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The Value of Offline Access to Message History

Offline History Access Could Make or Break Your Messaging Experience

The rise of messaging as the universal experience has opened a significant opportunity for businesses in all industries. But just because you implement a messaging strategy doesn’t mean you automatically tap into its customer experience benefits.

There are minor challenges that, if unnoticed, can derail the effectiveness of your new communication channel. One of these user annoyances is the inability to access message history when devices are offline or in airplane mode.

The fight for customer attention is at an all-time high, so if users are having trouble accessing your messaging functionality, there’s plenty of competition to explore. With the right approach to offline message access, you can make sure users stay engaged in your conversation platform.

Offline History Access Is More Important Than You Think

It’s easy to dismiss offline access as unimportant if you think about it from a consumer chat standpoint. How often do you actually have to sift through old messages with your friends when your device is offline? Probably not often enough to make offline access a priority.

However, you have to make sure you’re thinking of this from a service perspective. Take a use case in the hotel industry, for example. Imagine you’ve used a messaging service to book a room. Everything you need is sitting conveniently in your conversation history—including the access code to get into the room.

Without offline access to your message history, you’ll be stuck outside your room. At the very least, this can introduce unwanted friction to the experience and lead to customer churn.

If you still think the demand for offline message history access is too low to cause concern, look at how major brands have already reacted to the problem. Even when email still reigned as the preferred communication channel, Google recognized the need for offline history access. That’s why Gmail received an update for offline emails way back in 2009.

And if you’re looking for a more messaging-focused example, Airbnb is a good role model. In 2012, the company realized that customer experiences were being diminished by spotty mobile coverage or attempts to use the app in airplane mode. To solve this problem, Airbnb started to download reservation itineraries and host-guest conversations on user devices to provide offline access to anything customers might need.

There’s room for flexibility in messaging experiences, but this is one of the best practices that apply universally across industries and use cases.

Let Your Users Trust Your Conversation Experience

Offline history access, when paired with a messaging platform that insulates customers from most connectivity issues in the first place, goes a long way to building trust amongst your users and helping them get done what they need to get done. 

When you invest time and money into designing a messaging experience, it doesn’t make sense to let it fall victim to connectivity issues. But offline access to message history is still just one piece of a solid messaging experience.

If you want to learn more about how you can make your customer conversations more engaging, check out the full Messaging Best Practices Guide today.