The words ‘chat room’ often bring back memories of the noughties, and logging into MSN in the evening to chat with friends. And then having to log back out when the phone line was needed. “Good ol’ dial up!”
A decade later MSN messenger has been discontinued, however the concept of chat rooms and group messaging apps are still going strong. Not only can friends socialise in group chats through platforms like Facebook and Skype, strangers are able to connect with each other through websites including Yahoo!
The web has grown and continues to do so, allowing the dangers of the internet to develop. Anyone who actively speaks with strangers is opening themselves up to be vulnerable, especially in an unmonitored chat room.
Features of Chat Rooms
Chat rooms can have a relaxed and fun environment; users are able to change their pictures or select avatars to represent themselves. They can share emoji’s and format the text within their conversations as well as sending files including music and images.
Chat Rooms are usually free to the user and all they will need is login credentials, for example, MSN previously used email addresses for logging in and connecting people. Skype also uses email along with Skype name and phone number.
Yahoo! Chat has hundreds of chat rooms dedicated to many topics; connecting people all over the world under an alias. Obviously there are risks of engaging in these types of chat rooms, as the user doesn’t know the other people or how they are going to behave.
What about the Professional Counterpart?
Too many people involved in an email can cause issues, multiple replies can be sent at the same time duplicating the thread and confusing the recipients as to which thread should be responded to. Colleagues can easily reply to the sender of the original email rather than to all those included, meaning there could be gaps in information and decision making.
Companies can use a chat room, as unlike email the entire transcript is viewable, allowing participants to respond in real time and not miss out on any important information. Therefore businesses need a professional alternative to chats rooms similar to Yahoo.
Some organisations prefer to chat with visitors and customers in a group rather than one-to-one to relay important and in-depth information, businesses should be able to use the chat rooms for both external and internal purposes without having to change the platform they are using.
What is the solution?
Business chat for website providers can offer the professional alternative, Meeting Rooms, maintaining the same foundations as chat rooms, but developed around companies’ requirements:
- Private / Public
Organisations will have different requirements regarding accessibility to the meeting rooms. A Public room can be accessed by a shared link; anyone can join and will not require a password to enter the room. For example a company that is working on a project across multiple offices and companies, can have everyone involved enter the chat room and discuss the work in real-time.
Other companies will strictly want to know who will be participating in the chat. A private chat room can be set up that requires attendees to enter a username and password to access the room. For example a university could hold a revision session and only want students studying a specific course at their university to attend. They can set up the participant list to qualify who is allowed in the chat during the study session.
- 3 Strikes, You’re Out
Businesses need to be in control of the chat. Representatives can monitor the room in real time, so if any of the participants are proving to be an annoyance and spamming the meeting, they can be removed.
- When and Where?
Companies can choose the dates and the duration that the room will be open. Organisations can have the chat set up 24/7 with participants entering and exiting the chat without any interruptions or they can set the meeting room to open on a specific date at a certain time, or every day at the same time.
Organisations love holding seminars and livestreaming them; getting participants involved can spark in-depth conversations. But how do companies get digital viewers to interact?
With a small piece of HTML Script, a Meeting Room window can be embedded next to the webinar, allowing the viewers to enter the room and communicate in real time with each other and a moderator, who feeds the chat conversation to the presenter. The conversation is able to flow. Rather than the presenter having scripted points that they think the viewers want answered, they can actually answer the questions raised.
Businesses can ensure that every meeting held is secure and easily accessed by every participant. Will your organisation use the professional chat room alternative: Meeting Rooms?
Gemma Baker is the Marketing Executive for Click4Assistance
Image source: Shutterstock/nmedia