Facebook Messenger – A Year Later…

For the past 18 months First Utility had a strong social media presence. Facebook and Twitter have had a major impact on the quality of our service and our reporting. This digital presence, along with the introduction of tone of voice guidelines, has helped us to turn frustrated customers into brand advocates.

In November 2015, supported by Conversocial, we were the first to launch Facebook Messenger for Business in EMEA. We’ve always felt it important to take a pioneering approach to service, looking beyond contact barriers and offering new ways for customers to get in touch. This gives the customer more choice and more control, and leads to more positive outcomes.

This year we’ve seen a substantial increase in monthly inbound contact. This has pushed us to perform even better, and we’ve set ourselves stringent best practice guidelines and taxing KPIs. Our overarching goal: To become industry leaders in relation to response times.

The first target we set was to set First Response Times (FRT) on Facebook Messenger for Business to less than nine minutes. We looked at setting a ‘30 minute backlog clear’ at the beginning of the working day. Identifying the customer queries from the spam and retweeted messages. Digital Executives acknowledging the queries and making progress on all types, whether it be a security information request, further explanation or being able to provide a resolution. When we achieved this, we reduced it to five minutes. We also set ourselves an Average Handling Time (AHT) KPI of less than five minutes.

We’ve been pleased with the result. In Q3 of 2016, across nearly 4,000 incoming messages, we have an FRT in business hours of 5 minutes 39 seconds and our AHT currently stands at 4 minutes 6 seconds. We’ve had some great feedback from our customers – something that the team are immensely proud of.


Over the past year, we’ve seen the volume gap widen between customers posting publicly on Facebook and Twitter, to customers coming to us on private messaging channels, such as Messenger and DM. The graph below highlights the increasing shift in customer behavior, towards a more real-time, easy to use channel:


These results demonstrate the value of having a dedicated digital services team to deliver customer support via social channels, but to take things one step further we now want to start driving relevant traffic to these channels. We’ve discovered that Facebook and Twitter offer not only a cost effective communications solution, but one that needs very little effort from the customer. With this in mind, we’ve really begun to push social options on other communications with our customers, such as below:

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We’re not content with stopping here, we hope to continue working with Conversocial to provide new and innovative ways of delivering great service. We want to become industry leaders and social media pioneers at the forefront of the digital customer service revolution.

First Utility recently won Silver Place for Best Social Media in Customer Service at the European Contact Centre & Customer Service Awards, (ECCCSA).