If you’ve paid attention to tech news lately, then one thing is crystal clear right now: messaging apps are on fire.
The rise of messaging apps has made getting in touch with our friends and family easier than ever before, and thanks to these services, the way we communicate has never been more efficient.
Naturally, as consumers decide which form of communication is best for them, businesses must take note and strive to find a way to offer increased convenience by being available through that same channel.
If this sounds familiar it’s because it’s happened before.
As soon as it became commonplace for people to have landlines and telephones in their homes, businesses created 1–800 numbers to make it easier for them to get in touch. As soon as people started communicating via email, businesses made it simple to reach them with their own dedicated email address for customer support. Then, as soon as it became standard for every business to have their own website, live chat was created to make it easy for them to get in touch while they browse.
We’ve seen this happen on social media, as well. From the early uses of Twitter by JetBlue to communicate with happy (and unhappy) passengers, to retailers using Instagram and Facebook to make sure customers around the world can order the latest fashion trends, social media has been a huge force of change for businesses-to-customer communication.
Now, it’s happening all over again with messaging.
Due to this increase in demand, a number of messaging applications announced the ability to allow customers to interact with businesses on their platform. Facebook Messenger, Kik, Twitter, Skype, Telegram, and WhatsApp have all thrown their hats into the ring.
These platforms respectively have hundreds of millions of active users chatting everyday and present a huge opportunity for businesses that want to offer great customer service through these channels.
On the flip side, we believe that the influx of messaging apps could also potentially cause headaches due to increased fragmentation. Businesses will need to be on multiple services, not just one, and they need an easy place to manage all of them.
It’s important to also keep in mind that while customer messaging is important to businesses, many brands still need the ability to embed communication channels on their own websites and apps.
We’ve seen many instances where brands were torn between traditional live chat platforms and new messaging systems. When we dug deeper into this, it was easy to find out why companies felt this way.
Live chat apps are embeddable anywhere, have features like custom agent routing, and other functionalities that are used by customer service teams. However, most of these solutions lack the “always on and connected” element that have made messaging apps so popular. That being said, messaging apps have large user-bases and the robust infrastructure needed to provide the always-on functionality live chat can’t, but unfortunately do not have the practical functionality needed for businesses.
So while there is debate going on within many businesses of live chat vs messaging, we believe that their strongest point is where they intersect — and that’s exactly what we are offering with our latest release of LiveNinja.