M Dorsett - Communications Doctor Chibur
Ever have one of those mornings? Where you wake up to “breaking news.” Last month I had one. Facebook released messenger integration for websites, calling it Customer Chat Plugin. Discussion groups I belong to went wild discussing the impact. Even Product Hunt sent their daily email that day with the headline, “Facebook pivots into the enterprise.”
Needless to say I was a little shocked. Messaging, the ability for brands to communicate with consumers via text, and Messenger, the app for messaging exclusively via Facebook, has been available for brands to deploy on websites for awhile. Nothing seemed really new with this announcement except that you had to sign up on a waitlist. It’s like when a new nightclub makes you wait in line even when it’s empty inside.
I’m going on the record and saying I truly appreciate this latest marketing effort. This is certainly another another milestone in the story that Facebook has been telling since they rattled and accelerated the rate of development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) forever post A.F8 2016. But will enterprises take advantage?
I’ve paired my assessment of the situation with some chess related quotes, as this is certainly one fine game we’re witnessing.
Play the opening like a book, the middle game like a magician, and the endgame like a machine. — Spielmann
This is what I see. Facebook seems to be — no pun intended — facing off with Apple. Apple is the wise old couple on the block. Earlier this year they announced iMessage for business. Facebook, are the kids who keep throwing a ball in their yard.
Everyone grab your popcorn. It’s like a scene straight out of “Neighbors”. This announcement from Facebook feels like a clap back. Notable enterprise brands for my life that went live on Customer Chat with messenger are KLM & AirFrance. I’m really looking forward to seeing which brands deploy in 2018 when iMessage Business Chat is rumored to launch.
“When you see a good move wait — look for a better one.” — Emanuel Lasker
Branding messenger integration as Customer Chat Plugin is a good move. When a small business integrates messenger on their website they will see immediate benefits. However Customer Chat Plugin, despite its name, is not a plug and play option for enterprise brands. Facebook has not solved the scalability of Messenger. In order for an enterprise to integrate conversational commerce into their digital engagement strategy, they will need to have a backend solution that allows for messages to be handled at mass.
Now you may be wondering why I say that is needed when a bot can handle messages at scale? The reality is bots are not able to answer all questions. The human touch will still be required. Humans need to: oversee bot conversations, be available for escalations, handle specific customer journeys, and, most importantly, take the nuggets that the bot couldn’t handle and train it how to — improving its intelligence.
In addition, Founder and CEO of Agent IQ Craig Davis makes a valid point when it comes to scalability. Conversations with consumers happen on many different channels. “Using a platform with closed loop AI brings more efficiency to the large customer service organizations that were serving.” Whether or not the conversation comes in from Messenger or another messaging channel “the AI gets smarter, turns around and applies that knowledge automatically to the other channels.”
“The winner of the game is the player who makes the next-to-last mistake.” — Tartakover
Staying true to it’s millennial spirit, Facebook didn’t wait for a conference to roll out the plugin. They just built it and released it. They can do that when they have Apple users, android users, and let’s not forget WhatsApp, which also plans to monetize the messaging application for businesses in 2018. Investors of Facebook should be feeling pretty good. Facebook is testing a mass chat tool that looks exciting, it just announced Direct another stand alone messaging app, and four out of the top five apps that are downloaded in the world fall under the Facebook umbrella.
The fifth most downloaded app on that list is snapchat. Making all the top apps that are downloaded in the world messaging apps. 54% of consumers today prefer to connect on platforms like Messenger vs email phone or online chat, but majority of enterprise brands do not offer it. What it boils down to at this point in history is any brands that that implement a conversational commerce option is a good thing for Apple. Regardless of the platform that is used on the brands end, the consumer will be communicating from their device of choice. Apple produces devices. Facebook does not.
Optional to include originally published link: https://chatbotsmagazine.com/facebook-plays-a-game-of-chess-with-apple-391190574af6