Customer service is incredibly important when it comes to maintaining healthy and positive relationships with consumers and clients. In previous posts I’ve described my personal experiences with customer service and how it ultimately influenced my entire perception of the business and product that is offered; this latest post dives into another long story regarding my satisfaction and dissatisfaction with Facebook and a third party vendor that one of my clients utilizes for their customer relationship management system (CRM).

Yesterday a received an email from my client that detailed their excitement at gaining more digital leads from Facebook Marketplace. Unfortunately those leads were being sent to an individual email rather than their CRM system and the task fell on me to figure out where the issue was.

I called the CRM tech support line, received help immediately when I called and explained the current situation. The representative on the phone mentioned that there was a form option that had to be submitted in the settings of the client’s Facebook page; once the form was submitted, it would automatically start feeding the leads to the CRM and they would populate them for the client.

It seemed simple enough and I decided to explore Facebook’s FAQ page to see if they had a step-by-step guide to help my client explore the settings on the page. I also decided to explore my own Facebook pages to see if I had that form submission option, but there wasn’t a tab available to do this on my end. Although this seemed odd, my Facebook pages aren’t set up as a business page, so I wrote it off to it being page differences.

My client ended up not having a tab either or the option to turn on a CRM submission on their digital leads.

Back to the drawing board.

I called the CRM tech support again, explained my situation and the representative that I spoke to admitted that they didn’t have much insight into the issue, but would transfer me to the line of their specialists who may have a better answer.

Within one minute of being on hold I was transferred to a call with the specialist; they guessed that the potential issue might be that the email address listed was wrong.

We double checked, confirmed it was the correct address and they didn’t have an answer to why the CRM wasn’t receiving the Facebook Marketplace leads other than the leads were being sent in the wrong format.

Beyond this, there wasn’t a foreseeable next step as we had hit a metaphorical brick wall and they couldn’t find contact information for Facebook to call an actual person. Tech support provided information for the performance manager assigned to my client and stated that I could call the performance manager or tech support again if I made any headway or received new information.

I thanked her and we closed the case for the time being.

Stumped, I sat at my desk and asked a few of my contacts if they knew of a potential solution or if they had contact information for Facebook Marketplace. No one had really explored this issue before, so their guess was as good as mine and I left each conversation with my contacts expressing interest in the outcome, if there was one.

Considering the size of the CRM as the company manages tens of thousands of accounts, I wondered if there were any other clients who had this issue and if they did find a solution. I decided to call tech support again and see if they might have a previous case on file that we could pull up.

Two minutes later I received support from another representative, who explained in more detail the issue with the data not being sent correctly from Facebook. In regards to CRM’s, they act as sort of a gated garden where if the lead isn’t sent in a very specific manner, they can’t be entered at all in an “all-or-nothing” scenario, which is why my client was the only one to receive the leads in their actual email inbox registered with the Facebook page.

I reaffirmed this later with the performance manager, who noted that they could specify how the leads are sent if we can get the contact information for someone with Facebook.

After browsing throughout the platform it seemed as though that information doesn’t exist. Is Facebook support even real, or is it completely automated by this point?

Tech support poured through a few more closed cases and finally found a client who figured out a work around: use a bridge integration service.

I wasn’t aware of this, but there are bridge integration services that bridge the leads between Facebook and the CRM to have them converted into the right format. While this was a potential solution, it was a little inconvenient to have the leads managed by another company and to have to pay a yearly premium to utilize this service. My client uses their current CRM for other things, but it sucks that it’s initially incompatible with Facebook Marketplace.

Now I’m waiting to hear back from my client regarding how they want to proceed.

This entire process could have also been avoided if Facebook had a support team that was easily accessible. I’m not sure if my client has that information from when they created their Facebook Page for Business, but there’s no possible way for me to rectify this issue when it’s a change that needs to be made on Facebook’s backend.

There’s no phone number. No ticket submission system. No email address to send inquiries to. Just an outdated FAQ page that isn’t even relevant anymore to the issues we’re experiencing.

To bring this story to a close, my experience thus far highlights the extreme importance of having an effective customer service system in place. All of my issues and frustrations could be resolved with a quick conference call between Facebook and the CRM performance manager, but half of the communication is missing in that regard so there’s no way to proceed at this point in time, forcing my client to pay for an additional service that they will only have limited benefits from.

On a brighter note, the CRM tech support was fantastic and should be what all tech support should strive to be.

I received immediate support every time I called in the span of four hours.

Every representative was knowledgeable.

If they were unsure of something, they knew how to properly escalate the issue to the correct departments and contacts.

They also utilized previous cases to troubleshoot the seemingly unique issue my client was experiencing.

Speaking with their tech support was an absolute delight and they explained everything that I needed to know in a way that I understood, while effectively understanding the issues I was attempting to explain to them (communication can be incredibly difficult at times when there’s only limited information available between both parties).

Businesses should seek to emulate the practices of this CRM’s tech support team and not rely purely on automation and algorithms to assist customers. While I understand the scale at which Facebook operates, being presented an outdated FAQ guide as a solution is frustrating, especially when the issue is entirely on the lead provider’s end and it has to be changed by Facebook.

Do you think that automation systems and algorithms will be effective for customer communications in the future, or will there still be a need to contact an actual person? Let me know in the comments below!