Live chat – do we really need it?
In today’s web, I would argue that for a lot of business out there, live chat is a must. We already interact with customers and clients through all sorts of mediums like facebook messenger, text message, twitter and so on, a lot of this is a form of direct messaging or marketing. The holy grail of a live chat system, for me at least, is one that allows a single platform backend, but integrates with multiple front end providers such as Facebook, text message, phone calls. Live chats for websites are a dime a dozen, they are literally everywhere you look. Many are decent, some are absolute rubbish. Most live chats live to serve one purpose, to be a chat facility for your site and nothing else. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with this, if this is the functionality you want.
When we set out on this journey, there were a few things that a live chat needed to do
- Multiple websites in one panel — for us, this is critical. Not only do we have different websites ourselves, but we also manage client chats for them, being able to have all this in one open window is critical – we would never be able to stay on top of everything if we have to run a clean browser window for each domain name
- Integrated chat functionality – ie: a client needs to be able to chat with whatever platform they are comfortable on. If they want to chat on Facebook, we don’t want to send them to our facebook messenger and off the page, we want them to stay on the site, but we can respond directly from our admin portal. The biggest advantage here is, we can identify users via the chat and using facebooks pixel, add them to our remarketing efforts helping drive down the cost of acquisition. Another nice to have with regard to Omnichannel comms would be email integration so that the live chat platform becomes a pseudo help desk, with all client comms in the same place
- Support for third-party CRM, so that all this valuable data can be pushed to the correct place, keeping all client records together and all neat and tidy.
These are the 3 crucial features, for us at least, that we needed when we were identifying live chat providers. The per-user price point is important, but not as much as the above. Other nice to have features were direct e-commerce integration with support for WooCommerce specifically.
Jivochat ticks all these boxes and more. They have a large selection of third-party CRMs that they support natively which pushes all the chat data directly, meaning back office staff have a lot easier job monitoring staff and client communications to help identify real issues. The biggest plus, for us at least, is the multi-platform, omnichannel live chat widget – clients can interact at any time and the messages follow them even if they are no longer on the website, meaning they are not tied down to sitting and waiting for a response, they can also get on with their days.