For a long time, we used WebsiteAlive, a chat client we chose about 18 months ago over LivePerson. They were a startup, and so we thought we would support them and use the product. I think we were paying around $40 or $50 a month for up to 3 operators, and they also had an iPhone app so we could take chats on the phone if we were at lunch or something.
But about a month ago, WebsiteAlive had made several changes to their code, and we began to experience problems. Chats would drop right in the middle of the conversation, and we even noticed a drop in volume. For some reason, we just weren’t getting as many chats anymore, and chats are important to our lead flow. People run their reports, or get to our products pages and having live chat helps us actually close more deals.
So we decided to try Olark, the makers of real-time chat and visitor monitoring services – for a second time. About 5 or 6 months ago we tried Olark. There wasn’t as much customization, but if I remember correctly, it was free, or close to it. The problem back then was that Olark also dropped a lot of chats for whatever reason.
Second time was a charm. We installed the code again, and having it up and running for less than five days has resulted in 23 chats that we weren’t getting previously with the other chat client, and one of these leads converted to a sale. We also configured it to pop up and invite the visitor to chat after a few minutes.
But the biggest difference that is likely the cause of the huge increase in leads is the fact that the Olark chat client “hovers” in the lower (or upper) corner of the page, your choice. As the user scrolls up and down, the live chat box is always visible, but not obtrusive. On our old chat client, once the user scrolled the page, the chat button was out of sight.
The other cool thing is that you configure Olark right into your existing chat client, like Jabber or Google Chat. You can see exactly who is on the site, what page referred them, or keyword they found you with, and more. And once the chat is over, you get an email and you can classify it as a lead or a sale. I’m sure there are many more features we don’t even know about yet, but Olark is definitely making a positive impact on our lead flow.