As technology and interests evolve, businesses must do the best they can to adapt and meet their customers in a comfortable space. Customer engagement is certainly a lot different from where it used to be, especially when instant gratification is such a central piece of how the world operates.
Communication must be faster and more convenient than ever, and people would much rather communicate via a well-fleshed-out chat than having to think about making a phone call or starting a whole email trail.
Think about what it looks like in your personal life today. For many people, it’s hard to even imagine that there was once a time when phone calls were effectively the order of the day. If you want to reach out to your friends or your family, you are way more likely to do so via a WhatsApp chat than you are to make a call.
Not only does this feed into why your business needs a comprehensive chat app, but it also means you need to think about the features that your customers may prefer. So, why don’t we look at 12 undisputable features that supercharge a chat app, making it that much more desirable to your target audience?
1. A Wide Array of Chat Button Customizations
The kicker here is managing to be engaging while maintaining your brand identity. Obviously, a chat app is a service that you are buying into for your business. You had no input into its creation or its default aesthetic.
Still, the best apps in this regard are the ones that can be adjusted so much that they become the embodiment of what your business stands for and your communication style.
A well-designed chat platform boasts an array of elements, including fonts, icons, buttons, colors, etc. One of the reasons business clients enjoys the platform so much is that none of these components are set in stone.
Just about anything that the user interface presents can be tweaked to your liking. When you can get a custom-written piece of software to morph so much that it takes on your business’ identity instead of the one it has before, you know you’ve hit the jackpot.
This is a step in the right direction where creating an attractive and intuitive user experience is concerned.
2. Mobile Responsiveness
There was a time when free chat on a website always required using a PC. Those days are long gone, based on the sheer development that mobile devices have seen over the years. They’ve become quite capable, taking on a host of features that used to be reserved for more powerful devices.
That means you are customers are now more mobile than ever. So, it becomes incumbent on you to take the required steps to meet them where they stand. One cannot overstate the relevance of mobile responsiveness. Why do you think a WhatsApp plugin for a website can be so important?
If you were to use a website on your phone today and it felt like it wasn’t optimized for the platform, you’d probably never use it again. There is no excuse for any web-based service to look the same on browser and mobile today.
You want a system that is highly adaptable to any platform, regardless of screen size or operating system. Even without considering integrations, mobile users can expect to have an intuitive and responsive communication experience.
3. Adaptability to the Native Language
Never make the mistake of taking language adaptation for granted. Yes, the bulk of your customer base likely speaks the same language you do. What happens to those who don’t? Should they just take their business somewhere else?
No provider needs to design automated language translation features from scratch these days, so there’s almost no excuse for that to be missing. Remember that you must take a customer-centric approach to communication.
If there is anything about the chat experience that makes things more comfortable to the end-user, it’s probably something you want.
Your business model probably includes live agents. It’s a good idea to attempt to compile a live chat team consisting of different native support members if so. If you have the means to research your customers and support more uncommon languages, then go ahead and do so.
4. Privacy, Security, and Encryption
How many deaths are leaks have you heard about at this point? While you are probably striving for excellence in several different areas, this is not one that you want to be a top achiever in.
Check what your desired platform does to ensure that your customers have a secure communication experience. The platform takes personal information very seriously, and to this end, employs enterprise-grade security measures to guarantee the highest level of protection.
Beyond that, the risk is reduced even further thanks to a policy of only collecting non-personally identifying information. What this means is that even if a breach should occur, the leak would not contain anything to be concerned about.
Data is encrypted in transmission, preventing malicious entities from being able to see, use, or understand it.
5. Seamless and Fast Log-in Options
This comes back to our earlier discussion about the level of convenience that today’s customer requires to have a good experience with a chat platform. If you thought that this concern begins when the communication starts, you’re off the mark.
You need to be thinking about this as early as signing up or logging on time. So, what kind of log-in features could be considered to make things even more intuitive? Single sign-on always finds itself at the center of the discussion.
In other words, clients can use existing accounts, such as a Facebook or Instagram account to log into your platform. It shortens the login process and prevents people from the dreaded concern of having to remember one more password.
6. Cloud Storage and Backup
At the end of 2020, the cloud computing market was worth $371.4 billion. At that time, the continuously growing industry was forecasted to hit $832.1 billion by 2025. Let that sink in.
This is a huge industry and one you should be taking advantage of where possible. Why would you worry about the cost associated with setting up local data centers when there are so many cloud providers out there that can do it better and provide an operational expenditure model?
Depending on the case use, there may not be that much information to store or backup. On the flip side, your data collection rate could be on the more intensive side.
The best platforms sit on cloud-based databases and servers, bringing with them all the advantages of the industry. These include geo-redundancy, high uptime, and superb back-end support.
Users can take advantage of this, having their profiles and associated information be consistently accessible across devices.
7. Push Notifications
If notifications are a part of your chat widget, there is no excuse to not have them be push notifications. Remember that speed is one of the pillars of the convenience and instant gratification that we keep talking about.
Just in case you’re not familiar with the concept, it boils down to instant notifications instead of using a timer or a bulk style. Take your WhatsApp chats for example. When you get a new message, there is an immediate associated notification unless you choose to turn it off. This is a push notification.
Alternatively, WhatsApp could have used the time notification system where you get new message notifications every 30 minutes, for example. As you think about that, your blood is probably already starting to boil.
Naturally, you want notifications going out as soon as relevant activity has taken place on your platform. This allows your clients to focus on other tasks whenever they must wait for a response.
8. Availability of Major Chat Platforms
This is a no-brainer and one of the central features that a solid free chatting platform boasts. If customers can communicate with you based on where they are comfortable, both you and they can consider it a win.
The goal is to integrate as many of the most popular platforms as possible, especially since your target audience is likely spread across most of them. These include the most popular, such as WhatsApp, Instagram, Meta, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, and Telegram. Niche integrations are a plus.
With all of these in the mix, customers can easily communicate with a single click or tap, which helps to maintain the kind of engagement and patronage you want.
9. Automated Responses
You may feel a little apprehensive about this one, especially if you did not plan on having bots handle all your communication. Well, that’s not what we’re telling you to do here.
Instead, the idea is to use the word pattern recognition to provide automated responses where possible, lightening the load on your back-end team.
Have you ever called your telecom service provider only to be greeted by an automated system that gives you a series of options? If so, you may notice that a couple of these options provide you with information without your ever speaking to a human.
One of the best ways to use this feature is to have it be an initial point of contact and route requests appropriately if necessary.
It can even be implemented for greeting purposes. For example, what if you could set up preset messages in WhatsApp to greet your clients?
10. Easy Installation on Websites
If you ever find yourself having to build your website around your chat platform, something is seriously wrong. Instead, your chat service provider should have a system designed well enough to easily integrate into your website.
It’s kind of a no-brainer when you think about it. The live chat system is one of a slew of features that your website provides. That’s not an attempt to trivialize its relevance.
What if you bought a new desktop keyboard for your workstation? Would you then redesign your office aesthetic, and get all new equipment just to match the keyboard? Of course not! You are way more likely to simply get a keyboard that fits in with everything else.
It’s the same concept here. Yes, it’s awesome to have a solid WordPress chat plugin. Of course, the integration must be done in a quite engaging manner, as you don’t want to turn off your existing and potential customers. You want a chat app that can seamlessly integrate as a:
11. Custom Channel Support
By default, a platform is going to include one or more native support channels. Even with the best design intentions and features in the world, there are going to be questions and concerns that require some level of support.
What if the built-in support options don’t work for you? You may intend to introduce a custom one. A well-designed chat widget has you covered, as you can easily add an unlimited number of unsupported channels. Even though chatty doesn’t natively offer them, it can facilitate you’re being reachable using them.
12. Reasonable Pricing Plans and Payment Methods
This one is self-explanatory, so there isn’t that much to say here. Whether it’s you or the customers you serve, everyone is looking to save some money where possible. Bonus points are given for accessible payment methods.
Visa, PayPal, and MasterCard, for example, are no-brainers. Additionally, a few niche options may be sprinkled in to offer variety. Of course, this is complemented by affordable pricing models.
How to Get Started with Your Chat Widget
There is a need for consistent and effective communication between a business and its clients. Supporting live chat functionality means having a stable and well-designed platform to stand behind you.
The features listed above are wide-reaching, but they are all essentials to delivering the best and most engaging experience to prospective and current clients.
If you’ve never heard of Chaty, prepare to be wowed by its slew of features as it has the distinction of masterfully bringing together all of the major features communicated.
With that said, it’s highly unlikely that you need any convincing to take the right decision to make your customers that much more engaged.