Just in time for the holidays (and pre-Christmas rush for businesses), Facebook has announced a slew of new features and capabilities for page admins. Since its recent launch of Messenger for Business, adoption rates have been steep. Businesses are eager to interact with customers on a new, more intimate platform. Most of the functionalities announced today are updates to help manage newer features and the subsequent inflow of contacts and messages. Now, in addition to the ‘very responsive to messages’ label, Facebook is allowing businesses to set their own expectations for response times. Labels now range from ‘within minutes’ to ‘within a day’. While the default label is set to show a page’s actual average response time, businesses can choose to set a different label to help manage user expectations, especially in light of seasons when they might be busier than usual.
Response times will be featured on business pages, but will be seen in the Messenger thread to help highlight when a user might expect a response. To further help admins with the increasing number of interactions happening over Messenger, Facebook is introducing ‘Away Messages’ and ‘Instant Replies’. Admins can now set a business page’s messaging status as ‘Away’ when they anticipate longer response times. During these times, they can choose to set an away message for customers who might be trying to get in touch. ‘Instant Replies’ are reserved for first-time contact – letting businesses say thank you, or we’ll be in touch.
New inbox management features are also being introduced. Page admins will now be able to see more details about the people they are messaging, whether it’s previous interactions or their public profiles. This will help bring more context to each interaction, helping businesses to offer better service every time.
These new tools will be rolling out globally over the next month. So look out for them at a browser near you.