5 Reasons In-App Messaging Will Always Prevail Over Live Chat


Mobile phones have definitively become the universal remotes to our lives. We use them for everything: communicating, consuming content, gaming, working, buying things, selling things…the list goes on and on. These devices have enabled our on-demand world, where we can do anything, anytime, anywhere.

Customer support likewise needs to be mobile-driven in order to cater to customers. And so far, in-app messaging is the only platform that optimizes support specifically for mobile.

Live chat, for instance, is web browser-based and not easily adaptable to such a small screen: it is not designed with mobile in mind. Here are five more reasons why in-app messaging wins the support game over live chat every time.

1. You Don’t Feel Like You’re Waiting For A Response

The fallacy of live chat is that it usually isn’t “live”. Similar to waiting on hold on the phone, the live chat experience usually includes a wait time and queue number. But with in-app messaging, users can send over their message and immediately exit the thread and continue with their business as usual. They will be notified with a push notification when there is a response, similar to iMessage or WhatsApp. That means they can forget about their ticket in the meantime, and as an added bonus they’ll continue using the company’s app because they never had to leave!

2. You Don’t Have To Start From Scratch

With in-app messaging, a user’s entire conversation about an issue (and sometimes even previous conversations about previous issues) are self-contained in one, single thread. Different support agents can access the thread and easily catch up on what they have missed. And from a user perspective, they’ll never have to repeat information or feel the pain of being transferred to someone new and starting at the beginning. This is hugely in contrast to the live chat experience, when users have to start at the beginning every time they open a new chat window. That means that even if the user gets disconnected from the chat (not actively wanting to follow up on the conversation later), they have to start over.

3. You Can Show And Tell

A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to support. Sometimes users don’t understand the problem they are experiencing, and therefore have trouble describing it. But with in-app messaging, it’s easy to embed screenshots and other media so that the agent can see exactly what is going on. Live chat often doesn’t have this functionality, and if it does, the picture can be lost as soon as the conversation is interrupted.

4. You Don’t Have to Introduce Yourself

Live chats are launched from a web browser. This means that unless a login is required to start a chat (not typically the case), the support agent has no idea who they are talking to and what the issue is. But with in-app messaging, the SDK can automatically collect information about the user and device, and specific usage of the app. Agents have instant access to the user’s history and can be prioritized accordingly. This segmentation and applicable responses can be automated as well.

5. You Feel Like You’re Talking To A Friend

It’s critical that support feels as seamless and conversational as possible in order to optimize the overall user experience. The best way to achieve this is to give your users a support product that they already know and love. iMessage, WhatsApp, and WeChat are some of the most popular communication tools today, and customers are already accustomed to talking with their friends and family on these platforms. Why should conversing with support be any different?


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Published April 13, 2017
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