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Last week Facebook announced a subtle but extremely interesting upgrade for customer service teams – “reply to comments privately with a message”.

Here is Facebook’s description, posted on 5th August:

Until now, Page admins could only respond to customers in the same way that the person reached out to the Page, either through a comment or private message. In the coming weeks, Page admins will be able to reply to public comments with a private message, helping them solve private customer requests more efficiently.

I’ve blogged before about some of the changes that Twitter have made to direct messaging and the positive impact it should have on delivering social customer care – this follows a similar path. For organisations weary of dealing with issues in public, it enables them to still engage with the audience on the social network but more privately.

Facebook for Business

Image: Facebook for Business website

At the same time however, this opens up some new considerations that customer services teams should be thinking about:

  1. When is it appropriate to respond publicly, and when should we use a private message?
  2. If we transition the conversation to a private message, will the user now expect realtime chat until the issue is fixed?
  3. Is this feature going to be available through my social media management software?

Do you think you’ll be making use of this?

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