Modern communication becomes faster and shorter. We use emojis instead of words, and shorten the whole sentences to a few letters in SMS. We don’t write paper letters anymore, we don’t print pictures from the last trip, we even don’t talk on the phone for hours like we did before. Now we post stories to Instagram, send pics in Snapchat and write short Tweets, tagging friends with at (@).
Little by little, this trend is moving to business communication. Business processes are becoming faster than ever and we need to speed up the communication as well. We require exchanging information in all of its forms like texts, images, files, links, documents etc. And what’s important, we need it real-time.
Therefore, business is moving towards crowding out formal emails and replacing them with chats.
- Types of chatting solutions for business
- C2C chats
- B2C chats
- B2B Live-chat integration
- Enterprise chat software
Types of Chatting Solutions for Business
Today businesses compete for each client and fast reaction is a must. Customers want a quick and easy method to get the information about products they are interested in. Why should they waste time on sending emails and waiting for a response if they can drop a line in a chat and get the answer immediately?
So, let’s take a look at what chatting solutions for business exist on a market.
- Enterprise chat
- C2C chat
- B2C chat
- B2B chat
- AI Systems like Google Duplex
What’s the difference, you may ask? We’ll explain.
Client to client chats are those, we use for our personal needs and entertainment. For example, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Kik, and others are C2C chats. Users have equal functionality and mostly use these tools for their daily private communication.
Nevertheless, businesses often use these tools as a part of social media marketing. For example, you can book a table in a restaurant directly on Facebook Messenger. Or, learn more about that fancy dress. Since social media is a powerful marketing and distribution channel for most e-commerce companies, hiring a customer support manager, in charge of chats is a good idea.
Some brands even create special content for such social media as Instagram and Snapchat, which are not classic chats, yet have this function too. For instance, user can also send brand’s post to their friends using Instagram Direct Messages.
B2C chats are rarely represented as a standalone app. Usually, they are the part of a web or mobile app. For example, such marketplaces as Aliexpress or Amazon have a chat feature allowing client to contact entrepreneurs who are selling goods or vice versa. Generally, everything starts when private individuals (ordinary clients) get enough revenue to turn into entrepreneurs. In this case, C2C turns into B2C without changing the platform rules.
Another example of B2C chats is chatbots. This technology is being trendy for a while as well as Big Data, VR, IoT, etc. But what makes chatbots more widespread is the affordable development cost.
The main feature of chatbot is that customers don’t communicate to a real person, instead the answers are provided by a machine. The algorithm is customized in a manner to give the user the most appropriate response according to the request.
Chatbots can be used in almost every business starting from travel, shopping, concierge, ending up with healthcare. They can also be integrated to a enterprise software and provide your team with productivity and analysis tools, sending notifications directly to your chat (for example Slack chatbots).
B2B Live-chat integration Reasons
Still, not every client’s query can be satisfied by a chatbot and sometimes live communication can bring more results for both client and business. Live-chat is also a good replacement of the boring forms with multiple obligatory fields that only distract customers. The same thing is for emails. Sometimes, when we are in a hurry, it’s easier to chat with a real client manager rather than send an email and wait for response. When a user opens a website the small live-chat window is usually popping up in a corner of the page informing that client manager is online and is ready to help. Nevertheless, if clients don’t need any consultation, they can simply hide the window and continue exploring the website.
Generally, live-chat is a great tool to generate leads in both B2C and B2B segments. The only disadvantage is that they are active only when the client manager is online. Still, it’s possible to turn on the B2B chat for non-working hours to provide visitors with the general information about your company.
Enterprise chat software
Business communication doesn’t always refer to contacting clients, it also includes the communication within an enterprise. The typical mistake of many businesses is keeping this communication in C2C chats like Skype, Whatsapp or any other tool that is not made for business collaboration. But what’s wrong with these tools? The first thing is that people are distracting from work as they check if there are any new messages from their friends all the time. The second reason – such chats lack business functionality.
Below we mentioned the main features that differ enterprise chats from consumer ones:
- Built on existing business processes
- Advanced integration capabilities
- Group Chat
- Business integration (social Media connections, email connections, etc.)
- Identity security
The main issue for many companies is security of data that is being transferred within such communication tools as emails or chats. Having your own enterprise chat developed by an experienced software development company keeps all the data secured and controlled by the business owner.
Obviously, every type of business requires multiple communication tools to satisfy the needs of each and every client. Surely, email still remains the important channel, however, chats have the significant advantages. Even so, chatting solutions should be chosen wisely, especially if your employees are constantly sharing confidential documents. That is the point when you should consider building your own enterprise chat for security reasons. Moreover, custom chat can be enriched by the features that cover your business needs and give you the competitive advantage.