Messaging channels are a combination of both real-time chat (and all of the accompanying functionalities like typing indicators as one example) as well as continuous messages with notifications.
Asynchronicity is one of the key factors that makes messaging so convenient and powerful. Customers can start a conversation with brands, do something else in between and then pick up the same conversation right where they left. Gone are the days of having to be 100% engaged on a webpage. Customers can order a coffee, talk to a friend, and have their service issue resolved - all at the same time, on their time.
What’s more, people are also one with their mobile devices and as such, tend to read their messages more frequently than anything else; live chat prompts and pings heard somewhere in the distance on their PC or Mac will more than likely be ignored, or not heard at all. It is here that messaging offers a unique opportunity for brands who are willing to embrace it as a scalable CX customer engagement channel.
It’s time to ditch live chat and move to messaging. Not yet convinced? Read on.
Conversation neglect gone
Conversation abandonment on live chat is sky-high. Customers engage with a brand, get distracted, and frequently meander away (we’ve all been there). With most live chat vendors today, if that customer returns just a few hours later, they’ll see a prompt that says the “session has been ended” and they have to start everything all over again with a different agent (talk about frustrating). This is all because live chat systems aren’t constructed in a way that validates individuals and resumes conversations. Here, messaging channels are an easy fix.
Messaging conversations are both real-time and, if customers take a break from the conversation, asynchronous. Because customers must be logged into Facebook to use Messenger for support, or Twitter to use Twitter DMs for support, and/or WhatsApp to use WhatsApp for support, brands can easily pause, save the conversation, and pick it up where they left off for a faster, more pleasing CX experience.
Team productivity soars
From website bubbles to typing indicators, live chat and messaging function very similarly. But when it comes to internal workflows, there are a few clear and outstanding differences:
- The asynchronous nature of messaging means that conversations can pause and resume effortlessly in-between messages sent. Agents start a real-time conversation while customer A is present, but then have the capability to seamlessly shift to the next conversation with customer B while they wait for customer A to respond.
- Waiting on the customer can sometimes take days. The brilliant thing about messaging is that the agent picking up that conversation needs to be able to quickly read up on the background of the conversation and continue where it was left off.
- Conversations on messaging channels can be closely intertwined with a public social presence on Facebook & Twitter. In these cases, conversations can switch between public and private posts, with agents being able to track conversations as they switch, and therefore formulate an appropriate response for the public vs private spheres.
Automation lends a helping hand
Unlike traditional channels, messaging channels were built from the ground up with automation in mind, allowing bots and humans to work in harmony side by side.
Automation also allows for brands to be proactive vs reactive. Let’s take the airline industry as an example. Say a customer’s flight is delayed. Sending a notification first over a messaging channel, i.e.,”Flight delayed?”, and allowing the user to immediately and effortlessly change their flight within the same thread saves both parties time and energy (not to mention adds brownie points for doing the legwork for the customer ahead of time). Imagine the amount of stress that can be alleviated for both the consumer and airline, when they don’t have to show up at the airport and realize they now have to deal with a slew of cancellation problems last minute.
By reaching out to the customer first - be it with a bot - before an aggravating situation occurs, and enabling them to make the necessary changes in channel, or seamlessly transferring them to an agent, will prove that you as a brand care, and that they are more to you than just a dollar sign. Live chat could never offer such quick and proactive solutions for your customer as is not built with two way communication at its core.
It’s time to move to messaging.
When it comes to conversation neglect - or lack thereof, team productivity, and automation aid, messaging channels mop the floor with live chat. The evidence couldn’t be more clear; messaging channels are not only better for your brand but also more preferable for your customers. Win, win. It’s time to move to messaging.