Live Chat Service

Discussion in 'Website Development & Design' started by SandraVMG, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. SandraVMG

    SandraVMG
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    Is Live Chat service the best sales tool available to the service providers today? What are the advantages of having one installed on your website?
     
  2. Fergal

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    Funny you should ask that Sandra, I plan on writing a comprehensive business plan for the provision of live chat services, over the next few months.

    The majority of visitors to a commercial website, leave the site without having communicated with the business that owns the site. They may or may not follow up that website visit with a phone call or email to the company. This represents a significant loss of opportunities to sell to the visitor who is actively seeking information on the exact products or services that the site promotes.

    The provision of a live chat / live help facility on a website, provides the tools to facilitate communication, while the visitor is on the website. This can make a significant contribution to increasing sales and improving customer relationships.
     
  3. Kay

    Kay
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    I've had it before on various sites. While it's a good option to offer and very handy, I find nothing more irritating than seeing it on a site and the sign saying " LIVE CHAT! Offline" all the time.

    If you're going to have it, make sure it's manned the majority of the time. If you can't do that, don't offer it at all because it'll only irk people that there's never anyone there. Or alternatively, ensure it's the type that gives the option to leave a message when the live support is offline.

    We used an open source one called Crafty Syntax

    Just my opinion of course. It's a pet peeve of mine. :)
     
  4. Nazreen

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    I've also seen a lot of websites having Live Chat service that's always offline. Luckily, these websites weren't online stores because if they were, then they would be missing on a lot of good sales opportunities.

    I think that right now, Live Chat service is quite important for online stores and commercial websites. Live Chat service is not only a sales tool but can also be used for live customer support. Customers nowadays have high expectations and delays in communicating through email are completely unacceptable. As for sales, normally customers wouldn't buy a product if they still have questions that are left unanswered. Live Chat service will provide all the answers to these questions on the spot and therefore increasing the chances of making a sale and also satisfying old customers so that they remain the business' happy and loyal customers.
     
  5. Fergal

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    What was your experience of that?

    Did you find it user-friendly to implement?

    Did it provide useful benefits to your website visitors?
     
  6. Kay

    Kay
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    I liked it, it was handy to have because we were making changes to the community we worked on at the time. It gave the members and guests somewhere to pop in and ask right away if they got stuck while navigating the site and the new systems/layouts.

    As to the implementation side, I'll come back to you on that. My husband installed it so I'll ask him. From an operator point of view, it was easy and just as simple as IM for the customer.

    Manning it was simple enough too for us since we're online practically round the clock anyway.

    What I liked about this particular one (and we tried a few different kinds back then) was the Auto Focus feature. It popped up the chat screen if someone came on it while you had it minimized. There was no need to be staring at it constantly and you could continue with other work while still monitoring it for activity. It also told you when people were on the site so you'd be ready if they used it.

    This program also had the option to deliver a message on screen to site visitors after a certain time period telling them online chat was available. You could give them time to start looking around then the message could be relayed to them. If I remember right you had the option to send the message manually too but it's been quite a few years since we used it so I could be hazy on some details.

    I do know we didn't use all the functions it had and the program was capable of far more like sending canned messages, saving transcripts, etc. Even though it was only used once in a blue moon by the members, they really did like the fact that it was an option and the idea was well received. Most of them popped in to give it a whirl out of curiosity as much as anything else, but then our members were spoiled because they were used to being able to IM us. :)

    Added value, definitely, as long as it's properly manned as I said previously. Especially if you offer the type of business where someone might need you to talk them through something step by step while they're actually doing it. No doubt some of the Crafty Syntax features have been upgraded since then but for our needs, it was just fine.

    There were screenshots at the site too in case you didn't see them:

    http://craftysyntax.com/screenshots.php
     
    #6 Kay, Oct 23, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2008
  7. Kay

    Kay
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    That is so true, Nazreen! Everyone wants an answer yesterday and if you can't give it when they do, they'll look for a guy who can. It can be much easier to explain something that way too.

    You can say " ok, tell me what's on your screen right now" or " what's the error message say exactly" rather than trying to figure out the (often) inaccurate/unclear information in an exchange of emails full of half remembered information. It helps not only them but also gets it off your desk faster as well.
     
  8. Fergal

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    Kay, thanks for the detailed explanation, very much appreciated. I also look forward to getting your feedback on your husband's experience of installing the script.

    Given the excellent features that appear to be available on Crafty Syntax, do you feel that there are any features that a competitor could have offered, that would have encouraged you to pay to use their system?
     
  9. Kay

    Kay
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    Fergal, I'm blushing here...I completely forgot about asking him, sorry! I'll check with him tomorrow, he's not here right now. I'm writing a big note and putting it in front of my keyboard as we speak so I don't forget.

    I can't think of anything that Crafty Syntax was lacking in all honesty. I'll ask Mike about that too. The program was comprehensive and the "getting started"documentation clear as far as I recall. I know we referred to it a few times to get the hang of which icons did what but it was pretty intuitive.

    One other thing I remembered when I looked at the documentation page there was the notepad. When you logged on as an operator, it was right in front of you. Other staff could leave you messages on it. Very simple but handy if there was an ongoing situation that might arise during your shift. It's like a mini-briefing I suppose.
     
  10. Kay

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    He's just arrived so I asked him, Fergal. He said it was a regular PHP script, so I guess nothing out of the ordinary with it. He also said it's usually in the cpanel as part of the Fantastico scripts. Hope that helps. :)
     
  11. Fergal

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    Thanks for that Kay, I'll be looking at Crafty Syntax very closely, as part of my research.
     
  12. Kay

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    No problem, I'm glad to help. If you decide to install it somewhere and need a guinea pig on the other end to help you test it, please don't hesitate to give me a shout! I never sleep so I'm sure we could arrange something. :D
     
  13. Fergal

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    Thanks again Kay, I might take you up on that.
     
  14. scifi

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    live chat service is indeed the best sales tool available to service providers. 24 hour customer service can be asuured through it.
    It is of great help when we stuck over a problem & in desperate need of someone to help us. One can also call to CAll CENTRES for such issue but for online problems & issues related to your software, hardware, desktops, laptops, it is the best service available currently.!!!!
     

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