Experience Designer

Telstra in app messaging

in app messaging

Telstra in app messaging

Introducing and onboarding customers to Telstra’s new in app messaging experience.

When customers have a question or issue with a product or service, they are increasingly contacting companies using live chat. Chat offers convenience in a wide range of settings from home to office.

Many live chat platforms however were developed with the desktop experience in mind, leading to a clunky and unstable mobile experience as viewports have decreased in size. This combined with wait times and connectivity issues can leaves users frustrated.


We believe that customers hate waiting online or on hold to resolve questions and issues,

So if we provide an authenticated messaging experience where customers can contact us on their own schedule,

We will see a reduction in the number of calls and complaints around issues and disputes.

Live chat current state

NPS feedback at Telstra was indicating that the mobile live chat experience was in need of an update. While many prefer live chat over calling up, what could we do to make the experience more seamless and efficient?

Benefits of live chat

– Customers and agents can multitask

– Can download the conversation

– No need to speak or wait on the phone

Pain points of live chat

– Wait times

– Session based – exit and it’s gone

– Need to authenticate every time

– No history linked to account

– Not optimised for mobile browser

Based on insights gained from customer feedback, and broader market trends, the decision was made to move on from the real time chat model in the browser towards asynchronous messaging in the app.


What is Asynchronous Messaging?

Think Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. Asynchronous messaging allows us to fire-and-forget like we’re used to with SMS and other messaging services. It doesn’t require constant connectivity to keep the conversation active, and can provide delivery and read receipts so users know they’ve been heard. There are benefits for both customers and business alike.

– No need to wait online

– Conversation persists unless cleared by user

– Potential for chatbot integration to route queries and handle simple requests

– Push notifications so customers can get on with their day


Test and learn

Two rounds of usability testing helped us to assess and refine the best ways to onboard users to the new functionality, handle permissions, lay the groundwork for bot integration and rich content and facilitate smooth hand off to and between agents.

In both rounds, participants were given an unexpected high bill scenario and asked to contact Telstra. We evaluated the following:

Round 2

– Initiating messaging, and open a new message

– Activating notifications if disabled and returning to messaging

– Marking an issue as resolved

– Chatbot to agent handoff

– What participants would and wouldn’t use messenger for

– Acceptable timelines for response and resolution

– Response to chatbot as first contact in messenger

– NPS survey and detailed feedback (user acceptance of messaging)

Round 1

– Where participants expect to find messaging within the app

– Treatment of new message responses inside and outside the app

– Where and how to display new message notifications within the app

– Participants’ responses around setting a PIN to secure conversations

– Responses and attitudes towards push notifications permissions request

– Attitudes to wait times and agent response times


The result

Taking live chat from a sub-optimal browser based experience:


To a streamlined, authenticated in app experience:

I’d definitely use this. It’s convenient, you don’t have to drop everything as when you’re on the phone. You can do other things at the same time, and trust that someone is looking into it in the background.
— Test Participant