That's one party I joined early: social media. I was among the first users of Facebook, which I primarily used to share information with my family and friends, and keep in touch with classmates.
Over ten years have passed, and today I use Facebook mainly to engage with businesses. Recently, I even used it as a marketplace. While it says a lot about my ageing process, it also says a lot about how we - as individuals looking for fast and convenient interactions - have come to use Facebook, and how attractive it has become for businesses as it is a platform used daily by billions of people who exchange, shop and socialize.
By introducing Facebook Messenger for businesses two years ago, the no. 1 social media platform further positioned itself as a "customer service staple." Facebook Messenger is no less than an opened tool offering advanced differentiation, at a fraction of the cost of regular infrastructures that is ready for bot and e-commerce support. In other words, it delivers a traditional instant messaging platform while including new and disruptive technologies, and building on the assets of its community: better segmentation, more customer intimacy and stickiness, and rapid answers.
Boasting over one billion users, the platform offers businesses the capacity to have direct contact with their customers over chat, voice, or video, sometimes even using chat bots instead of agents. The simplicity of use and high level of personalization position it as a tool of choice for contact centers of all sizes, and across all industries. Facebook Messenger somehow succeeds in making it cool to be in contact with customer care by using the hottest trend in the vendor market to address the challenges faced by contact centers
Are we there yet? A simple tool that still requires smart adoption
With contact centers from all sides of the spectrum, like Bank of America or KLM having implemented a Messenger channel, it is becoming part of the customer service landscape. As such, it requires that all the best practices employed today: for quality, analytics and compliance, be extended to it.
It is obvious that using Facebook offers great marketing advantages as businesses can access a wealth of information on their customers, but this channel still needs to be properly analyzed to understand the customer journey, and individual likes and dislikes, in order to be able to offer a personalized experience. If properly used, FB Messenger could become the holy grail of customer service: preempting issues, or resolving them, before they reach the contact center.
Still, the adoption of Messenger for customer care does not revolutionize how quality is ensured: processes should be aligned with the companies' objectives and agents should be adequately trained to use it for businesses purposes. With a platform that connects billions of active users, the last thing you want to do is risk being shamed by unhappy customers. An effective quality solution needs to be paired with the Messenger channel to ensure a consistent brand image, and empower agents to deliver top customer experience.
Last but not least, 2017 may well see a tremendous amount of disputes or lawsuits using interactions on FB Messenger as evidence, or even making the business concerned liable, and compliance solutions must therefore be FB Messenger ready, by the time the channel is deployed. Indeed, when engaging with their business of choice across the Messenger platform, users are not prompted to give their consent to be recorded which should undoubtedly be addressed as a compliance pitfall.
Party hard but party safe
Consumers using social media channels must take the necessary steps to ensure that they implement the same best practices available for voice across the new channel, and address the main compliance hurdles. It will be critical to have an extended omnichannel recording platform, which offers a thorough compliance solution, as well as quality management and analytics solutions.
Now, it leaves no doubt that businesses have or will join FB Messenger, given the advantages it offers. It is our responsibility to make sure that they join that party safely, empowered with tools that will ensure they get the most out of this new channel.
 Forrester, 2016