Web Chat vs Conversational Messaging Which Is Better?

If you know Webio then you know that we have talked a lot about the importance of enabling customers to engage in their channels of choice. Offering this choice to customers is key to businesses remaining competitive and ensuring that each engagement that customers have with the business is a positive one.  
Here we will focus on the difference between web chat and conversational messaging. Two very important channels in regards to having real-time conversations. There is a role for both, but one is definitely stronger than the other.  To get started, let’s look at the definitions of both.

What is Web Chat?

Webchat is a widget that is on a website that lets customers interact with your business with the simple click of a button. It is text-based synchronous i.e., customers and agents are chatting in real-time and in one single session. Webchat is very agent-heavy and can sometimes be compared to calling a contact centre, where call waiting is often part of the offering.
Getting your query resolved quickly, can very much depend upon the inbound call volumes throughout the day and the level of agent resources available. On a busy day, long call waiting times could be matched with a quick answer at slower times of the day.

What is Conversational Messaging?

Conversational messaging is the back-and-forth engagement between agents and customers over any messaging channel i.e. SMS, WhatsApp, RCS, Apple Chat etc. using automation, APIs and machine learning. Being asynchronous, conversations take place in real-time and can extend over long periods of time.  This functionality removes any need for the customer to repeat the information allowing for a better customer engagement experience. In essence, conversation threads are fully intact throughout the whole engagement. With conversational technology, automated chatbots can be applied to handle different parts of the conversation, the whole conversation or transfer over to live agents when needed.  

Overview of Web Chat and Conversational Messaging

Which is Better?

Web chat and messaging are extremely common channels for businesses to use. And both need to be part of the channel mix. They can complement each other beautifully, with conversations that start in web chat being moved into messaging channels with ease (provided you have a conversational engagement platform like Webio.

Customers love the instant responsiveness of web chat when they need it, but provided they get it when they are online.  Delays and repetition are all too common and harp back to the phone call experiences of waiting in queues and talking on the phone.

However, it must be stated that conversational messaging is much more powerful than web chat delivered by many providers, but lots of the functionalities of Webio conversational messaging are available with Webio web chat. One point to remember is the operational efficiencies that conversational messaging delivers.  We have seen some amazing results from our clients with 70% response rates on proactive outreach, 90% reduction in Agent Handling Times (AHT), to a 52% uplift in payment arrangements. The argument is compelling. Web chat as was stated above can be somewhat resource-heavy, and in today’s world with all that technology has to deliver, the goal of optimising customer engagement should be on every business's list.

But, just remember, it does not have to be a choice between one or the other but rather offering the best of both channels to customers.


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