The Facebook Messenger Chatbot Design Guide for Filipino Businesses

By - Angela
06/18/21 09:00 AM
The Facebook Messenger Chatbot Design Guide for Filipino Businesses

The chatbot is one of the hottest new marketing trends in the Philippines. They aren't just for big business and brands! They can be a powerful tool for both big and small businesses.

With so many different ways to use chatbots on Facebook, it can be difficult to make sure you're getting the most out of your chatbot. This guide will help you understand the best practices when designing your chatbot, implementing it into your business strategy, and making sure that you get the most out of every peso spent on this exciting new marketing trend!

What are Facebook Messenger Chatbots?

A chatbot is a piece of software application that uses artificial intelligence to converse with people.

Chatbots can answer customer questions, process orders and payments, generate leads for your business, send targeted messages to potential customers - the list goes on.

You might not know it, but you've probably interacted with many chatbots over the last year. Many companies are taking advantage of how people are always online nowadays by creating chatbots that can interact with their customers 24/7.

Facebook Messenger chatbots are a form of chatbot that live in Facebook's messaging interface instead of inside an app or website. 

Why make chatbots available on Facebook Messenger?

Facebook Messenger chatbots offer many benefits for businesses: they provide an additional channel to interact with customers, can answer questions and process orders in real time, and allow you to send targeted messages. 

With more people than ever before using messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, it's important that your business is active on Facebook.

Why are Chatbots Perfect for the Philippines?

Chatbots are quickly becoming one of the hottest new trends everywhere. Many businesses are betting on chatbots to provide the next big customer experience innovation.

But here in the Philippines, chatbots can be an even bigger win for companies big or small.


Reason #1: Filipinos love Facebook and Messenger.

Over 80% of the Philippines' population uses social media, according to We Are Social's 2021 Digital Report for the Philippines. There were 16M new users last year after the pandemic hit.

Not only that: Facebook is used by over 96% of internet users, with Facebook Messenger being used by 92.1%.
Most used social media platforms in the Philippines in 2021 - messenger chatbots can benefit from these metrics
Facebook and Messenger are among the most used social media platforms in the Philippines in 2021 - chatbots can benefit from these metrics
If your business is on Facebook, you can reach a lot of potential new customers by being active and always being available to them. Most users won't bother downloading an new app or sign up for something just to reach a business. By being available to them on the networks they frequent, you've got a better chance at securing a purchase from them than those not active on Facebook.

Not only that - people are more likely to open a Facebook message than a marketing email these days (source). That's better chances of having them read and act on what you've sent. A chatbot can do that automatically for you, so you just have to watch the orders roll in.

Reason #2: You can save time and money when talking to customers using a chatbot.

Most customers will be asking you the same questions over and over again:

  • What are your bestsellers?
  • HM? (How much?)
  • Where are you located?
  • Is this available?
  • ...and others

Rather than answering all of them individually, a chatbot can handle all these questions that are common and easy to answer. You don't have to do it all yourself. You can save your valuable time responding to questions that are unique and complex.

Not only that, many customers expect instant answers to their questions, even if it's late at night or the weekends. Claim your days off by having your chatbot work overtime for you.

Chatbots can also do more than just answer questions: they can book appointments, take orders, and ask questions. You can focus on strategy for your business by having your chatbot help you out.

Reason #3: Your customers won't need to leave Facebook to buy from you.

Many Filipinos rely on Facebook and Messenger for many things, including online shopping. Especially in households where there may not be a desktop computer, but there is a tablet and/or multiple mobile phones, being able to order items online using only Facebook can be important.

Make sure you're available on Facebook and Messenger to take advantage of these buyers. You won't need to worry about being swamped with messages, too, if you've got a chatbot available to take orders and respond to queries. That way, you'll only need to check one place for all your orders.

Additionally, the We Are Social report outlines that there are 316M new internet users locally: that's 316M newbies to the internet. Don't make things more complicated for them by having them to sign up for other accounts or websites to buy from you. A chatbot from your business can walk them through what they need so they won't have to worry about anything else.

Reason #4: Build a relationship with your customers through talking to them.

We Filipinos love feelings and emotions. The most popular advertisements have always been the ones that tugged at our hearts and built up over time. You can do the same with a well-designed chatbot.

Chatbots can retain information about your customers and adjust according to their history. Did they order a batch of dog food a month ago? Send them a message after a month and ask how their dog is doing. Let them know that if they send a cute picture of their dog to your chatbot, they can get a discount! Who doesn't want to show off their dog?

Also, remember that what your chatbots say will come from you. Do you want your chatbot to be fun-loving and quirky, or motherly and kind? It all boils down to what you tell your chatbot to say. You can target the right persons with the right chatbot tone, and build a stronger relationship over time with your customers.

How are Filipino Businesses Using Facebook Messenger Chatbots?

Messenger chatbots can come in many forms
Messenger chatbots can come in many forms
Chatbots can vary in what they can do and what they are for. The best chatbots are the ones that are uniquely tailored to the business or brand using them.

Chatbots can certainly answer common questions, like asking for price lists, bestsellers, opening times, and other frequently asked questions -- so that you won't have to keep repeating yourself when customers message your brand.

But they can also recommend products and even services to your customer.

Did they just add a vacuum to their cart? Your chatbot can recommend the right filter to go with that vacuum cleaner, or a perfect accessory to help them clean their home.

Did your patient book an oral prophylaxis treatment six months ago through your chatbot? It can automatically check in with your patient again on the sixth month mark to recommend another treatment to keep their smile white and beautiful.

If your customer's last order was for medium-sized dresses, your chatbot can remember their size for the next time their order, as well as their delivery details and preferences. Maybe they can even check in to see if their purchases fit well!

Did they just leave your chatbot hanging in the middle of a purchase? Your chatbot can gently nudge your customer to remind them about the kakanin platter they were eyeing. You can even sweeten the deal with a time-sensitive promo, just for them.

Messenger chatbots can cater to almost any business need--all it takes it a little creativity.

Best Practices When Designing Your Messenger Chatbot

If you're ready to give Messenger chatbots a chance to help your business, here are some tips from the experts so you can make the most of your digital investment.

Set simple goals first

Start off with a simple chatbot with a clear, defined goal. You can add more features later on, but especially if this is your first chatbot, a simple chatbot will give you clearer and better returns for your investment.

If you start simple:

  • You can slowly ease in your chatbot so your customers gradually accept it.
  • You can quickly assess how and what your customer responds to; you won't know exactly what works with a complex chatbot.
  • It's easier to change your strategy if something doesn't quite work out with your chatbot conversations.
  • A single focused goal will help you design towards that goal even better.
  • You can perfect your chatbot's tone and vocabulary with real feedback from your customers before you start writing more lines of conversation.

Focus on what will make the most impact on your business, whether it's customer service, e-commerce sales, lead generation, appointment booking, and the like.

Remember, you don't have to be perfect from day one! You can always improve and add more functionality as needed.

Introduce your chatbot carefully

Don't just blindly launch your chatbot into the deep end of the ocean. Your users will probably need a little bit of hand-holding and explanation: that's normal. 

Make them aware they're talking to a chatbot, and why that's a good thing. They might expect an extremely fluent chatbot, but oftentimes that won't be the case. You'll have to carefully guide them through planned conversation flows so they get where they want to be.

The best introductions will combine your brand's personality with the information they need. Consider letting them know how your chatbot can answer questions faster, or take their orders quicker.

And always assure them that if they need to talk to a human agent, you're still always available for them. Make sure that there's an option for them to switch to a human agent at any point in their conversation.

Make it personal

When designing your chatbot's script, you should think about who your customers would like to talk to when interacting with your brand. Your bot's name, personality, and tone should reflect this. This can help your customers feel friendlier towards your chatbot.

With an approachable chatbot, you can invite your customers to build a stronger relationship with your business. A personalized experience will be more interesting for your customers, so take all opportunities to build this bridge. Here are some common personalization options:

  • Greet them by name
  • Remember their delivery preferences
  • Take into consideration their last interaction
  • Follow up on both abandoned and fulfilled orders
  • Greet them on special occasions like their birthday

Of course, with all of this stored data about your customer, make sure they're aware of how it's being used. You should be transparent to your customers about  this--it's their information, after all! Let them know how to opt out of these, for their own peace of mind.

Don't waste their time

It might be tempting to design a long conversation with your customers, but beware of making it too long. While some might find it enjoyable to have a bit of banter with your bot, it won't always be like this. Once the novelty has worn off, they'll need to be able to do what they need to do, quickly.

Figure out what your customer's goal is, and try to design a conversation that will get them to that goal in the shortest amount of clicks as possible. What would make your own life easier?

While chat and conversation is great, try to make it easier for the user to interact with your bot with helpful quick responses for them to click on to instantly use. These quick responses can also hint or guide the user as to what your bot expects from them.

Integrate your chatbot into your business' day-to-day

You should also plan on how your chatbot is integrated into your business's day-to-day tasks. Sure, your chatbot can talk to users and take their orders, but if you're not tracking what they're actually ordering, your chatbot isn't going to help you!

Look into things like:

  • If your chatbot is taking orders or booking appointments, where are you going to retrieve those orders?
  • Do you get appropriately notified if your chatbot tries to hand over a conversation to a human agent?
  • Do you have someone assigned to look over the chatbot's conversations from time to time, to make sure everything is running smoothly?
  • Does your chatbot have access to customer information and related data, such as orders, history, and tracking?
  • Is your process and systems in use ready to accept orders or information from your chatbot?
  • Do you need to train your staff on your chatbot?

It's important to work out how to properly integrate your chatbot's presence into your business's workflow. This will make sure that your chatbot is pulling its own weight in contributing to the bottom line!

So many data points and processes can be a bit overwhelming, but it will be worth it in the end. You can opt for a full-featured solution like Chatbuddy to help you take care of these details, like automated order-taking, appointment booking, online payments and delivery booking services.

Remember to track how well your chatbot is doing

Don't just blindly release your chatbot without a way to measure how well it's doing. This can help you figure out if your chatbot is effective in accomplishing its goals, as well as how to improve it.

  • Some metrics that you might want to track include:
  • How satisfactory your customers find your chatbot
  • How fast your customers reach their goals through conversing with your chatbot
  • Orders or bookings accomplished or leads generated through your chatbot, if applicable
  • How often your chatbot meets your customers' requirements versus having to hand over the conversation to a human agent
  • How many or how often conversations get abandoned

These metrics will depend greatly on the goal you've set for your chatbot. Go back to your goal and see what information you need to get to assess how well your chatbot is doing against your goals.
A merchant dashboard like Chatbuddy Portal can help you easily see how well your chatbot is doing
A merchant dashboard like Chatbuddy Portal can help you easily see how well your chatbot is doing

Keeping the Momentum of your Facebook Chatbot Going

You've launched your chatbot, congratulations! But don't stop there. Just like any marketing channel, just blindly launching and forgetting may not get you the results you want.

Here are some of the most effective tips we've seen on how the best chatbots stay fresh:

Remind your customers about your chatbot

Show off your chatbot! You've worked hard to design and build it, you should give them the spotlight sometimes.

You don't need to talk about your chatbot all the time on social media. But you can highlight them every so often to remind people how easy it is to interact with your business. Try casually mentioning your chatbot when you're promoting your products as another way to contact and order from your business, along with your website or other channels.

If you update your chatbot with new features, that's another thing you can talk about! Breathe life into your chatbot through great social media posts and you can be the talk of the town.

Stay updated with chatbot technology

Chatbots are new technology that is always growing and becoming better. The very best features can be found right after an update! Whether you've done a DIY chatbot or have hired someone else to do it, make sure you're aware of new features that your chatbot can take advantage of.

As with every update, make sure that significant new features are properly launched and marketed to your customers. This will keep your relationships with your customers fresh.

Regularly review conversations your chatbot is having

Customers change, markets change. People's vocabulary can change in as little as a month! That's why it's important to do a review of how your chatbot is doing with the conversations it's having.

Are your customers using new terms that your chatbot is having problems with? Update your chatbot's vocabulary every so often so that it properly responds to your customers, whether they say "hm?" or "budol pls" or "tawad". You might even want to insert some of these vocabulary right into your what your chatbot is saying, too.

Take note of places in the conversation as well that users are having the most difficulty, and see if there is any way to improve it. Help your chatbot grow!

Optimize towards your goals

Go back to the goal you've set for your chatbot. How well are you tracking towards your goal? Is your chatbot doing well? How can your chatbot improve to reach higher, better goals?

This can also be a great time to decide whether it's time to introduce another goal to your chatbot. Just like real human staff, they can learn new things and grow as well, with your help.

Final Thoughts

Chatbots are a great tool for any Philippine business hoping to build closer relationships with its customers. While it won't replace email marketing, ads, or having real human staff making personal connections with your customers, they can be part of a bigger marketing strategy to push your business further.

A well-designed chatbot is a great investment for your business. There's no better time to get started than now.