Live help for your site
On ecommerce sites especially, “Live help” or “Chat now” features are ubiquitous these days. Does your site have one?
You have seen them, perhaps even used them. The button that offers instant access to someone who can answer your questions. What you may not realize, is that you can close more sales by having one. I know this mostly from client anecdotes, and also from personal experience. Sometimes a 1-2 minute chat is all it takes to answer the last questions a customer has before a purchase. This is especially true if you sell expensive or hard-to-return items.
So, how do you implement this feature on your site? Here are 3 options, that might work for you:
PHP Live Helper – this is a local solution – meaning, you install it and run it on your server, next to your existing shopping cart, etc. The code is embedded in your site wherever you need it. You pay a 1 time license fee (I’m a reseller here so if you want to save a little money, contact me before buying), with no monthly costs. It requires php and mysql, as the name implies.
Zopim – This is a hosted solution, with a Free level, but a monthly recurring price that many sites would need. It’s super easy to install and configure; you can be up and running quickly.
Ogg Chat – Another hosted chat – this one integrates to google talk, but has no free option.
There are more solutions out there, if you do some searching. The prices and features vary widely, but all will help you connect with prospects at the exact time they would like some help. Most have “push” request ability, which allows you to proactively ask a visitor if they need help.
Also, at least php Live Helper gives you realtime stats on users as they peruse your site – what page they are on, where they go next, and how long they stay there. This can help you determine with visitors may need help.
Keep in mind, all these solutions require someone to be available to “man the phones” – at least a few hours a day. If you are already at the computer most of the day, it’s an easy feature to keep in the background until someone requests help.
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