Replacing Live Chat With Asynchronous Messaging

pink live chat phone
Filed under - Definitions,

What Is Synchronous Messaging?

Synchronous messaging is a live person-to-person conversation like the typical live chat option in call centres. Typically, synchronous conversations are where the conversation is going both ways at all times.

What Is Asynchronous Messaging?

Asynchronous communication, sometimes called “async messaging”, is a communication method which doesn’t require both parties to be present and speaking at the same time.

This is great for the customer because they are able to start, pause, and resume a conversation around their life, eliminating the need to wait for a direct live connection (aka synchronous messages).
Though some users may not immediately recognize this practice by its formal name, many individuals use it in the form of texting, emailing, and sending messages through Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

Examples of synchronous and asynchronous messaging

Typically, synchronous conversations are where the conversation is going both ways at all times and there are different expectations around synchronous channels than there are around asynchronous channels.

Synchronous Asynchronous
Telephone SMS
Webchat Instant Messaging
Face to Face Email

The contact centre needs to understand what those expectations are and structure conversations to meet them.

We were recently asked:

Has anyone replaced live chat with asynchronous messaging in their contact centre?”

Read on to find out the answers provided by our LinkedIn professionals:

It Can Deliver Huge Value If Approached Carefully

We have worked with a few organizations that have augmented live chat with async chat (WhatsApp/Social, etc) and it can deliver huge value if approached carefully, especially with a solution that provides for “persistent conversations” across all channels, including voice.

Are you considering removing the live chat component altogether? Or leaving in place as an option to customers?

Thanks to Graham

The System Options Are Limited

Yes, but the system options are limited. But it is possible to combine things like Messenger, WhatsApp, Apple business messaging and Live Chat into the same platform and all acting the same way.

Thanks to Arifin

Depends on Your Overall Traffic

Really depends on your overall traffic on live chat, if you think that, say, synchronous messaging may have a detrimental impact on the business. Have you thought of outsourcing the piece of work?

Thanks to Seamus

Technology Should Support the Business Needs and Processes

Your technology should support the business needs and processes not determine them wherever possible.

Live chat is great if your customers are already on your website, pushing them to another medium risks losing their attention and can be frustrating.

However, being able to move from webchat to another channel because the customer has browsed away is a great feature.

If your customers use an app on a smartphone, it’s best to launch a popular messaging app to contact you rather than pushing them to a browser.

I always recommend you look at your customer scenarios and journey and then decide what you need from the technology.

Thanks to Zoe

Add as Another Channel

Not replaced but added as another channel that customers can communicate through.

I think that the best solution could be to differentiate the purpose that this channel could have.

For example, if you need an immediate technician or service assistance (that also requires different messages between customer and agent and is characterized by a contingency need to solve the problem), you should choose real-time message; for conversational, sales and short question it could be better messaging as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc.

It also depends on your capacity to manage and staff with high volumes of messages.

A good solution could be also to create a bot on these channels that can help you to distinguish the customer’s needs and route the conversation to the best channel that fits with them (or to other kinds of utility tools, e.g. Help Centre, communities…)

Thanks to Fabio

Additional articles on Live Chat

Author: Rachael Trickey

Published On: 21st Oct 2022
Read more about - Definitions,

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