Customer service is an incredibly important part of every business’s offering.
As more businesses flock to the Internet to set up shop, though, how do they maintain that sort of in-person magic that happens when customers connect with in-store representatives?
Email, phone, and contact forms have served as the go-to up until recently, but, as many online consumers would attest, those platforms often leave something to be desired.
Consider the drawbacks:
- Email correspondence generally does not happen in real time, leaving customers wondering when they’ll receive a response back.
- Phone calls often require patience as customers work their way through a series of prompts and lengthy hold times.
- Contact forms can be buggy if the right software isn’t used or ineffective if a dedicated team member doesn’t monitor submissions regularly.
Of course, every form of company-to-consumer communication has its drawbacks.
There is one, however, rising to the top of the pack that doesn’t seem to have those same user experience issues as the aforementioned modes of communication: live chat.
A Brief Introduction to Live Chat
Live chat, for those of you not already familiar with it, is a form of real-time communication that takes place within a small chat box on a website. Think of it as on-site text messaging.
Here are some of the benefits customers reap from live chat:
- Engage with a real person in real time.
- No delayed responses that force them to back out of a purchase or seek out a different vendor altogether.
- Less time spent trying to connect with the right party or waiting for an answer to a question.
- Easy-to-follow conversations that never falter due to disparities in language fluency or technical know-how.
- Receive response to question, issue, or request at a time of the day that is most convenient to them and not just when the store is open for business.
Live chat is also beneficial to the company running the module from their website:
- Provide high-quality customer service through an additional channel right from within the website.
- Offer 24/7 support to customers, regardless of where they’re located.
- Learn more about visitors, their activity on site, as well as preferences—all while they’re still shopping.
- Prevent customers from abandoning their purchase if it appears they’re getting frustrated or are about to leave.
- Provide more efficient and consistent service.
- Have the opportunity to upsell customers in real time.
- Save money (if you opt for live chat instead of phone support).
Having said all that, it’s important to note that these benefits can only be achieved when you use the right live chat platform. That’s why I want to talk about why Olark is the best live chat software available today.
Olark Review: Features, Benefits, and Recommendations
While there are a number of well-reviewed live chat software providers, Olark is the one businesses should be paying attention to right now. Started in 2009, Olark now has over 12,000 customers using their live chat solution. And with good reason.
Olark’s solution seems simple at first glance, and that’s probably because it’s so easy to use. As you spend more time within the platform, however, you’ll notice how comprehensive an offering it truly is.Everything you could possibly want to accomplish with live customer communication is available, and more.
These are just some of the highlights worth noting about Olark:
- Affordable pricing
- Easy to install and get started
- Intuitive interface for both users and operators
- Use out of the box or customize chat box, controls, and functionality as you see fit
- Greater control over and organization of customer conversations
- Third-party integrations with platforms like Salesforce, Shopify, Zendesk, and Hubspot
- More insights into what customers are doing so you can become a more efficient support representative during their on-site shopping experience
If you’re interested in learning more about what exactly the Olark live chat solution can do for you, here is a breakdown of their standard versus premium live chat features:
|Price||free forever||affordable monthly billing, based on contract length and number of operators|
|Number of web domains||unlimited||unlimited|
|Operators||1||unlimited; can create groups of operators|
|Number of chats||20 per month||unlimited|
|Operator chat controls and limits||included||included|
|Chat box||Olark branded||non-branded; can hide chat altogether (when unavailable)|
|Olark theme templates||included||included|
|Real-time visitor details and activity tracker||5 visitors at a time||unlimited|
|visitor shopping cart visibility||not included||included|
|In-browser chat console||included||included|
|Mobile chat compatibility||included||included|
|Proactive chat functionality||included||included|
I’d especially recommend this tool for the small business owner who needs an affordable and, most importantly, scalable on-site chat solution.
It’s free for the first operator, or for the first 14 days of any premium package. So this is an excellent (and risk-free) way to be introduced to live chat while you and your customers get the hang of this next-level form of communication.
In addition to providing a chat software that can grow with your individual business’s needs.
Olark is also known for providing superb customer service—a great sign that they really understand the product and solution they’re selling.
In sum, Olark is a lightweight and extremely easy to use live chat software for both users and operators alike.
Whether this is the first time you’re looking to add chat to your site or you’re simply looking for a better alternative to what you use now, Olark is a fantastic choice.