Have you ever been faced with a business enquiry on Facebook that goes something like this?
HELLO- what’s your prices?
And then 20 minutes later because you haven’t had a chance to reply yet the most offensive message of all…
Every time I receive the ‘question mark only’ message I must admit I shudder slightly. It’s a bit of a pet peeve of mine. More than ever we live in a society where instant gratification and instant responses are required. And clients seem to have this expectation that because Facebook is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, that we should be replying at 11pm at night. I get it. People are busy. They set aside a block of time to organise something and they want it ticked off their to do list within half an hour of sitting down. They often also really just want a response of some kind that acknowledges that they’ve contacted you.
So what’s the solution on Facebook? Response Assistant. If you haven’t set up Facebook Response Assistant auto-reply for your businesses just yet, you need to.
Facebook Response Assistant allows your business to be responsive no matter the time of day or night and whether you are at a shoot, doing groceries or just enjoying a Netflix series binge, prospective clients will get a response straight away. This is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, it means that your business page looks great because it will have a 100% response rate to messages in a short response time and customers like that. As an added bonus this information will be displayed on your business page- hooray! Secondly, because customers feel acknowledged, and that goes a long way in the customer service stakes. It buys you a little extra time to be able to sit down and respond to them (just make sure you do still reply to them in a timely manner). Thirdly, you can include information that might actually answer their question straight away!
Facebook Response Assistant is also completely customisable so that you can create a message that is in line with your business and current marketing strategy. Want to provide an automatic link to your website with your photography packages? Are product enquiries your most commonly asked question? Pop it in the reply. Going away on holidays and won’t be able to respond for a week? Let people know in your auto-reply so they know that you aren’t ignoring them and that you will get back to them after a certain date. Have a special offer or discount you are currently offering? Include it in your message so customers know about the special deal with a link to your web page that contains the offer. Auto-reply is a quick, simple and effective means of communicating all sorts of messages in response to client enquiries and can be used as a marketing tool too to maximise reach and sales.
How to set up Facebook Auto-reply for your business page
Head over to your Facebook Business page and click on-
- Response Assistant
Next you can switch your response assistant from OFF to ON.
You will notice immediately that Facebook provides a generic instant reply message. The most important thing to do if you are going to use the response assistant is that you customise your response. It needs to be YOU replying, not Facebook, and it needs to be in a tone that suits the personality of your business. Click on the CHANGE button to make the response your own.
Other tips for using your auto reply effectively
- If you are running an advertising campaign that will bring enquiries from prospective clients, make sure you include relevant information in your reply that will maximise your engagement and advertising spend.
- Consider adding your mobile number to your response if you prefer to chat to customers, your email address or your website link. It’s invaluable to offer an alternative means of contacting your business.
- Include your hours of operation if you want to let people know when you will be getting back to them
- Mention that you value them contacting you… customers love to know that they are important!
- Make it memorable- a cute quote, something funny that reflects your business personality- make your auto-reply one to remember for those clients who are contacting lots of photographers at once.
- If you hate doing business over Facebook messenger, it’s okay to say so in your automated response! Maybe a quick “I’m so excited you have contacted me and I can not wait to chat with you! I’m not always on social media, so please shoot me an email to *@email* with your enquiry and I will get back to you so much faster!” It’s the perfect way to direct clients to your preferred point of contact from the outset.
Have you had success with using Facebook Response Assistant? Any tips on what has worked for you? We would love you to share them in the comments below!