets, or even getting a taxi. Facebook head of product management stated that “everything starts with a conversation,” which is ultimately true in customer service and even making a sale. When you consider the statistics from the 2015 calendar year, it makes sense that Facebook messenger would be the company to try this in North America as there users are increasing each year as captured in this image.
How will Facebook configure the automated messaging?
Well the truth is, Facebook has probably been planning to do this for awhile based on the fact they are already training the AI and bots they will be using for this project. Messenger has an option to speak to “M” through the messenger section of Facebook. M is simply an additional friend you have in the messenger section and, like Siri with Apple, you can ask them questions and interact – just by typing and not voice activation. Although M is based off of artificial intelligence, you can purchase items, plane tickets, book reservations, etc. which is why there is a team of human trainers that work along with M until it has perfected all aspects of communicating. This is great marketing by Facebook as they are not looking to take profits from business owners, but small businesses like flower shops and many more will look to promote or become featured on this aspect of messenger, which is where the real money is for Facebook. This is ideal for small businesses as they don’t have to deal with the customer service aspect or deal with any human interaction at all – just complete the order that the AI has processed. On the other hand, small businesses can save a lot of money and time by not having to create their own app or service that will provide similar benefits as Facebook’s messenger would – they can just pay to become featured on this service. In the direction this seems to be headed, it would be a very wise business investment for small businesses to become acquainted with messengers service.