Several months ago I had a problem. Not an earth-shattering problem, more like the ruin-a-six-year-old’s-
To save the day, I asked for bakery recommendations from my local community residents (via a Facebook Page) and soon found myself Liking four new Facebook Business Pages and promptly messaging each page to see if they can help me.
Five minutes passed and none of the businesses replied.
I started to fret and become anxious, especially when I noticed the pages had read my message (desperate plea for help).
At the 10 minute mark finally I had a reply. Within minutes, several messaged between the page owner and I were exchanged. We had organised a cake, agreed on a price and a pick up time, but towards the end of the conversation I found myself asking
“Ummm…. who are you?”.
I felt like I needed a human face, and a name to go with the messages I was receiving. I’ve got to tell you, it’s pretty awkward to ask someone what their name is after you’ve been chatting to them for more than 10 minutes!
Anyway, all went well. My son got his cake and ate it too, but that night I was left thinking about the situation I was faced with, realising that three of the other businesses I contacted STILL hadn’t even bothered to reply.
As a business owner, who manages two Facebook pages, I found myself asking two important questions:
- How do I make sure I reply to messages quickly?
- How do I introduce myself, so that new customers have an instant rapport with me?
I managed to resolve both of these problems with one, very simple idea which I will get to shortly, but first I want to explain why a timely message response is now more important than ever.
In April 2015, Facebook stated to roll out a ‘response rating’ to Pages and it didn’t take long for some Facebook Page Admins to see a green icon indicating that they are ‘very responsive to messages’.
This green very responsive to messages icon has the potential to be the gold (green) standard of customer service. It communicates to your customer that you reply very quickly and that they are important to you. Put simply, the green icon gives your customers the ‘green light’. It’s the Facebook world’s virtual light in the shop window, communicating to your customers that you’re open for business and ready to chat.
If this green icon was available when I was looking for a baker on Facebook to make my son’s cake, I would have only messaged the pages that had the green light, in fact I would have only Liked the pages with the green light.
Thinking forward, as with other Facebook initiatives, it’s possible the very responsive to messages icon and your overall responsiveness rate is something Facebook might include into their algorithm, giving Pages with the green very responsive to messages icon Newsfeed preference.
It seems this very responsive to messages icon is something all pages owners should strive for. It tells your customers that you are ‘open’, it attracts new Likes and may give you Newsfeed preference.
Turning On The Very Responsive To Messages Icon
So how do you get your green icon badge of honour?
In order to achieve this green icon, firstly you need to have the message feature enabled on your Facebook page and secondly you must reply to at least 90% of all messages you receive via your page within an average of five minutes.
You need to reply to at least 90% of all messages you receive via your Facebook Page within an average of five minutes in order for the very responsive to messages icon to appear on your Facebook Page.
How the hell are we meant to respond to EVERY Facebook message in under 5 minutes? Does Facebook not realise that we have businesses to run?
But don’t stress, I have a great little hack that will make this as simple as… cake!
Facebook gives you the ability to save frequent responses, which helps to speed up your response rate, ultimately helping you to achieve your very own special little green icon.
The functionality of the saved responses is endless and has the potential to save you a lot of time. I find it particularly useful for my photography business, as I am able to easily answer questions about pricing and even the styles of photography that I do.
But what’s more exciting is that this feature has the capacity to solve the ‘faceless/nameless issue’ that I experienced when ordering my son’s birthday cake with the inclusion of basic merge fields.
By inserting basic merge fields, such as “Person’s firs name” you are able to make your messages more personal, without even having to remember what their name is.
Facebook Pages are a wonderful tool to slowly build a rapport with your customers, but you can’t make the mistake of assuming that the customer has been paying attention to who you are, or that they’ve been Following your Page for long enough to know who you are.
It is important that you introduce yourself at the beginning of every new interaction. It’s important that your customers feel the ‘human’ side of these interactions.
And the best way to do this is: VISUALLY!
I want my potential customers to feel like we are having a face-to-face conversation, so several months ago I designed a template to achieve just that!
Here is what my customers are faced with when they message me on my photography page. You’ll see that I’ve given reason why I’m not available, I’ve kept the style fairly professional looking but also friendly. This simple image shows my customers who I am, what I look like and gives them my first name, the very hallmarks of a face-to-face conversation.
Below is an example of what people see when they contact me via my writing page. In this case I’ve provided a time as to when my customers can expect a reply. I’ve kept the mood light hearted and funny, keeping in line with my typical style of writing.
Pretty Cool huh!?
I’ve set each image up as a saved reply for desktop use, and I keep a copy of the images in the camera roll of my mobile phone for replying when I’m out and about.
The template fits perfectly within Desktop messages:
And mobile messages:
If you want to make an image similar to this, the dimensions are: 490 x 592 pixels.
Go ahead and set one up and lets see if you too can start responding to Facebook messages in less than 5 minutes so that you can turn on your green light. Have fun with them. If you’re going on holiday, why not tell your customers and include a fantastic holiday image.
If you have any further tips for how to turn on the Facebook very responsive to messages icon, then please share them in the comments below.