Implementing an in-app chat or messaging service is a good idea in the majority of customer-facing applications. Live chat is quickly becoming the most popular communication channel for customers. In fact, 46% of them prefer to contact businesses via chat rather than use other channels.
Therefore, if you are in a customer-oriented business, you, most probably, will benefit from integrating chat into your product. In this post, we will outline the main features you may need to look for in your chat service and see how they can be implemented easily and effectively.
Why do you need in-app chat?
As we mentioned, many customers would like to have a chat option to get support or assistance. A straightforward solution is to use one of the popular messengers, such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. It may seem easy, but the user experience may not be the best.
With third-party messengers, your user needs to switch to another app to get assistance. There goes your seamless UX, as switching back and forth between apps is anything but seamless. I remember my own frustration when a service offered only WhatsApp and Viber as available support channels. I have no WhatsApp account and only use Viber on my smartphone. Yes, I know about a desktop Viber, but downloading it and setting up my account was too much trouble when I wanted quick assistance. It was like running into a wall.
With in-app chat, users do not need to leave your platform to chat with you. Moreover, if your product requires logging in, the chat will pick up user details allowing the support agent to see the user’s data and history and personalize communication. Besides, customers do not need to repeat any details that are stored in their accounts. No lengthy introductions, straight to the point!
Last but not the least, in-app chat is designed in your corporate branding which creates a professional appearance and increases brand awareness in your customers.
Learn more about: In-app Chat for Financial Services: BNP Paribas Wealth Management & QuickBlox
Who needs in-app chat?
It’s easier to say who doesn’t. Any business providing customer support surely needs live chat as one of the communication channels. In addition, here are just a few examples of services where live chat is one of the central features:
- Healthcare, to enable doctor-patient communication.
- Education, to allow students to chat with teachers.
- Finance, to support basic banking operations in a chat.
- Dating, to allow matched users to talk before meeting in real life.
- Community platforms, to enable user conversations.
- On-demand services and marketplaces, to allow customers to connect with providers or sellers and discuss transactions.
Learn more about: 5 Benefits of Adding In-App Chat Marketplaces
Which features do you need in a live chat?
The answer to this question heavily depends on the specifics of your business. In healthcare, you need a direct chat with presence indicators, in education you might also want to have group chats, in dating – a video chat, in finance – a chatbot. Almost all apps would benefit from the file upload feature and push notifications.
And of course, no matter what you are doing, your live chat should be protected with advanced security mechanisms. In addition, there are regulatory compliance requirements that are mandatory for many industries and regions. For example, if you are operating in healthcare, you may be subject to HIPAA rules. If you are serving the European Union, make sure your product, live chat included, is GDPR-compliant.
Learn more about: Top 10 use cases for In-App Chat Messaging for Businesses
How to add chat to your app?
If you are planning to include a live chat functionality in your app, here’s how to get started.
Identify the set of features you need to support
As mentioned above, the chat features are directly related to the nature of your business. Analyze the user stories and find the optimal set of features that you might want to offer. For example, if you are building a dating app, your chat should support the following features:
- One-on-one chat
- Presence and typing indicators
- Push notifications
- Audio and video chat
If, however, your business is in the healthcare industry, consider the following features:
- One-on-one chat
- Group chat
- Push notifications
- Audio and video chat
- File upload
Identify your platforms and programming languages
You will, probably, want to build for both desktop and mobile. However, some apps go the mobile-first path and roll out the mobile version before the desktop one. This way, they can reach the mobile user audience which has reached 6 million globally and keeps growing.
These decisions influence the way you will integrate the chat functionality into your app, as it requires compatibility with the rest of your software components.
Build in-house or use a third-party solution?
This may be a pivotal point in your in-app chat development. Both approaches have their pros and cons, and both have fervent supporters. When you decide how to proceed with the development, you need to weigh multiple criteria:
- Availability of human and technological resources.
In choosing in-house development or a ready-made solution, consider your requirements and options. In short, own development gives you better control and customization, while using a third-party SDK or API is going to bring you quicker to the finish line at a lower cost.
Integrate in-app chat using an API or SDK
When you have answered all the questions above and decided to add chat to your app through an SDK or API, your next steps are more or less straightforward. Start with finding a professional provider of quality SDKs and APIs that can implement the features you need. Check QuickBlox’s APIs and SDKs specially designed to build high-quality secure communication solutions at a reasonable cost.
Get an account, create your app, and start adding chat features according to your platform selection and intended functionality. You are going to get a working in-app chat with sufficient customization and all the required security mechanisms enabled.
Want to implement in-app chat with QuickBlox?
If you would like to use QuickBlox’s communication solutions to enhance your software product, contact us for a detailed consultation or a demo. We will be happy to help you make the most of the SDKs and APIs our team has developed and tested to ensure top quality, performance, and security.
Leave a Comment