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How GWR implemented Facebook Messenger into their Social Strategy

By Jess Smith - GWR on Dec 24, 2015 11:00:00 AM

We sat with Jess at GWR to get the lowdown on how a brand can implement Messenger into their social plan, what it can means for your consumers and how Conversocial can help to support getting Messenger live.

iStock_000047808814_Medium-1.jpgGWR is one of the UK's largest and most complex rail networks, carrying 1.5 million passengers every week on 9,000 services, and calling at 276 stations. GWR is the only UK rail company to operate High Speed Inter-city, commuter, regional and sleeper services

Implementing Messenger is crucial, especially now with the Christmas peak travel rush just around the corner. Here’s what Jess had to say.

1) What is Facebook Messenger and what does it mean for your brand?

Facebook Messenger is a way that customers can have a real time conversation with us online, without the restrictions of LiveChat. It’s an app that most people use on a regular basis, whether it’s through Facebook natively, or through an app on their mobile.

Customers can search for us via Messenger and have a conversation with one of our agents. It’s much easier to use than LiveChat, as the majority of people online are already familiar with the layout and how to use it. Also, being more mobile friendly, Messenger can be used wherever someone has a device and a connection.

This is a massive step forward for Social Media within GWR, as customers often need real time information about their trains, planning their journeys, etc. Many of our customers just need a simple question answered, like how much a ticket costs, or when their train is due. However, because of the lack of character limit it means we can also help customers with more complex issues, such as issuing compensation or reporting any problems customers may have. Having the Messenger button on our website means that all the customer needs to do is click a button and then they can start talking to one of our team within the Messenger app, or simply search for GWR if they are already in the app.

At the moment, we are getting ready for improvement works across the GWR network throughout the Christmas period. The amendments made to our timetables will mean that customers will need more help with their journeys. They will now be able to ask the question at a click of a button and get a response within seconds.

(See How Facebook Messenger Works)

2) How have you implemented Facebook Messenger into your social strategy?

It’s been easy to implement Messenger into our strategy, as we already interact with customers on Facebook. As we already have 24/7 social media coverage, it’s easy for us to pick up messages at any time and be able to respond accordingly. It has meant that I have had to look at our targets, in terms of response times and rates. We are having real-time conversations with customers, and so we need to make sure that the first response is quick enough that we can assist them.

3) What training needs does Messenger require for your agents?

There was very little training needed for Messenger since it is already fully integrated with Conversocial in exactly the same way as any other platform. My team had no problems using it. The only training needed was a brief on how we may have to reply differently – we don’t need to sign off our names at the end of every message, and we can reach out better to customers since we have a clearer scope to ask questions, and do everything we can to help.

4) What back up support do you need from other departments to launch Messenger (web team/marketing/digital?)

We needed backup from our Digital Team, so the button could be installed on the website where customers could actually see it. In the future, we will be working with our Marketing Team to promote this more across all media.

5) What are your goals for response times with Messenger?

We are looking for a first response within 5 minutes, and replying within a conversation within 2 minutes.

6) How easy has this been to implement using Conversocial?

Conversocial has made this really easy for us to use. Since it is exactly the same interface as with other channels, it’s very familiar and took very little time to get used to. Conversocial have also been excellent in supporting us with this, helping us communicate with Facebook to get us set up as a brand on Messenger, explaining exactly how it works, and providing us with the necessary tools to get the button installed on the website.

7) It's early days but where do you see Messenger being useful to your brand?

This will make us much more visible for customer service, and provide our customers with a better, faster and more convenient way of contacting us with a faster resolution than with more traditional channels.

It means they can ask questions and get almost instant answers, without having to call or email. Also, when customers do have issues, they don’t have to use LiveChat, which isn’t mobile friendly and is restricted in what we can do on there. Our Social Media Team’s motto is ‘Personalized Customer Service, Wherever, Whenever’. Having Facebook Messenger is a massive step forward in us being able to live up to this.

Want to engage with your customers in real-time with Facebook Messenger.

Talk to us and we’ll explain how.

Topics: Brand Stories, Transportation

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