The past 30 years have seen many changes in the way businesses operate and communicate. All this time, the way customers enjoy communicating has always been personal and direct. But now, that is broken. How did it get this way?

The Past: Personal and scalable.
Thirty years ago, businesses communicated with their customers by building personal, contextual relationships over time. At your neighbourhood store, communication happened in person. If the shopkeeper liked you, he’d keep aside something he knew you liked until you came to pick it up. The relationship was built on trust and comfort. Bigger companies used letters for official communication and advertising happened in newspapers and flyers.

The Recent Past: Online, yet Personal
As the world discovered the internet, the way businesses communicated changed drastically. Faxes and emails became the default modes of communication. Businesses communicated internally – and with customers – by emails. The incredible speed and convenience of emails made them an instant hit for personal communication. We could now send messages to our friends and family overseas in minutes. You remember ‘You’ve Got Mail’, where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks fall in love virtually while romanticising the beautiful city of New York in their communication. The rise of real-time messaging platforms like MSN and Yahoo messenger, made users fall in love with chat just like they had with email.

messenger chat online


The Present: Online yet Impersonal.
Now, as businesses continue to move online, marketing, services and support have moved into email inboxes. You can order groceries, clothes and furniture online – apart from pay bills, get work done and even find a house to stay in. With the advent of real time messaging via chat apps and social channels, people use emails less for personal communication, and businesses around the world still largely rely on emails to communicate.

real-time messaging business communication


This is changing. Chat-based applications like Slack are simplifying communication and showing us that chat can also be a scalable way to do business. Personal communication has now moved to chat based messaging apps on mobile, which are easy to use irrespective of age. You can now send text, documents, voice, video, your GPS coordinates and pictures instantly via real-time messaging apps like Whatsapp.

The Future: Online and Personal V2.0?
So where does that leave business communication? Email is dying out as an effective medium to reach customers. Customers are chatting via real-time messaging apps with friends and family. The future appears to be in apps that help customers talk to businesses via chat, because business interactions are – to put it simply – broken. Who like creating a ticket or sending an email to [email protected]? Wouldn’t you rather just chat with someone in the customer support team? This type of personalisation is less intrusive, more relevant, and empowers the customer.

Businesses can make getting help simple with messaging. As a customer, you decide when you receive notifications from businesses – and your email inbox will finally be clutter free again. Exciting? We think so too.