Feeds:
Posts
Comments

live chat software for cell phonesMost of live chat software providers were toying with an idea of developing an ability for their users to respond to live chat requests by using their mobile devices and most of them failed or haven’t quite figured out how to actually do it until now…

Not one but two live chat software companies released MobileChat last week which actually works!
ZaZaChat and LiveHelpNow both released MobileChat feature which allows operators to accept live chat requests on their cell phones and actually chat with customers while being on the road.

Here’s how it works:

  1.  A customer initiates a chat session on the website
  2. An SMS text message is sent to the operator with an embedded link to accept the live chat request
  3. Operator clicks on the embedded in the text message link
  4. A chat window opens on the operator’s cell phone and operator is connected with the customer
  5. Live chat session commences
  6. All predefined (canned) responses are available to operator to quickly respond to the customer

Pretty cool!

I’ve tried it in both ZaZaChat and LiveHelpNow systems and it works very similar and it is very slick!

I even talked to one of my friends who uses LiveHelpNow in his auto dealership and he said that MobileChat is the most powerful feature of the software in his opinion because it gives him the freedom to walk around th dealership, talk to customers, etc. while still being online on his website and be able to quickly accept live chat requests initiated on it directly on his cell phone.

A lot of readers have asked me which Live Chat system I personally recommend…so…i decided to talk about live chat software systems i like in my next blog post.

ZaZaChat coupon

Live chat by ZaZaChatJust a quick post.
My friend just let me know of this ZaZaChat PRO subscription coupon code.
Coupon code “welcome” without quotes, will discount the ZaZaChat PRO subscription price by 10% for the life of the account. I just tried it and it works.

Predicting a complete Twitter demise by 2014… i am serious.

Dying useless Twitter

Twitter is being murdered

The idea of Twitter was genius and innovative, 140 characters could never be so much fun. It grew at incredibly high rate, i think it still does. It was supposed to be the next “IT”, and for some time it was.  The idea was simple – “Tell the world what you are doing right now in 140 characters or less” (does the world care, really?). Many books were published about Twitter praising it for being a great marketing tool and that every company must include it in their marketing campaign. And for some time Twitter WAS a GREAT marketing tool. Is it still today? Doubt it. At least not so for 99.9% of its users.

Let me explain what marketing people are hoping to accomplish with Twitter and why most of them fail. I will also explain why this is almost impossible to get any kind of serious visibility for your company or product with Twitter, and why when someone mentions Twitter as a marketing vehicle i simply say – “Bullsh.t”

The BIG Twitter marketing idea in a nutshell:

  1. Get Twitter account
  2. Create background for your Twitter page explaining your company services or products, make it catchy and informative so people will want to follow you
  3. (That’s the step where BS starts) Find RSS feeds from news websites and any other sources related to your company or products(like Google news or Google Reader) and feed them into your Twitter account automatically, 3-15 posts per day. How? Very easy: TwitterFeed.com, rss2twitter.com and many others will do that for you automatically, just say how many and how frequently.
  4. Setup robots to search Twitter.com users’ tweets daily for any posts related to your company, product or industry and start following them automatically in hope that they will follow you back.(most will follow back, i’ll tell you why later), there are many web services that will do the searching for tweets and following of users for you automatically.
  5. Setup another robot to follow everyone who follows you automatically.
  6. Setup another robot to un-follow everyone who stopped following you automatically(to keep Following/Followers ratio close on your account, that’s why you see so many Twitter accounts with balanced Following/Followers ratio)
  7. Now imagine that most of Twitter users implement this plan (is it now clear why most will follow you back immediately?) Look at step 5!
  8. Grow your followers list daily 100-150 new, and then once or twice per week sneak in a tweet about your company. The idea is that if you have 1000 followers, you Tweet about your company or service and 1000 people see it and hopefully click on it or better yet re-tweet it in their Twitter account for their followers to see. Great idea, isn’t it, great brand awareness building tool too?

Now, let’s analyze this for a second:

If most Twitter accounts are placed on autopilot by utilizing the techniques above, do you really think that a Tweet about your company or service will actually be read by a human?

Let’s take it further:

Would you be surprised that “important” Twitter accounts (with large following) actually offer to Tweet about your company or service for a small compensation? Check out paypertweet.com or sponsoredtweets.com! You pay per tweet there, locate an “important” account you’d like to say something about your company or product, pay, and sure enough 2 hours later this Twitter account posts a tweet about how your company is so great and service is so awesome. Talking about wasting your advertising money! This would be one way to do it because if the account you paid to tweet about your company, say, has 50,000 followers, you can be absolutely sure that only a tiny fraction if any, will actually read its tweets.

Twitter is over capacity

Twitter is over capacity

Do you now understand why Twitter is down so frequently? Why it is so unreliable? It is because it is being abused by millions of automatic queries, searches, tweets, etc done by nothing more than automatic tasks setup by third-party services.

Is it possible to save Twitter and how?

In my opinion it is not too late to save Twitter if following steps are followed by Twitter’s management:

  1. All automatic tasks should be suspended, no auto following, no auto feeding third-party RSS feeds, no auto unfollow! No exceptions, well, maybe one: You can feed your RSS feed to Twitter only if it is truly yours, meaning, this RSS feed is authenticated and is published by your company or service.
  2. PayPerTweet.com-like services BANNED immediately!
  3. Start policing accounts better, create filters, guards, etc. sort of like Google does, to flag and remove spam-accounts.
  4. Clean it up! Remove spam messages, abusing accounts, announce that Twitter was supposed to be a service for Human beings and not for automatic tasks. Announce that Twitter is being cleaned up and re-born with new face and its purpose is now protected, guarded and cherished by Twitter management!
  5. Start running ads! Twitter cannot survive without ad revenue and if Twitter actually follows the steps above and makes sure that it is being used by human beings only, IMAGINE how useful advertising on Twitter will become! i.e. Joe Shmoe tweeted about GPS system he is testing, and right next to his tweet there is an ad for GPS system reviews. Would you click it? I would.

You might ask how this post relates to website live chat software? It doesn’t, it is just something i always wanted to brag about.

Real-time visitor monitoring

Visitor monitoring

Most if not all website chat software providers include real-time visitor monitoring feature which in my opinion is priceless.

Imagine seeing who is browsing your site, how they found your site, how many pages they visited, how long they stayed on a particular page, which page was the entry page and which was the exit one? All in real-time!

Now, if you combine this feature with proactive chat invitation…wow! A visitor is on the check-out page, sitting there for 2 minutes, operator sees it and prompts a message: “I see you are having troubles checking out, would you like me to help you?”. These two features combined will save i would say at least 25% of your used to be “quit on” shopping carts!

In some cases website live chat software providers also analyse traffic data and compile informative analytics reports for historical review.

Empowered with this information about visitor traffic patterns and navigational foot steps you will undoubtedly correct a lot if not all navigational inconsistencies, directory structure or content categorization problems on your website.

Think about it.

When you first install live chat on your website you have high expectations. This post will try to explain what you should expect in reality from live chat and why.

You’d be surprised to learn that the average ratio of visitors using live chat is very low, less than 4%! Surprised? Well, it is a reality. Moreover, if after installing live chat on your website you see higher than 5% daily unique visitors starting a live chat session with your operators – your website got a problem! It is either too confusing or simply does not look trustworthy.

You may say: “It is impossible! I see people texting on their cell phones all the time, people do not call anymore, they do not speak, they want to text, tweet, chat! Live chat is king right now! How is this possible, only 4%???”

Well, the reality is that even though live chat is extremely powerful and convenient, it is still, time-consuming. Let’s consider the steps one should take to get an answer via live chat:

  1. Click on the chat  button and wait for the chat window to load. (2 sec)
  2. Fill out the info required to connect (30 sec)
  3. Wait to be connected (30 sec)
  4. Type a question (30 sec)
  5. Wait for an answer (30 sec)
  6. Hopefully receive the needed answer on the first try and thank operator (10 sec)

Let’s stop here and add the time needed to get the answer via live chat: over 2 minutes, in case the answer to your question is received after the original question, most of the time it is not.

“So 2 minutes is great”, some will say. And i will agree, 2 minutes is wonderful, way better and shorter than traditional phone call, yet still 2 minutes plus the effort required to connect and type questions for majority of people will be too much. Also due to a lot of websites being sloppy with their live chat communication lines, leaving chat open when there is no one on the other end covering chat, some people are now extremely sceptical when they see live chat button on the website wondering if there is someone actually there waiting for the call.

This post is in no way intended to diminish the value of live chat, this is a simple insight into the ratio of visitors actually using it.

Now, with this being said, i also believe that this ratio will dramatically increase in the near future due to most of live chat providers releasing simpler, more friendly and better quality tools for operators and customers to be able to connect faster and more reliable. Such tools as auto-suggest helping customers complete a sentence while in chat and other are being released to ease and justify further the use of live chat. I personally predict that Live Chat will be the must-have tool for every website within 3 years from the date of this post, i also believe that sooner or later VoIP and video over IP will finally make its way to the web which will become the next tool to have on your website.

I would also like to add that as it stands now, the most popular and convenient tool customer do like to use is simple self-help knowledge or in another word “Search”. Customers would like to search knowledge base of answers and get answers immediately without talking or chatting with website support staff. So definitely consider having a simple to use and up to date SEARCHABLE knowledge base system available on your website.

People love “free”.. it is a truly magic word, heavily used by marketers, software publishers, just about every business! Look closely in each TV commercial or an online ad and you will see or hear that magic word “FREE”.

I, personally, get absolutely disgusted when i see or hear the word “free” and always try avoiding the product or company using this word in their advertising campaigns. Why? Because this word tells me one of two things about the product or a company:

  1. It is a teaser or a way to reel you in!
  2. The product is lacking something and it is worth looking elsewhere for a better one.

Most people would probably disagree with me on this one but, this post is not about arguing about this theory, it is about free live chat software and whether it is worth your time to look for one.

Should you try Googling “free live chat software” you will find quite a few results. I’ve personally tested all of them, some are slow, some are impossible to use, some are extremely cumbersome, but all of them lack features which have made Live chat software so effective and famous.

Here are features which free live chat software offerings will surely lack of:

  • Live visitor monitoring with referral and visitor geo location reporting
  • Proactive chat invitation
  • Canned responses
  • Visitor navigation history
  • Management of multiple chats at the same time
  • Chat transcripts archive and search
  • Other crucial limitations

These are core features, without them live chat software becomes completely USELESS!

I can also tell you why free live chat software does not and cannot offer these features. Because these features are having a huge impact on the server hosting this chat software, they require powerful infrastructure and top of the line database. These features are basically too expensive for a company to be able to offer them free.

So my point is this: If you’d like to see the true power of live chat, see it work for you, see it improve your conversion rates and ultimately increase sales – do NOT look for free, look for quality!

 

Most professional live chat software feature sets include live visitor monitoring. It usually allows website operators to see who is browsing their website at a given moment, such information as IP address, Host Name, GEO location, referer, footsteps(visited pages) and computer specific is provided for each browsing visitor real-time! This could be very valuable. We will not go into details and specific case studies on live visitor monitoring feature of Live Chat software.

I do, however, would like to tell you a little story which you might find interesting.

redz

I have published a new website for my new business and went ahead and listed it in Yahoo! Directory, it’s $299.00 per year but well worth it if you’d like to get your business noticed quickly. The day Yahoo! Directory listed my site in the “new” section i received an interesting call:

“Hello, my name is Peter “, i purposely did not use any real names in this post, ” i would like to offer you a great pay per click program, only 10 cents per click! Have you heard about Red Z ?”

“No, i have not”

“RedZ.com?”

“No, sorry”

“Well, we are a revolutionary search engine, with patent pending technology and millions of search queries served daily. We can offer you one of the top 3 spots on RedZ.com for 10 cents per click! How does that sound?”

 “It sounds too good to be true” – i responded.

“What is your main search term?”

I provided a very competitive, about $7.oo per click on Google AdWords search term i was interested in

“Good news we have one spot available!” – said Peter – “Can you please go to RedZ.com and search for your search term?”

I did. One of my competitors’ site came up first, it looked slick, sort of like WIndows Vista running programs scroller, showing website front pages as thumbnails.

“Looks good” said I. It did look good, and for 10 cents i was willing to try. I provided my credit card and it was charged $500.00 for 5000 clicks from people searching RedZ.com for the term i purchased the clicks for.

I was spending a lot more on Google, about $1000-$2000 monthly for 200-400 clicks, so it was a no brainer type of a deal.

Next morning i have been emailed login details to login to RedZ.com and see my click stats. To my absolute surprise RedZ (redzee)  reported 150 clicks sent in the last 12 hours! What! How! Amazing! I am rich! Bye bye competitors! I won! I will buy all my search terms i am competing for on Google from RedZ and will buy a house in Maui in 10 months! Gotta call my wife and tell her to quit her job!

A thousand pleasing thoughts went through my mind…

I logged in to my business’ back-end with anticipation of at least 5 orders (2-3% conversion i could definitely live with). To my surprise there were no orders. Hmmm… Maybe a glitch?

I went ahead and logged in to my LiveHelpNow (livehelpnow.net) panel, it is customer service software i use, it provides live visitor monitoring. LiveHelpNow reported 150 referrals from RedZ.com, so RedZ panel reporting the correct number of clicks, what is wrong then!??? I started investigating further and LiveHelpNow showed that each visitor referred by RedZ visited front page of my website and immediately left. 100% bounce rate from RedZ visitors…what an upset, that was exactly what i was afraid of. Always trust your first instinct, what appears to be too good to be true, is probably not true. What a scam! I was pissed.

I called up Peter from RedZ and requested a full refund.

“What’s wrong? Why?” – asked Peter

“Well, RedZ sent 150 robots buddy” – said i – “100% bounce rate. You are buying your traffic!”

“I don’t understand…” – said Peter – ” what makes you think that!?”

“Please go to LiveHelpNow.net and log in” – i said and gave Peter my username and password – “Do you see how it shows every visitor referred from RedZ.com?”

“Yes”

“Can you tell me how many pages each of them visited of my website?”

“1″

“Which means the traffic redz is sending bounces 100%, correct?”

“Yes, but maybe this software does not report it correctly”

I asked Peter to go to RedZ.com, type the term i purchased and go to my site, browse a couple of pages and then see what LiveHelpNow panel reports.

He did that and to his surprise every move he made on my site was recorded and reported by LiveHelpNow software.

Next day i got full refund from RedZ.

This is how Live Chat Software detects click fraud and how it saved me $500!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.