Chat and messaging are common features already used by many websites and apps. Find out why certain types of conversations provide a better user experience.
It’s no surprise now that consumers want to deliver their message to businesses. Chat and messaging, whether used for real-time support or for peer-to-peer conversations, are common features that many websites and apps already use. Simply put, the aspect of conversation is changing.
Conversation is important and is a fundamental building block of relationships. Relationships with family, friends, and co-workers, even with enemies of Cheolcheonji, may be resolved through dialogue or lack of dialogue.
There are many stories about conversation business these days. It’s important to understand why certain types of conversations provide a better user experience. What’s the most natural, intuitive, and accessible conversation? Chat and messaging intersect in industries such as tourism, healthcare, finance and retail, and support, e-commerce, marketing and sales, so companies need to be aware of the situation. It is also important to point out that the terms “chat” and “messaging” are often used interchangeably, so the two terms are different. The real difference comes in the way we understand the difference between the legacy features of real-time chat and the relatively recent asynchronous messaging feature in terms of customer support.
What is live chat?
Live chat is the oldest use case for conversation support. Typically, live chat takes place on the web or on corporate mobile apps, not instant messaging channels. Because live chat is session-based and synchronous, the conversation history disappears when the one-on-one conversation between the agent and customer ends and the ticket is resolved.
Synchronous messaging is a form of two-way communication that governs live chat. This messaging is limited in real time in the same way as a phone call. User attention is required, and the beginning and end of the session are limited.
Asynchronous, on the other hand, means that you can stop or start a conversation when appropriate. This allows conversations to take place in real time if necessary, but usually allows users to focus on other tasks. Most of the conversations we have with family and friends are asynchronous. If you handle conversations on WhatsApp or Messenger in the same way you would use a phone call or even a live chat session, you may not experience interruption or multitasking. This may sound like a nightmare, but if live chat is your only option, you will have to treat your customers this way.
What is messaging?
Messaging refers to asynchronous conversations that usually take place on social channels such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, and Instagram. While messaging may include support, it can also extend into the field of commerce and marketing. Support in messaging is not session-based. It is asynchronous and convenient as the customer decides when the answer is convenient. If your support case is more urgent, you can switch to another, more immediate channel.
Social messaging refers to conversations conducted through third-party messaging apps and platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and even Instagram or Twitter DM. It is an attractive channel for businesses as it is already widespread around the world and creates enough opportunities to connect to customers.
Businesses using iMessage’s Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp’s Business API, or WeChat can connect with customers from their verified business profile. A complete asynchronous messaging solution means businesses can send surveys, notifications, and updates to their customers and anticipate responses. Using this channel to deliver impersonal, hard-to-find spam marketing messages to unsuspecting customers, the common statistic that SMS messages are opened at a 98% rate would be unpleasant.
Embedded messaging refers to the modern messaging experience embedded in an app or web property. This can be a mobile software development kit (SDK) that allows customers to interact with support services . The Four Seasons app uses an integrated SDK that allows guests to contact a guide.
Messaging platforms like Sunshine Conversations connect native, in-app messaging and social messaging channels, so customers can choose a conversation anywhere without having to repeat the same conversation over and over again. This allows customers to respond when and where it is most convenient, and allows agents to view the full text of the conversation as part of a unified customer profile.
When to use live chat?
Use it when you don’t have any other options, but you really don’t want a phone call. Many companies have adopted live chat on their website. While many of the features of live chat, such as queues and sessions, replicate the call center experience, live chat has been developed as an alternative to calling. If users don’t want to make phone calls, live chat is a great way to do it. However, conversations can feel less human if the messaging features we are familiar with aren’t present in our real-time chat clients.
In a recently written Wall Street Journal article on the changing nature of phone calls (an in-depth breakdown of frequently used messaging app features such as voice messaging and video calling), Katherine Bindley wrote: “A number of people I interviewed said that if the phone rings unexpectedly, it makes me think that someone is dead.”
Live chat causes a similar problem. Conversations are session based, so once the user exits the app or disconnects, everything is over. Waiting for an available agent in the queue or taking a long response time can get boring. When the conversation resumes, the customer is annoying, but they have to say the same thing over and over again.
When do you use messaging?
Brands with a modern messaging support strategy dominate in their ability to drive more personalized user engagement. As the conversation takes place on a third-party channel, you can see the full conversation history, and with the latest communication software, support agents will also see the conversation history. These messaging capabilities also extend to branded web property messaging, with asynchronous and cross-channel web messengers being used instead of real-time chat widgets. Conversations can start anywhere, move between channels, and resume at any time.
In addition to support, messaging is also actively used in commerce, finance, healthcare, and education, and in these industries, channels that people already use are being utilized. Conversations in social messaging channels can help brands establish relationships with customers. Many travel and lodging brands use messaging during the booking process, as well as to configure an interactive guide service that handles inquiries and requests from hotel guests . Retailers provide personalized recommendations through a messaging app-based personal shopper that builds customer relationships when shopping. Banks also use chatbots to provide useful financial advice to millennials, while contacting them in advance to focus on spending activities. These conversations allow brands to present their brands in an accessible, humane way, and consumers are adapting to personalization and convenience.
What does it mean for companies?
Messaging makes it easy to provide personalized, convenient support on a large scale, while leveraging rich channel capabilities to create a unique conversational experience. The latest enterprise messaging software also supports integration of analytics, chatbots and payments. And crucially, businesses can now keep these conversations along with the entire context of the conversation to inform future customer interactions.
If the customer delivers a message outside of the available support hours, the automation feature or chatbot can keep you informed when an agent is available to respond or direct you to relevant self-service content. As users expect different response times, agents can have more conversations simultaneously. Rather than focusing on staffing the 24/7 customer center, businesses can focus on more detailed conversational aspects that contribute to a superior customer experience.
Of course, messaging shouldn’t be the ultimate goal of the customer experience. What really matters to a business is responding to all channels where customers are. The omnichannel support strategy is to ensure that choice, convenience, and accessibility provide the best customer experience for self-service, calls, email, live chat, and messaging .