Could Facebook be the ultimate customer service platform?

3 Dec 2015

Facebook Messenger could one day replace email, boards and the phone as the primary way consumer will interact with businesses.

Facebook has added an important update that allows business owners to add a Facebook Messenger box to their page – this is the opening barrage of a new paradigm for e-commerce and customer service.

At Facebook’s developer brouhaha, F8, earlier this year, Facebook presented its vision to turn its Messenger Platform into a conduit for e-commerce and released new SDKs for developers to bolt functionality onto Messenger.

The idea is that users could talk directly with businesses, make orders, track and discuss options with businesses through Messenger.

Facebook’s CTO Mike Schroepfer told recently that it is testing a technology called M that will be a personal assistant that currently involves human involvement via operators but soon could be augmented by artificial intelligence.

More than 600m people around the world use Messenger as a means to conduct private and group messages.

Update to page plug-in

Last night, Facebook introduced new features for the page plug-in for businesses, including Messenger and Events.

With the new plugin, people can now easily message a business without leaving the website.

For example, a local shop owner can engage in dialogue with a customer about an order through the business’s website or Facebook page.

Facebook has also launched a new Events page plug-in that can be simultaneously promoted on Facebook but also featured on the business’ website. This means people can subscribe to events directly from the business’ website and see which of their friends are going to the same event.

It will also feature a localised feature that highlights relevant business events as people visit cities.

“55 million public events were created on Facebook last year, helping people to connect in the real world,” explained Yugal Jindle, product manager at Facebook.

“Event organisers and promoters have told us that they’d like a more integrated experience managing their events on and off Facebook.”

Facebook Messenger image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years