Why We Built Leapchat — Customer Service via Facebook Messenger

Customers hate waiting on hold
71% of customers cite waiting on hold as their #1 customer service complaint

Sometimes having a Bad Experience is a Great Experience.

Last year our CEO Ranga was all set to make a trip home to India, but he needed to unlock his phone in order to use a local sim when he got there. He contacted Vodafone via web chat on his iPad and was most of the way through the unlocking process, when his browser refreshed and he lost contact with the agent. He immediately reconnected to the web chat, but found that he was talking to another agent who had no record of his prior messages. He had to start the whole process again from scratch. A very frustrating experience for Ranga and a complete waste of time and money for Vodafone.

User Experience on Web Chat on Mobile Devices is Poor

This experience planted a seed and on Ranga’s return from India we gradually found ourselves spending more and more time researching and thinking about web chat. We quickly identified that web chat on mobile offered very poor user experience for reasons like:

  • There is no way for users to retain chat history other than receiving it via email
  • Users have to wait for an agent to become available or they are redirected to email
  • Follow up queries have to be dealt with via a second channel like email or phone
  • The user interface of most web chat services on mobile devices is clunky at best (check out these examples from Amazon’s Audible mobile website)
Web chat UI on an Amazon mobile site
Web chat UI on an Amazon mobile site
Poor web chat UI
Customer has to zoom in to press send

The Wrong Way is sometimes the Right Way

Our first solution to this problem was to create our own messaging app, specifically designed for customer service. We were amazed at the enthusiastic response we received when sending out a very simple brochure and email to prospective customers, especially when it became apparent businesses would happily pay for such a service.

  • Chat history always available to both parties and it is possible to reconnect for follow ups
  • Easily send images of products and links to tutorials
  • Send segmented group notifications (e.g. your broadband will be down due to maintenance)
  • Address complaints via private one-to-one messages, rather than via social media
  • Huge potential to increase self serve options through links and bots



Founder of http://www.localmint.com - Think big, Start small

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