Chat Vs. Messaging: More Than Meets the Emoji

Customers live on their phones, but not in the same ways they used to. Prior to COVID-19, chat and messaging capabilities catered to users always on the go, then it played a vital role in servicing those who were mostly homebound and needed essential services from groceries to healthcare.

Chat and messaging both play an important role in servicing your customers, but these services are not identical, and we see opportunities for innovation in the latter. Let’s explore their differences and how they can best assist users.

What is chat?

Chat is a dedicated interaction session that pops up on a brand’s website and/or mobile app. In most cases it’s an artificially intelligent virtual agent that greets you in the corner of the screen with the option to continue the conversation with the AI or transfer to an agent.

Chat serves an important purpose in the omnichannel ecosystem, but it’s not without its limits. These platforms often keep the customer glued to one channel. Users typically wait for the window to open for the agent to respond, and if anyone closes the window, the session is canceled with the interaction history lost. Information is not saved on the customer side and may or may not be saved on the agent’s side.

What is messaging?

Messaging is a text-based, one-to-one conversation that usually occurs on a mobile device or platform like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, SMS text messaging, or within an app. Unlike web-based chat that occurs in a pop-up screen where both parties must be logged in, messaging is asynchronous, meaning the customer doesn’t need to stay in a session to send or receive messages.

Messaging takes the idea of web chat and moves it to where consumers already spend their time – on SMS, in apps, or on third-party communications platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, or Apple Business Chat. Messaging is convenient, provides context, and allows conversations to be more personal with emojis, gifs, and links to information.

Create effortless experiences anywhere, anytime

Customers want service that is quick and personalised. Chat and messaging capabilities both have the capabilities to serve these needs, but businesses need to understand where it’s appropriate to deploy each channel.

To learn where chat and messaging will be most effective, explore these resources today:

5 Tips For Messaging Success: Read this cheat sheet to learn how to map out the customer journey across messaging channels.

6 Proven Ways to Win With Messaging: Discover and explore why your customers want to message you, the best ways to implement the evolving channel, and 6 key steps to achieve CSAT success.

Virtual Retail + Messaging: They Just Fit: Learn how forward-thinking retailers are discovering the benefits of a digital customer engagement strategy and the value that messaging and smart chatbot technologies can bring.

Message Now: Read this data sheet for insight on delivering customer-centric CX solutions with built-in scalability.

Get the Facts About Messaging in the Contact Centre: As consumers interest in messaging continues to grow, it’s crucial to understand the right strategies and bust some myths about this powerful customer support tool.