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Paul Boag Posted by: Paul Boag On Wednesday, 15th September, 2004

Live Chat

Have you come across live chat yet? It gives the ability to interact with your site visitors in real time on your web site. For a long time this was an expensive luxury but finally things are improving.

Marketing:
The estimated time to read this article is 4 minutes


Start with an apology

First of all let me apologise for not posting in a while. I am just so manically busy at the moment that I just haven’t had the time. We are so busy at Headscape that I have been drafted in as a programmer, thats how bad it has got! Not good news… anyway on to live chat.

What is live chat?

Live chat allows the visitors to your web site to speak to you directly online via a chat window in much the same way as a chat room or instant messenging software works. The best way to explain live chat is to try it for yourself. Click here to speak to me directly via live chat (Please note I might not always be online!)

Different live chat providers offer different services alongside the basic chat facility. Some allow you to send people to specific web pages, some allow you to monitor users as they move around your site while some even allow you to initiate chat with your visitors.

Why live chat?

So why should you consider trying live chat. Well live chat can increase sales and reduce the cost of customer support.

Sales

Live chat is proven to increase online revenue by as much as 35% and shorten the sales cycle. It also increases the converson rate by as much as three times.

Support

Live chat also decreases support costs dramatically especially when compared to telephone support. It also increases customer satisfaction because users get immediate answers to their questions.

Live chat providers

For a long time there was just one name that dominated the live chat market; live person. Live person is great and in my opinion still the best of the bunch however it has one major draw back: price. At $99 per month per operator it can get a bit on the expensive side for a small business that just wants to try out the idea to see if it works. Yes they do offer a months free trial but this isn’t really long enough to judge how effective it is going to be at increasing revenue. There are cheaper solutions about but none of them seem to get it right. They either don’t let you customise the interface or use technology many browsers don’t support. Some even have this annoying habit of constantly reloading your web pages!

The new kid on the block

However recently I came across a new provider called BoldChat. BoldChat have in my opinion got it right. The entry level is absolutely free. You can add a basic chat facility to your site without paying a penny and try it for as long as you want. Admittedly you cannot customise the appearance of it much and you have to wait for visitors to contact you because it is not possible to initiate chat, however it is enough to get the idea.

They also offer an excellent upgrade path that allows you to add just the functionality you want. For example for $9.95 you can customise your chat window and $34 a month you can watch your visitors navigate your site and choose to initiate chat if they look like they are struggling.

So why not trial it on your site. It only takes a few minutes to set up and could revelutionise the way you interact with your web site visitors:

Try Live PersonTry BoldChatTry Instant Live Response

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