A Little Bit of Background on Our New Typing Indicator

It’s so much more than three little dots.

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Those three dots (pictured above) that indicate someone on the other side is reaching out or responding to a message have become a reflection of our instant and on-demand expectations today. We’ve grown to associate those three dots with anticipation and the unknown, and we actually can have a physical reaction to seeing them appear on a screen. Notifications of an incoming message can actually increase dopamine levels and provoke a range of emotions. Those dots can cause anxiety over what is being written to relief that a response is on the way.

Messaging has become such a dominant mode of communication today that we have conditioned ourselves to read far more into what is being said in the message than what is presented at face value. For instance, using a period as opposed to not using punctuation at all can make the recipient feel like the response is less sincere. That doesn’t make much sense when thinking about it grammatically, but that’s how our society has grown to perceive it. Understanding how to interpret messaging is like learning a new, extremely nuanced language, and while it’s still evolving, it’s important to keep up as much as possible.

That’s especially true for businesses.

In a business setting, you want your customers to feel like you are giving them your full attention and addressing their issue as quickly as you can…and in a personal way. That’s one of the reasons why many businesses are using a live chat support channel to begin with. Incorporating those three dots as a feature provides visibility into when the agent is actually responding, and makes the chat feel more genuine and conversational as a result.

That’s why we’re releasing a new ‘typing indicator’ to help business chat become more natural, personalized, and less formal, so that customers feel more comfortable communicating with the company.

This new feature accompanies our enhanced web chat offering, and we’re really excited about that. But we also want to reiterate that if your team doesn’t have 24/7 live messaging with an agent, that’s more than okay.

We still have notifications that will let your users know when you have responded (which is a great alternative to not having real-time messaging, because your users won’t have the feeling of waiting around in a browser). Additionally, our existing “read” receipts are still available to make the status of the the chat more transparent.

So regardless of whether you have live support or not, let us know if you’re interested in discussing Helpshift’s robust messaging platform today.

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