Facebook Pages Can Now Show How Quickly They Respond To Customers’ Messages

Facebook has been working to improve customer service-focused features for Page administrators for some time, most recently with the introduction of “Saved Replies,” a feature that allows Page admins to quickly respond to incoming inquires with canned (pre-written) replies. Now, admins will be able to tout just how fast they do answer their customers’ questions, as a number of Facebook admins report seeing a “response rate” feature. The addition will show a Page’s responsiveness info to Page admins, and if the rate is high, it will also be displayed to Page visitors via an icon below the cover photo.

bfRhJNot all Facebook Pages appear to have this feature yet, which typically indicates either a staged rollout or a test. The feature has been spotted in the wild before, but we’re been hearing from more admins this month that they’ve had it appear, and Facebook also recently published official documentation detailing how the feature works, which signals this is more than a test.

Page admins told us that in June, they began to see a “response rate” metric that was made visible to all those who help manage their Page on Facebook. Another new feature tracks the response time – allowing business owners to see how well they’re doing with handling incoming messages from customers.

The feature is only available to those Pages that have allowed people to contact the Page, of course.

According to one Page admin, the new metrics appeared for several pages they had under management, but not for those that had less than 1,000 fans. (This is not a confirmed metric, however.)

Meanwhile, when a Page has a high response rate, this information is displayed publicly to visitors alongside a green messages icon right below the Cover photo on the left-hand side of the screen.

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Facebook’s Help documentation explains that Page owners who want to get this “very responsive to messages” icon will need to have met two specific metrics over the past seven days: they have to have responded to 90 percent of their messages, and they need to have maintained a median response time of 5 minutes for all replies sent.

Though a minor addition, the move comes at a time when Facebook is trying to make its social networking platform more appealing to business owners and merchants. Just last week, the company opened up access to its “buy button” to those who maintain an online store powered by Shopify. Those merchants are able to post to their Facebook Page and run Promoted Post ads which include the call-to-action – that is, encouraging consumers “buy” an item they’re selling. Facebook said at the time that it wants to understand how the feature could drive sales, and what kind of products do well. It makes sense that as Facebook continues to roll out features designed to help merchants sell, it would also want to assist with other parts of the overall sales process – including customer support.

We asked Facebook for more information on the “responsive to messages” icon last week, but the company has not commented.

[View the story “Facebook Response Rate” on Storify]