Tech Talk! Customer service automation, leveraging Facebook Messenger for customer service

A new proposal for Customer Service Automation


There has been a conundrum within the business sector about the ever elusive problem of customer service. Good and bad customer services it seems depends on whether or not companies (at least the big ones) are using robots to talk to the customers or a person.

As a customer when we call the hotlines; we pray to heavens that it will be a person on the other side of that line talking to us. So Why do we hate talking to a bot so much? It boils down to the fact that we cannot vent our frustration towards a Bot rather when it’s a person we’re hoping the person on the other end of the line has enough empathy and help us fix whatever issue that we want to fix ASAP.

The Old Model for Bots is Crap! (excuse the French) 

Here’s why we’re saying that; Bots are not the solution to difficult and complex problems in customer service. If you’re billing was charged incorrectly, or if you have a technical issue, for example, the last thing you want to do is to talk to is an automation guiding you through the steps of fixing it. Eventually, you’ll have to wait in line for a real customer service rep to handle your specific case for anyway.

The reason why we have such an adverse reaction towards Bots in customer service is that they have been used incorrectly for all these years.

“…Automation will eradicate customer service…This is (in our opinion) an incorrect assessment of what Bots can do for business operations.”

Cost is, of course, one of the big drivers for businesses to automate customer services. However, Businesses out there believes that Automation will eradicate customer service…This is (in our opinion) an incorrect assessment of what Bots can do for business operations.

Our Thinking; The Proposal

We’re not here to talk about Good versus Bad Customer Services, and it’s effect on ROI because at this point everybody knows that it’s good business to treat your customers well.

What we are proposing is to use Automatic messages in a different way. Rather than solving complex solutions at the tail end of customer service. Why not address some front-end and less complicated questions people might have for your business. Our proposed model is to alleviate any point that might require someone taking time out of their jobs to answer any miscellaneous questions that customers might have.

“…at the end of the day…those small question that takes 2 to 5 mins per call, could add up, for both time and monetary cost.”

Allowing your customer service reps to work on the truly difficult customer service cases for your business. Because at the end of the day…those small question that takes 2 to 5 mins per call, could add up, for both time and monetary cost.

Automation Graph
Our Proposal would shorten the automation process by diverting what question the Bot answers.

What do we mean by front-end and back-end?

These two words we co-opted from an engineering perspective. Our definition for a front-end servicing includes questions like:

  • Hours of Operation
  • Menu item/Special of the day
  • Where to find your business
  • A quick summary of what your business does
  • Scheduling appointments or reservation

These are meant to be fast and easy to answer, but without automation, your business will have to have someone dedicating their time to answering these question.

Whereas back-end questions are a little bit more complicated and require an actual expert to answer them. For example:

  • Billing
  • Technical questions
  • Refunds
  • Filing Complaints

How Facebook Messenger fits in all of this?

Facebook Messenger fits in all of this for one reason. Facebook Messenger has over 1.2 billion users monthly according to TechCrunch. This staggering number means that this is one of the biggest platforms that a business whether big or small could use to automate the front-end model. Not only that, the platform allows for a lot of co-creation meaning that your business can customize to your specific needs.

The reason why we like Facebook Messenger is because it is easy to use, and most people probably already have Messenger living in their phones. Imagine a UX where people just look at your business via the Messenger App and ask those basic front-end questions…rather than having to go to safari and look up your website and then ask your bot those same questions. Smooth UX, that’s what your business should strive for.

And to not be left out of the cold, we are developing Wali to do just that; Front-end automation and with the possibility of some Machine Learning variables attached to this Bot. The Bot is not our core competency, but it is a rather fun project for our engineers to work on! 

We’re not left out in the cold: Wali the Bot

Currently, our cute little rabbit friend with his carrot stick is a rudimentary bot on Facebook Messenger. Right now, if you message us, he can shoot out a bunch of local businesses that is on the Wali app right now as a suggestion like so:

FB Snips

But we don’t plan on him only doing that. In fact, our plans for our little rabbit goes beyond just local recommendation. Eventually, he will be not just an asset to us, but to businesses that we service as well.

What he will do:

  • All of the front-end stuff for businesses that are on board for Wali
  • Recommendations to locales based on what the individual customers like – So more machine learning stuff
  • Potentially reaching out to customers about business’ happy hours, sales events etc.
  • More stuff that we haven’t really thought about yet!

This AI bot is one of the many things that we are building for Wali, and we’ll be getting ready and more excited to tell you all about it as we keep on building! But for now, ponder on our proposal and see if you agree!


Exciting New Features