Earlier this year Facebook introduced new features for Pages to make it easier for businesses to be where their customers are and communicate with them anytime, anywhere. As more customers interact with businesses on the go, Pages are the mobile solution for businesses. Now there are over 50 million active business Pages and many of them are using their Page to communicate with customers. In fact, the number of messages sent to businesses on Facebook has doubled in the past year, and people now leave 2.5 billion comments on Pages every month. Today Facebook announced additional features for Pages that further empower Page owners to manage communication from any device. Facebook is giving admins more control over their Page's responsiveness badge and are launching new features that make it easier than ever for Page admins to manage both the public and private interactions they receive.
Michael Sharon, Product Manager, Pages said "People can contact businesses anytime and from any device, so we're offering new tools for Pages to better manage their customer interactions. Now it's easier than ever for Pages to address both the public comments and private messages that people send them, in order to build and maintain strong relationships and grow their business." More communication controls for Page owners This summer Facebook rolled out a new feature that helps people identify Pages that are very responsive to messages. Because a business's response time is central to the quality of their customer service, Facebook set a high standard for the feature by adding the “Very responsive to messages” indicator only to Pages where 90% of messages were responded to within five minutes. Now they're offering new controls and more responsiveness levels, so a wider range of businesses can encourage people to reach out to them through private messages. Starting this month all Pages can set the average time it takes for them to reply to messages. Admins can choose to show that they respond either “within minutes,” “within an hour,” “within hours” or “within a day.” Average response times for Pages are calculated for each Page automatically and the response time shown on the Page defaults to their average response time, but admins can now control what response time shows publicly on their Page. So even if a Page typically responds to messages within an hour, they can can set their visible response time to within a day and set customer expectations accordingly. This updated feature gives Page admins more control and flexibility to usetheir Page as a communication channel.
Facebook has also created a new messaging status called “away” that allows admins to designate when they are unavailable to respond to messages. A Page's away status is visible on their Page, so people know the Page is unavailable to respond. For instance, if a Page turns off messaging at night, people will see that the Page is not responding to messages at that time and know not to expect a response right away. When this new feature is enabled, messages the Page receives do not count toward the Page's response rate. Similar to saved replies feature that launched earlier this year, Page admins can now also set Away Messages and Instant Replies. Away Messages are replies to messages sent automatically when a Page is set to away and can be used to inform people about when to expect a response or where to find other information. Instant Replies are messages sent automatically to people who message the Page for the first time. Businesses can use Instant Replies to automatically respond to incoming messages immediately, whether they say hello, thank the person for reaching out or offer them information that may help them before the business gets in touch. Additionally, response times will now show up in Messenger threads when a person messages a business, so people know when to expect a response from the business. Redesigned inbox tells businesses more about their customers to better serve them Facebook has also redesigned the Pages inbox to be easier to use, provide more context on the people businesses message with and deliver messages in real time. These changes help Page admins keep up with messages faster and manage conversations more easily. Now when Page admins message with people, they'll see past interactions the person has had with the Page, as well as information the person shares publicly on their profile, like their current city. Admins can also add notes about the person, like current orders, past customer service preferences, or any other relevant information. Admins can also add tags to categorize conversations and make them easier to find and respond to later. Notes and tags are visible to Page admins only and, especially for Pages with more than one admin, empower Pages to communicate with customers in a personalized and seamless way.
An easier way to respond to and keep track of comments To help Page admins keep track of comments on their Page, Facebook has built a tool under the new Activity tab that helps admins monitor and respond to comments on their Page. This new tool offers admins a single place to view and respond to customer comments on both desktop and mobile. Admins can flag interactions for follow up, reply privately or mark them as done, helping them keep better track of comments in need of responses and eliminating the risk of skipping over a customer comment.
And, just like in the messages inbox, profile information from the people leaving comments on the Page is shown in the comment management tool to give admins context about the people interacting with them on their Page. Page admins know that being able to quickly respond to comments from customers plays an important role in helping them provide great customer service. And now they're better equipped than ever before to respond to comments efficiently. Over time, we'll include other Page interactions like posts, check-ins, mentions and reviews within this management tool. Availability All of the new Page communications features are starting to roll out globally now and will be available to every Page in the coming months. As mobile device usage continues to push people to communicate with businesses in real time, businesses need tools to manage communication efficiently. These new features help admins build and a manage a convenient, personal and scalable communication channel for customers, so businesses can connect with people easily and focus on growing their business.