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They claim that it dramatically increases conversions as they can guide a customer through the buying process. However, they charge a fee of $1 + per successful sale.
This sounds to me like walking into a shop and getting asked questions from an annoying sales assistanct, but does it work? How would you feel browsing a store and all of a sudden a popup opens and someone asks if they can help?!
Verisign does this sometimes, and I can't stand it.
Popups are bad enough, but having someone initiate chat is awful. The 'chat with us' button is enough - if they want info - then the visitor can click on the button.
I just read an article about the buying cycle, and when people are early in the cycle, they like their anonymity. Its not until they're ready to buy, they wish to reveal who they are.
I think you'll scare more people away by this tactic then you will induce to buy.
Then again, perhaps I'm just not used to someone looking over my shoulder and talking to me yet.
I have occasionally found it helpful, though. A major software maker uses it in one portion of its massive site, and I've asked the rep to help me locate a resource I was struggling to find.
Also, every customer gets greeted when they come onto your site. So repeat customers would inevitably get fed up with the 'greeting' and go elsewhere.
However, I can imagine there are certain types of sites where such a greeting service would be appropriate.
And it's only 20 years after 1984... ;)
Scenario: DavesCorvetteParts.com - "Hey, thanks for dropping by. I'm Dave. If you've got any questions, let me know. You a 'Vette owner?"
It really could be a plus if it was done well. Scaling this could get kind of expensive, though. A button for "Live Help" or similar would greatly reduce the load vs. trying to interact with everyone.
I can also understand that some people (probably most ) would find this intrusive, but without doing this I think many people would not actually use it. Is there a way for it to stand out without being intrusive?
In France they still do this .....hate it ..hate it..
I want help ..I'll ask ...
otherwise don't bug me!
<one of my "sensitive toes" this subject>
From an ecom POV, we have tried them out, starting with LivePerson, and then on down to phpLIVE once the sticker shock from LivePerson set in. :)
Surprisingly, hardly anyone used it, and ditto for other sites with drastically different consumer bases. I thought it would--goes to show how much I know.
The old fashioned toll free number always out-performed live chat applications, so we ditched it. Between all the chat apps, phpLIVE was our top pick for pricing and features.
It's worth a try, though. LivePerson and Groopz seem to the be the only ultra-invasive ones.
Definitely not for every site, but in some cases I can see where this would be a great tool.