Earlier this month I was at F8, Facebook’s annual developer conference, in San Jose. I’ve attended pretty much all of these conferences, back from when the Facebook Platform was primarily about Farmville and throwing sheep at each other (remember that!?). What a long way we’ve come since then. It was especially great to see the Conversocial logo up on stage in the keynote as a key Messenger partner, for the third year in a row.
While privacy and security took center stage at the beginning of the conference (with Mark Zuckerberg announcing huge investment and increased transparency in this area), the general mood was upbeat—people seem to feel that Facebook have handled the Cambridge Analytica crisis well, and have turned a corner. I think the adjustments we are going through right now, while painful for many of us in the industry, are truly a step in the right direction.
Customer care was discussed multiple times during the opening keynote, with Mark Zuckerberg announcing the imminent launch of WhatsApp enterprise accounts, and David Marcus demoing Messenger Customer Chat. Facebook are making serious investments into making their messaging platforms powerful customer service channels, and it's having a big impact: Conversocial partnered with Facebook to get the first beta customers of Messenger Customer Chat live in November, and we’re already seeing impressive results from brands who are using it to replace their traditional web chat: Volaris, the Mexican airline, have found messaging to be 83% more cost effective than traditional chat (read the full case study here).
With billions of users and engagement continuing to rise, messaging has truly paved the way for a new era of communication. With 8 billion messages now being sent between people and businesses every month via Messenger (4x in the last 12 months), brands have a huge opportunity to use messaging to transform their customer service experience—it's the first channel that can deliver a better customer experience (it's the most effortless way for consumers to engage) without increasing costs, especially when combined with intelligent automation (which, done correctly, increases efficiency without compromising on the customer experience). Compared to phone or traditional web chat, the ability to combine humans and automation seamlessly in the same messaging conversation has the potential to revolutionize customer service delivery.
I’m really excited to finally be launching my book, Message Me, on the future of customer service in the era of social messaging and artificial intelligence. It’s been a big labor of love over the past year and half—I'd love to know what you think. You can order it from Amazon here!