Introducing Sonar 2.0

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Conversational interfaces (mobile messaging platforms) are the future of how companies will communicate with customers. This is why we started Sonar and this is where the world is heading. Most mobile messaging platforms are not quite there yet, but SMS in its’ beautiful simplicity is a great channel to offer this interface to customers (Facebook Messenger is almost there). If you aren’t already offering a way for your customers to reach you over SMS or other mobile messaging platforms, what are you waiting for?

Mobile Messaging for Business

Mobile messaging channels such as SMS, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, Line and Whatsapp have opened up new ways for companies to communicate with customers. Some of these platforms are ahead of the curve in terms of welcoming this trend (Facebook Messenger) and others are way behind (ahem…Whatsapp). The point is, customers want to reach companies using the channels they are communicating on already.

Messaging vs Existing Channels 

Mobile messaging channels are much different than existing customer communication channels (email, voice calls, webchat etc). Customers expect faster response times (except for webchat), shorter and more precise responses, and an overall more personalized experience. These are all things we took into consideration while building Sonar 2.0.

Looks Like a Chat Client

Speed is the main factor we considered when redesigning and rebuilding Sonar‘s front end. To enable companies to respond to customers in a way that resembles chatting with friends and family, Sonar needed to have a fast and simple user experience for employees. We decided to go with a minimalist interface that resembles a combination of a messaging app and a simple CRM. All of our administrator-level features are “put away” in the menu to further keep the focus on fast response times.

Responsiveness

One of the basic limiting factors for how quickly a company can respond to a customer is how quickly Sonar loads. Our team knew we would need to switch to a single-page web application pattern, and fortunately there were quite a few options to choose from. We decided to go with Facebook’s new hotness, ReactJS. I won’t go into the technical bits of why we chose ReactJS, since our wonderful engineers will write up a full explanation of why and what the process of switching to ReactJS was like. Suffice it to say, Sonar 2.0 is fast.

Emphasis On Text

Continuing the minimal design, we’ve basically stripped everything away except for status/notifications (such as new message indicators) and most importantly, the text of each message. Text (and images) is everything. Most elements in our interface have been “dulled down” to put more emphasis on the text and to make it easier to read. This allows companies to respond more quickly by having less distractions.

Conclusion

Our engineering team put in a lot of hard work on Sonar 2.0 and the results are apparent. The product is fast, intuitive, and simple to use. Much thanks to Michael Makarov and Neeharika Bhartiya on leading the charge on the redesign/rebuild and to our customers who gave us feedback along the way. The product looks amazing and works really well.

Let us know what you think!

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