WhatsApp or web chat: Why choose one when you can have both?

Smith, Emma

Publish: Wednesday, Jun 01
Category: Blog | Channels | Features

As we always say, for any modern business, having multiple channels through which customers can contact is essential. The reason is that consumer preferences have changed, and they now choose to communicate by means that remain personal and direct, but also provide quick answers, allow for the exchange of documents and more. The company must adapt to the demands of its customer to ensure the best customer experience.

In this sense, instant messaging applications such as WhatsApp or Telegram, together with live chat, have become a very useful element to provide a good user experience and help any business to increase its interactions.

Now, precisely from the point of view of the customer experience, do you think it doesn’t matter the device you use to talk via web chat and WhatsApp? The answer is yes, it matters. But if you want to know why, today in Fonvirtual we tell you why, read on!

The difference between WhatsApp and web chat

Although both channels are characterized by the immediacy of communication and are included in what we know as “instant messaging applications”, there is an aspect that not everyone is aware of: WhatsApp is designed to be used on mobile and tablet, while the web chat is optimized for its use on computer (and also on mobile but does not provide us with the user’s phone number).

If we want to communicate via WhatsApp from our computer, we must access WhatsApp web, which involves several actions on the part of the user before starting the communication (click on the button, take your phone, scan the QR code and log in). 

On the other hand, some live chat softwares, intended for computer use, may not be as comfortable on a mobile device.

This does not mean that we cannot include a WhatsApp button on the desktop version of a website (and vice versa with the web chat and mobile version), but it is true that, if we do so, the customer experience will suffer.


Case study: Harry’s experience

To make it clearer, let’s take an example. Let’s imagine that Harry wants to access his personal area from his computer to carry out some procedures with his bank. Once he is on the website, although he enters his credentials correctly, an error message appears. When he contacts the technical service, he realizes that his bank offers several ways of contact that he should consider:

  • On the one hand, you have the traditional voice calls. However, he decides to discard this option because he has his mobile in another room and he doesn’t feel like getting up to get it.
  • In addition, the bank also offers him the possibility of making contact via WhatsApp, a quick and easy-to-use medium, which he is already familiar with and has used more than once to talk to his family and friends.
  • And finally, he also has another option, live chat. But he dismisses it, because he has never used it and WhatsApp is more familiar to him. 

Harry is in a hurry to access his account, so he automatically decides to talk via WhatsApp. However, he realizes that, when he presses the button, he is redirected to “WhatsApp web” and that, to be able to talk from his computer, he must log in by scanning the QR code with the app on his mobile phone. But didn’t he leave it in another room? Harry begins to despair and, as he has other things to do, he leaves the query for another time. 

The end of this story is that Harry forgot to contact the technical service and the next time he urgently wanted to access his bank account, he was unable to do so. Again, he lost his patience, and when he was asked to rate his experience with the bank, he described it as terrible.

It is clear that Harry was wrong when choosing the means of contact, so the moral of this case is that the situation could have been avoided by offering him the right channel for his situation from the outset. This brings us to the next question.

Do you have to choose between WhatsApp or web chat?

It is common to think that the customer always chooses the right channel according to what is most convenient for him at any given moment. If we question this assumption and, instead of letting them choose, we offer them certain forms of contact, the first thing we will probably think is that we are not concerned about adapting to them and making it easy for them.

However, if Harry’s experience shows us anything, it is that this thought is wrong. Precisely because we care about making the user experience as pleasant as possible, we provide you with the most convenient and fastest channel for the device you are using, avoiding possible mistakes.

For example, the preferred chat service on the mobile version of an insurer’s website in the section “request a crane” online should be WhatsApp, as this will allow the customer, for example, to share their location and facilitate the rescue process, even though the customer may not have realized this a priori. 

But the chat service preferred by the customer on the same insurer’s website for the onboarding process should be the web chat, as it will allow functionalities such as voice or cobrowsing with the user to assist him when filling in the forms.  

We see in these examples how each channel will deliver the best customer experience in a given context. 

Therefore, the key is not to choose between WhatsApp or web chat, but to have different alternatives that allow us to offer the best experience to our customers depending on the situation, the device, the channel or the process in which the customer is. However, in any case it is necessary to have a solution that allows us to unify all the channels we have so that the agent does not have to switch from one application to another to serve the customer efficiently. 

At Fonvirtual we want to help you to improve the user experience in your company, and for this reason, our team is at your disposal to solve all your doubts and accompany you throughout the process. Do not hesitate to contact us!

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