Facebook has launched an API that allows developers to build chat bots for Messenger and chat widgets for the web. While Facebook will definitely want companies and brands to start pushing e-commerce through the platform (think Apple like transaction fees), there is a HUGE opportunity for media companies (allowing publishers to message subscribers directly with news and other information) and an even bigger one for self service.

Here are 5 ideas for self service bots across industries that if existed, I know I would definitely use and stop calling the call centre for;

  1. Check your balance – applicable to so many industries, from banking to telecommunications, imagine asking “hey XXX, what’s my current account balance?” and getting an immediate answer.
  2. Monitor your usage – meant for telecommunications, utilities or other industries where you pay per consumption – simply ask and get your current usage amount of minutes, data or even kW/h of energy.
  3. Track your shipment – for any industry that ships or, the shipping industry itself, why need to know long, complex tracking numbers when you can just ask the company through Messenger?
  4. Pay your bill – with approval, why not simply tell the brand to charge your credit card through a conversation on messenger?
  5. Change your address – just tell messenger where you now live or want things shipped to, and let it take care of the rest. Why have to log in to the company site, find your profile, edit it…just tell the company via messenger.