Online travel agency Webjet\u2019s roll-out of in-app mobile messaging has led to a 54 per cent increase in \u2018text-based service engagements\u2019 within the app within five months, the company has revealed.\nThe flights, accommodation and travel booking site has utilised chat to interact with customers for both pre and post sales support for some time. With app usage growing fast the ASX-listed company sought a similar engagement channel within its app.\n\u201cThe move to offer in-app messaging expands the way customers can engage with Webjet from our existing voice, email and chat contact channels. Mobile messaging provides an additional avenue for us to have conversations with customers at their convenience,\u201d said Webjet\u2019s country manager, David Galt.\nThe messaging function employs both artificial intelligence and humans to field customer enquiries. Unlike a chat box commonly seen on various websites, a conversation can be left and a notification received when the customer agent responds. Previously, app users could only send emails within the app.\nWebjet in an August investor presentation revealed the total transaction value \u2013 the value of all tickets, rooms and cruises booked \u2013 had risen 45 per cent year on year.\nThe chat feature is the result of continued investment in Webjet\u2019s mobile platforms which has included establishing a new team \u201cinstalled to deliver superior chat, messaging and social engagement services for our customers,\u201d the company said.\n\u201cOur customers can now resolve issues and get their questions answered on their own time through a channel they are already comfortable with,\u201d Galt added.\nThe in-app functionality is powered by LivePerson\u2019s LiveEngage platform, the same used for chat on Webjet\u2019s website.\n\u201cMessaging enables consumers to communicate in a convenient way, on their terms using a mediumthey prefer to speak with family and friends. It allows for multiple conversations to take place over time within one message thread; and reduces the inconvenience and frustration of being placed on hold, as wait times are replaced by push notifications,\u201d said Andrew Cannington LivePerson\u2019s regional VP, APAC.\n\u201cConsumers have largely moved away from traditional voice-based communication and with the launch of Webjet\u2019s in-app mobile messaging, we believe a new precedent will be set for travel companies, making mobile messaging the new norm,\u201d he added.\n \nThere's a chat for that\nA number of Australian brands have implemented LivePerson\u2019s in-app messaging service over the last year. \nFoxtel customers are able to \u2018Message Foxtel\u2019via a feedback button inside the MyFoxtel app, which instantly connects them to Foxtel\u2019s customer service team. Between January and June last year some 90,000 in-app customer messages were sent by the app\u2019s 490,000 users.\n \n\u201cSimplifying customer communications is an essential part of how Foxtel is able to quickly and accurately provide the best support possible in order to keep subscribers connected to the stories they love. Incorporating LivePerson\u2019s mobile messaging system into our MyFoxtel app means that we can offer our customers the flexibility to manage their accounts and communicate with us in ways that complement their busy lifestyles,\u201d said Foxtel\u2019s head of digital sales and service, Alisha Bailey in June.\n \n\u201cWith so much of today\u2019s communication happening via messaging on mobile devices, it\u2019s a logical progression to enable customers to interact with Foxtel in the same way they would with friends and family,\u201d she added.\n \nIMB Bank, the third largest building society in Australia, rolled out in-app messaging in September last year. It also added Facebook Messenger to its options for customer service chat.\n \n\u201c[Customers] can get the assistance they need from our digital service team, on their own schedule and terms,without being forced to set aside a block of time and complete a phone call from start to finish. It\u2019s a much more modern and customer-friendly experience,\u201d said Daniel Locke, IMB Bank\u2019s senior manager of digital and direct at the time.\n \nIn December, LivePerson in-app messaging was also added by REST Industry Super, one of Australia\u2019s largest super funds by membership.