Earlier this year we introduced new features for Pages to make it easier for businesses to be where their customers are and communicate with them anytime, anywhere. As more customers interact with businesses on the go, Pages are the mobile solution for businesses. Now there are over 50 million active business Pages and many of them are using their Page to communicate with customers. In fact, the number of messages sent to businesses on Facebook has doubled in the past year, and people now leave 2.5 billion comments on Pages every month.
Today we’re announcing additional features for Pages that further empower Page owners to manage communication from any device. We’re giving admins more control over their Page’s responsiveness badge and are launching new features that make it easier than ever for Page admins to manage both the public and private interactions they receive.
More communication controls for Page owners
This summer we rolled out a new feature that helps people identify Pages that are very responsive to messages. Because a business’s response time is central to the quality of their customer service, we set a high standard for the feature by adding the “Very responsive to messages” indicator only to Pages where 90% of messages were responded to within five minutes. Now we’re offering new controls and more responsiveness levels, so a wider range of businesses can encourage people to reach out to them through private messages.
Starting this month all Pages can set the average time it takes for them to reply to messages. Admins can choose to show that they respond either “within minutes,” “within an hour,” “within hours” or “within a day.” Average response times for Pages are calculated for each Page automatically and the response time shown on the Page defaults to their average response time, but admins can now control what response time shows publicly on their Page. So even if a Page typically responds to messages within an hour, they can can set their visible response time to within a day and set customer expectations accordingly. This updated feature is intended to give Page admins more control and flexibility over using their Page as a communication channel.
Additionally, Page response times will now show up in Messenger threads when a person messages a business, so people know when to expect a response from the business.
We’ve also created a new messaging status called “away” that allows admins to designate when they are unavailable to respond to messages. A Page’s away status is visible on their Page, so people know the Page is unavailable to respond. For instance, if a Page turns off messaging at night, people will see that the Page is not responding to messages at that time and know not to expect a response right away. When this new feature is enabled, messages the Page receives do not count toward the Page’s response rate.
Similar to our saved replies feature that launched earlier this year, Page admins can now also set Away Messages and Instant Replies. Away Messages are replies to messages sent automatically when a Page is set to away and can be used to inform people about when to expect a response or where to find other information. Instant Replies are messages sent automatically to people who message the Page for the first time. Businesses can use Instant Replies to automatically respond to incoming messages immediately, whether they say hello, thank the person for reaching out or offer them information that may help them before the business gets in touch.
Redesigned inbox tells businesses more about their customers to better serve them
We’ve also redesigned the Pages inbox to be easier to use, provide more context on the people businesses message with and deliver messages in real time. These changes help Page admins keep up with messages faster and manage conversations more easily.
Now when Page admins message with people, they’ll see past interactions the person has had with the Page, as well as information the person shares publicly on their profile, like their current city. Admins can also add notes about the person, like current orders, past customer service preferences or any other relevant information. Admins can also add tags to categorize conversations and make them easier to find and respond to later. Notes and tags are visible to Page admins only and, especially for Pages with more than one admin, empower Pages to communicate with customers in a personalized and seamless way.