One of the ways to drive customer satisfaction is by offering accessible, prompt, and clear communication channels. Customers want flexibility in how, where, and when they want to communicate with your brand. But with the increasingly large volume of customer requests and messages businesses receive daily, how can companies keep up?
One solution is asynchronous messaging. Also called “async messaging,” not to be confused with “synchronous messaging,” it is a communication method where the customer and agent need not communicate synchronously or in real-time. Asynchronous messaging describes instances where a message is placed in a queue, allowing both participants to freely start and resume the conversation on their own terms and times, eliminating the need to wait for a direct live connection.
Samples of asynchronous messages include email and SMS, where both parties can begin, pause, and return to a conversation whenever they want without expecting an immediate response. Unlike in a live chat, a form of synchronous messaging, participants must be online simultaneously and respond immediately.
All communication methods require at least two people to use a messaging platform to write, send, and receive messages—the difference is in how and when participants relay the messages. When both parties are online and are immediately responding to one message after the other, that communication is known as synchronous messaging.
On the other hand, it is considered asynchronous messaging when two parties do not require real-time interaction and exchange messages in a disproportionate amount of time. Asynchronous messages have the advantage of convenience for both sender and receiver. The sender can relay multiple asynchronous messages anytime, and the receiver can open and respond to them once they are available.
As instant messaging becomes more and more accessible for anyone anywhere, it’s no wonder customers are beginning to demand the same from companies. While synchronous messaging methods such as live chat support are also necessary, companies need to provide customers communication channels and technologies to adapt to personal preferences and needs.
In a 2022 report on customer experience (CX), 76% of customers would switch to a competitor after experiencing multiple poor customer service experiences.
61% would switch after just one bad customer service experience.1
Over 60% of customers say that getting their issues resolved quickly is the most critical aspect of good customer service.2
Asynchronous message channels like emails, text messages/SMS, Whatsapp, and even comments on community forums and social media reduce the expectation of an immediate response or resolution. Let’s face it: customers are busy. With asynchronous messages, customers can continue their day without the pressure to stay connected with an agent or wait for business hours to keep the conversation moving. It eliminates the issues in synchronous messaging wherein conversations end when customers fail to respond within a certain amount of time, or when the online/internet connection fails, even for a moment. And if the issue is left unresolved, customers will have to start a new discussion with a different agent and repeat their concerns, which causes frustration. But with asynchronous messages, both customers and agents can pick up where they left off because there is a conversation history at hand.
Of course, it is still crucial for companies to attend to messages as quickly as possible and reduce inefficiencies, even with fewer agents—and this is where asynchronous chats come in.
Customer support teams can engage in multiple conversations, enabling companies to serve more customers at a given time and triage inquiries during peak hours. In addition, asynchronous messaging helps increase agent productivity and quality scores. It can reduce agents’ handle times by 25-40%3, enabling them to quickly address simpler, frequently asked questions that don’t require a phone call. Moreover, it allows agents to collect the correct information and deliver more accurate resolutions.
All these asynchronous messaging benefits result in higher CSAT scores—18% more than synchronous communication methods. Resolution scores are also higher by 21%4, making it clear that no company or industry should overlook async messaging as a method to drive customer satisfaction.
All industries today deal with customer service challenges, so how exactly does async messaging help? Here are great solutions and results from different sectors and businesses prioritizing asynchronous communication methods.
In the travel industry, creating great experiences is non-negotiable, and separates the leaders from the crowd. Travel companies must constantly innovate and utilize technology and create a seamless and scalable customer service strategy in order to satisfy travelers.
Adopting intelligent and automated processes that allow quick interactions outside of normal operating hours—aka asynchronous messaging—helps companies serve more customers at scale with multiple communication channels in place.
Both synchronous messaging and asynchronous chats are delivering significant savings for insurance companies. Nowadays, it’s unacceptable for businesses to justify delays in implementation. Using asynchronous channels helps customers complete processes on their own time and with a much higher chance of success.
Telecare platforms are now using async messaging as a primary communication tool for their patients. Healthcare services can allow patients to upload images and explain their concerns using an asynchronous messaging platform and expect a reply within 48 business hours with a diagnosis or request for additional information.
Enhancing customer experiences is becoming a priority for financial companies. Through asynchronous chats and transactions, customers can now enjoy transacting with their banks via services like automatic bill pay, remote check capture, and direct deposit, which allows both banks and customers to interact conveniently.
Any customer interaction is about the experience delivered to them. With various omnichannel solutions, companies tend to forget the ultimate goal of each touchpoint: to engage with customers in a meaningful way.
At TaskUs, we help companies provide excellent customer experiences through omnichannel support, including asynchronous messaging.
With an unmatched employee net promoter score, the highest referral rate, and the lowest attrition rate in the BPO industry; our teammates are empowered to handle inquiries and engage with customers positively, delivering valuable results to our partners.
For instance, our processes have allowed one of our clients to pursue their mission to be the world’s most customer-centric company. We delivered a CSAT of over 90% by minimizing escalations and delivering fast resolutions.
We use a combination of AI and enhanced people training to deliver successful daily operations for our clients and their customers.