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The differences between messaging systems

by on May 13, 2017 in Latest News, Lead Article, Lead story, News you can use, Nuggets

The differences between messaging systems

When gurus are incorrect and have a massive audience soaking up their information, surely misleading hundreds and thousands of professionals can be damaging to their reputation and even their career if they follow blindly.

Recently a well-known marketing influencer wrote an article on live chat, one of their main examples within the content actually wasn’t live chat but another type of messaging system! After putting the research and effort into writing the blog, it’s understandable why my comment pointing out the misconception was removed.

Therefore this has spurred me to write about some of the different types of messaging systems available.


Let’s start with one of the more widely used systems: emails.

Emails stand for electronic mail; messages are distributed over a network from one user’s device to one or more recipients.

For emails to work, you need the other recipient(s) email address to send your message to.

Deliverability can be an issue if there is a mistake in the email address or if the mailbox is full messages will not be received; they can also be delayed if the end user is out of office.

Emails can be sent backwards and forwards over time with no break in the communication chain, perfect when working on a project!

Live Chat

Live chat is a one-to-one online communication channel, which initiates when an online visitor clicks on the chat button placed on the company’s website.

Chat connects the visitor to a representative in real time with messages being sent whilst both parties are present in chat. If the visitor closes their browser or the operator completes the chat that session has ended, that conversation cannot be reopened for continuation. However a new session can be started.

Live chat is great for getting answers quickly; visitors are connected straight away and can ask one or multiple questions. Depending on company resources the chat may not be available all of the time if operators are busy or it is outside operational hours.

The example the marketing influencer used within their article is a bit of a hybrid between email and live chat.

In App Messenger

Not to be confused with Facebook Messenger, the In App Messenger, appears on the web page similar to a live chat button, some even labelled “Chat with Us” It is available when visitors are logged into their account, so that’s the first difference, visitors do not need to be logged into a website to initiate a live chat they can simply enter their name and enter the chat dependant on the organisation’s settings.

The In App Messenger allows visitors to start a new conversation or to enter previous conversations. This does not connect to a representative in real time. You can enter your message and then carry on browsing or exit the site, when an operator has responded an email will be sent to the address specified on the account, to let the user know the company has responded this can take any length of time from 10 minutes to a day! The user can then log back into the website to read and respond to the message, and wait again for the next response.

With email and live chat both being popular messaging systems for businesses, does the hybrid really have a place? If resourcing is an issue to manage chat in real time, the hybrid can be used to imitate live chat but conversations can be responded to at the user’s and operator’s convenience. It also stores all messages in one area, therefore reduces the amount of time a user takes searching for an email.

The problem with having a system so similar to live chat is if a marketing influencer can get confused between the types, surely it is more likely to cause frustration in customers if they start a conversation expecting an instant response to be met with a lengthy wait!

How to Check Stated “Facts”

Whether an influencer has written something or you read an article on Facebook or on a news site, it is always worth double checking anything that sounds too promising or dubious; a quick Google search to see what other sources are saying is the first step.

Doing research and speaking to the providers of the product or services you’re interested in will help to educate yourself more about that particular area. In my example of the live chat article, if a person interested was to follow up the In App Messenger reference, once speaking to the provider they would realise it is different to what the article about live chat stated.

When gurus pass on information that is incorrect it is right for everyone to challenge it, otherwise we learn from misconceptions, placing the influencer on a pedestal taking their knowledge as righteous and never learning the truth for ourselves.

Have you had any experiences of challenging incorrect information from someone greatly thought of? If so I would love to hear about them in the comments.

Author Bio: Gemma Baker is the Marketing Executive for UK live chat services provider, Click4Assistance, with a range of digital knowledge within PPC advertising, SEO practices, email campaigns and social media.


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