Facebook recently announced the $1 billion acquisition of Kustomer, an omnichannel CRM focused on customer service and support (deal subject to customary regulatory review). With the increase of shopping offerings for both brands and customers across Facebook (most recently Shops), there is a demand to improve the overall customer service experience. This is increasingly relevant in 2020, where most brand interactions and sales are happening online.
According to Facebook, more than 175 million people contact businesses via WhatsApp every single day. The acquisition of Kustomer will allow customer service team members to understand and view service interactions across digital properties. Kustomer focuses on using AI and process automation to contextualize conversations and automate responses, so that brands can focus customer interactions on personalized services.
This announcement is timely: Facebook is under scrutiny and facing several antitrust lawsuits from the Federal Trade Commission, focused on Facebook’s domination of social media through its multiple acquisitions of digital startup companies.
Ultimately, Kustomer is not a direct competitor in the social space and is complementary to Facebook’s current business offerings. Kustomer’s offering will increase brands’ opportunities to connect with customers and drive online sales. Facebook states that brands will not need to replace their current CRMs, as the platform will continue to expand integration opportunities with Facebook’s messaging services.