Asynchronous communication, or async for short, might be a term that you’re not super familiar with but you’re definitely more familiar with async messaging tools than you think. To start, asynchronous simply means that an interaction is taking place without each party involved needing to be actively participating at the same time. Whereas synchronous means each party involved has to be present for the interaction to occur. Think of synchronous being a phone call and asynchronous being a voicemail.
Along with voicemail, you’re probably already using numerous forms of async messaging tools consistently in your everyday personal and professional life. Email, text messaging, instant chat messaging, and image and video messages (like Snapchat) are all forms of asynchronous messaging.
Let’s start this off by clarifying that synchronous communication will always be a necessity for businesses, nor should it go away completely. Whether for internal brainstorming, onboarding and introducing new employees or clients, or troubleshooting and problem-solving an urgent issue, being able to communicate in real-time can be essential. At the same time, there are many instances where shifting to asynchronous messaging can provide the same, or better, results.
So how should businesses and enterprises best go about incorporating more async tools into their workflows for more effective communication?
Virtually every company uses email or an instant messaging service for internal communications. It is an easy way to connect with coworkers to relay information or ask questions, especially on remote teams.
Here are a few reasons companies should adopt and utilize async messaging tools for internal communication:
One major benefit to asynchronous messaging is that it can be less disruptive to workflows and fits into each employee’s schedule. Finding a time that works for everyone can be a challenge, and it only gets more difficult with each additional party added. Async messaging allows each individual to view the message at a time that is optimal for them. They don’t feel like they need to rush to wrap up a project or task they’re in the middle of to make it to a meeting, instead they can stay focused on accomplishing the current objective before having to shift priorities or mindsets.
Async communication often requires more intentionality and planning as well. Async messaging tools require the user to plan out their thoughts in advance and clearly have an objective for their message. The composer must decide what the best media is for their communication (async video, written, etc). They must decide what information should be included to be sure the recipient has all of the context needed to fully understand. Making these distinctions and taking the time to plan out the message also makes it much easier to define what truly needs to be a meeting and what can be handled through async messaging.
With hybrid and remote work still playing a major role for many companies, async messaging helps keep more employees in the loop and feeling more included. Async messaging shows no favoritism to timezone and doesn’t exclude those with prior commitments since it can be reviewed at any time. With many workforces now being spread across the globe, using tools for async messaging helps keep everyone updated and promotes a culture of information sharing.
Just as it is with internal communication, async messaging can have major benefits for external communication as well. Customers expect the ability to interact and communicate with brands in the same ways that they communicate with peers. This could be over social media, email, or chat messaging functionality.
Here are a few reasons that companies should adopt and utilize async messaging tools for external communication:
Customers and clients have their own schedules and busy lives too. One of the best ways to improve the customer experience is to make it as seamless as possible for them to reach you. They don’t always have the time to pick up the phone and call your customer support line and wait for a representative, nor is every issue or question they have urgent enough to warrant an immediate response. Implementing tools for asynchronous messaging allows your customers the ability to initiate conversations and respond to you when it best fits their schedule.
One of the most frustrating experiences that we have all unfortunately experienced is waiting to speak with a customer support representative to help with their issue only to still not reach a resolution at the end of the discussion. This can feel like a massive waste of time and leave a bad taste in the customer’s mouth.
Async messaging helps alleviate this issue in a few ways:
Async messaging also presents the opportunity to revisit the information at a later time if the issue happens again or if they do not remember exactly what was communicated.
Asynchronous messaging gives both customers and companies the time needed to follow the steps and diagnose issues and solutions before needing to respond. This also allows the customer time to possibly think of other questions they missed during the initial interaction or continue asking follow-up questions as they occur, rather than feeling like they need to reach the resolution quickly and not take any more time from the employee. Customers no longer need to initiate a conversation each time, but they can continue on the same thread and keep a record of what has already been discussed.
CloudApp makes asynchronous visual communication easy for any user or recipient. Since CloudApp is cloud-based, only the user needs to have the software and recipients can instantly view messages in their browser without needing to download the media or product. CloudApp enables users to create instantly shareable videos, annotated GIFs, and screenshots that can add visual context to a communication without having to schedule a live video call.
Async visual messaging can make internal and external communication more effective. Whether walking through company updates, sharing a bug in the product with the development team, or showing a customer exactly what links to look for a click within your program to solve their issue, adding visuals can help improve overall clarity in communication.
Schedule a demo to see how CloudApp can improve your organization’s communication!