What is asynchronous messaging?

Asynchronous messaging is the ability to send a message at any time, regardless of whether the other party is available to immediately respond.

Using asynchronous messaging in customer service

In customer service, “web chat” has been the first implementation of messaging in a digital realm. But traditional web chat, also known as “live chat”, has been modeled after the phone call: customers have to wait for an agent to be available, then respond quickly to not get timed out and disconnected.

The goal of asynchronous messaging in customer service is to always reply to a customer as quickly as possible, but let the customer reply at their own pace — whether that is 5 seconds, 5 minutes or 5 days later.

Conversations over messaging never end, and both parties can always pick up where they left off, without re-starting a session or re-introducing themselves.

What is the difference between session-based communication and asynchronous messaging?

Session-based communication always starts with establishing a session, e.g. ringing somebody’s phone or waiting for an agent to become available in traditional web chat solutions. Once a conversation reaches an end, the session terminates. This is starting to feel anachronistic. Our busy lifestyles demand more flexibility. The following images show the difference, using the example of web chat:

Synchronous Communication:

  • Times out, forcing customer to restart from scratch
  • No record of conversation after session ends
  • Requires agent presence for customer to be able to send a message
  • Forces a response from the customer, ignores customer pace
  • Corporate communication: centers on tickets/cases

Asynchronous Communication:

  • Never times out, establishes a perpetual thread between brand and consumer
  • Persistent chat history
  • No “opening hours”: accepts messages 24/7/365
  • Allows communication at the customer’s pace
  • User-centric communication: centers on the individual

How do asynchronous workflows improve agent productivity?

Sparkcentral powers all messaging channels with asynchronous agent workflows

All channels that Sparkcentral supports are implemented as asynchronous channels. Even our live chat solution is based on this principle: visitors of your website can start chatting without fearing to get disconnected or ever having to start all over. With Sparkcentral, businesses can take advantage of this new way of communicating with one powerful but easy-to-use solution.

Have a look at how agents use the Sparkcentral agent desktop to serve customers on Facebook Messenger:

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When you rely on an old solution implementing asynchronous messaging through session-based workflows (e.g. your voice contact center platform, or traditional live chat vendor), you cause agent productivity leakages.

messaging reduces support costs

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