Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:

  • Facebook announced new features for Messenger, including quick replies and more customization options for businesses.
  • As chatbots grow as a retail tool, the new features could help businesses, especially SMBs, provide instant customer service and support.

Facebook Messenger is getting an enterprise-friendly update that will make it easier for companies to use chatbots in customer service, the company announced Tuesday.

New features include increased customization for customer chat and a quick reply option for customers to easily share information with a company, according to a press release. The update could help Messenger’s customer chat feature become more valuable as a retail tool as chatbots increase in popularity.

Facebook launched its customer chat feature, which extends Messenger from a company Facebook page to a business’ website and back while maintaining the conversation history, in November. The feature is aimed at streamlining the process of tracking customers across platforms.

Initially, businesses could change the color and greeting text of the customer chat to match their website. With the new update, consumers will receive notifications when a company responds via chat, much like when messaging another person on Messenger. The update also introduces a setup tool to help businesses get the chat running on their website.

SEE: IT leader’s guide to the future of artificial intelligence (Tech Pro Research)

Customers will be able to share their phone number and email with one click using a new quick reply feature, according to the press release. This could make it easier for businesses to get people to sign up for mailing lists since potential customers no longer need to manually type out their contact information.

Additional parts of the update include three new message tags for developers, and new metrics in the Messaging Insights API to get a better idea of how many people are using the chat feature.

The Messenger customer chat feature can help businesses, especially SMBs who may not have the talent or resources necessary to build a chatbot, connect with customers and assist them in a familiar platform.