Between 2 Chat Bubbles: A Look at Asynchronous Messaging with Michael Thigpen

Asynchronous messaging, otherwise known as the ‘fire and forget’ style of customer support is a trend guaranteed to dominate CX in 2020. Although email has been a staple form of asynchronous messaging for decades, it has now evolved into a bigger and better environment: text messaging.

With 9 out of 10 people preferring to message a business, it’s no wonder why CX leaders are scrambling to understand how to leverage and implement it in their channel support strategies. But how do you know if it’s right for your business? To ensure this isn’t a fad, how do you measure its ROI?

TaskUs sat down with its very own Michael Thigpen, Head of Global Client Technology Services to understand the uses, impact, and future of this emerging channel of choice.


TaskUs: What industries could benefit the most from using asynchronous messaging?

Michael: In general, asynchronous environments are becoming a dominant channel for customer engagement. However, over the last year, I noticed a trend within 3 specific industries: consumer products, on-demand delivery, and e-commerce. Although async is applicable in a B2B organization, B2C brands are taking the lead in augmenting and experimenting with how consumers prefer to communicate in order to stay relevant and competitive.


TaskUs: Is async a millennial support trend, or does it cut across all demographics?

Michael: Some of the current trends in customer support technology are inspired by the millennial generation’s new breed and preference for non-verbal communication. With over 42 billion people texting across the globe, asynchronous messaging is a natural support path for consumers across all demographics and not confined to any age bracket. How we communicate with friends and family is quickly becoming the way we want to communicate with our favorite brands.

TaskUs: How would a company determine if it needs to use async? 

Michael: The first step is evaluating the channels your business currently uses and your overall business model. Companies should carefully review CSAT data and other consumer survey tools to validate and eliminate the right support channels.


TaskUs: Why do you think the trend has garnered traction as a digital CX solution?

Michael: Brands are evolving with technology and leveraging automation solutions to improve service quality and the speed of engagements. Although human interaction will always be paramount, most day-to-day tasks can be optimized through AI and as a natural result, it increases key performance metrics like AHT. This type of evolution enables companies like TaskUs to develop results-based pricing models that supply companies with a bigger and better ROI. In order to compete and succeed in the market, it’s vital that companies continuously evaluate their support investments versus the cost of services they provide. Chat interactions cost anywhere from $3-5 while asynchronous messaging is only ⅕ of that cost, so when you consider the savings long term, it’s almost a no brainer.

Image: Spark Central                                  


TaskUs: The issue with async is that it can be dragged on for days at a time, which increases AHT; What metrics should a company look at to understand async’s ROI and overall customer effectiveness?


Michael: As you integrate AI into your support environment, measure input and output to track the evolution of your CX transition. When evaluating the value of async, one of the most important metrics an organization should analyze is its SLAs. When AI is deployed strategically, it has a significant impact on service levels within the first few weeks of its nesting period. Before you implement async, create measures of success and roadmaps to ensure a successful CX trajectory. 


TaskUs: What does the future of async look like in 10 years? 


Michael: In 10 years, the childhood aspects of Back to the Future II will be more of a reality. Specifically, I envision an elimination of handheld devices and a welcoming of minority report style glasses and ear implants. Every year devices are becoming smaller and consumers enjoy the freedom of not carrying around the weight, so if you think about it, we’re not too far away from that future.

It’s clear: asynchronous messaging is the leading the wave of the future of customer support and will continue to set the foundations of communication in 2020 and beyond.

Do you have questions about async that you don’t see here? Get in sync with Michael and drop him a note,


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Michael Thigpen

Head of Global Client Technology Services
November 01, 2019