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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    Live Chat on your site - does anyone use it?
    I've seen these new click to chat buttons on sites...I've even used them myself as a customer from time to time.

    Does anyone on ABW use these programs? Does it help your conversions? Or are your customers a little freaked out by the whole deal?
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador beachcom's Avatar
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    Jason,

    I use it on some of my sites. I never initiate the chat though, I always let the customer. As far as conversions, probably not much. I have had customers ask if I had a coupon or discount for a specific merchant or product. I use the service mostly for the live tracking and the chat is just part of service.


    Joey

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager adambha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MINDsprinter
    Does anyone on ABW use these programs?
    As a merchant, I've got live chat on my site, although usage is pretty limited. It's usually someone asking for information that is already there anyway.

    But as beachcom said, it's great for live tracking.

    Adam

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Jason,

    We use it and it is very successful for us.

    When you IM me later, remind me to give you a link to some pretty cool info on live chat! (This is open to others as well)
    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    We used LivePerson at one point, for a business I was employed with (this was about 7 years ago). Although it was used somewhat, we determined the effort to maintain and implement it just wasn't right at the time.

    It may be much different now a days, especially since the internet and internet commerce has changed greatly since then.

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    I guess I'm looking at it from a merchant perspective. If I can increase conversion rates with this kind of tool, then great! I'll have to do some more research.
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    We have many affiliate who use a cobranded live chat button on their site as wel.

    It's pretty cool from their perspective in that they provide a service to their customers and WE do all the work (and by WE I mean other people in the office hehe)
    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    We used live chat a few years back. For pharmacy it was probably more justified than many other product lines. However, for what it took to run it - we decided to go with a toll free number which provides the ultimate "chat" feature for prospective customers.
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    We have an IRC channel that comes in quite handy. People sometimes come for help, but it's also nice as an extension of the community.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager frankodelic's Avatar
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    I was in sales at an eCRM dot bomb called Answers.com about 5 years ago. Not the Answers.com at currently at that URL, but another one. Answers.com had some sort of FAQ on steroids. A natural language processing program that interfaced with an ever expanding FAQ file. Problem was it didn't really work so well, therefore... UrbanScooters.com... Whoooohooooo!

    Anyway, I used to compete for sales against the "live chat" bunch. The common complaints I'd hear about live chat is it's VERY time consuming. It takes much longer to communicate the same information via a chat than it does over the phone. Also, your "chat reps" have to have good writing skills which means you're not going to get a bunch of minimum wage workers manning your chat. That said, there is a chat feature I like. The service where you can pop up a chat box and start chatting with someone that's surfing your website. I've not used it personally, but that a fantastic conversion tool. Overstock.com has this feature in place. My girlfriend was poking around for a diamond bracelet... that she wanted her boyfriend to buy for her... and found one she like on Overstock. I figured it was junk, so I had her ask the chat rep the color and clarity. Well, clarity was I3, so we bailed on the item, but the chat certainly got our attention.

  11. #11
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Merchant-side, it sounds like a PITA to run. Sheesh, I couldn't even get up to go to the john without worrying that I was missing some customer with her/his CC ready.

    And as a customer I *hate* it when those darn boxes open themselves up on their own (especially if they do it repeatedly)!! If I wanted to chat, I would have gone to a physical store! But at least most sites are smart enough to just have the button and not actually intrude on my shopping with their new toy.

    The few times I have used it for serious customer service, it was worse than nothing, since the places had ignorant reps who, at some places, were jerks on top of that.

    When I just had a quick question to ask a different company, it was fine--someone here on ABW had asked a question about RackSpace I didn't know the answer to, so I used RS's chat to run it by 'em quick. It didn't get them a customer, though--I'm *already* a customer, and the other poster had wanted something that it turned out RS didn't offer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason (MindSprinter)
    I guess I'm looking at it from a merchant perspective. If I can increase conversion rates with this kind of tool, then great! I'll have to do some more research.
    Don't forget the affiliate tracking!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  12. #12
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader

    Don't forget the affiliate tracking!
    i used to work for a company which had the online chat.

    When it was really busy, I got the opportunity to manage the chat. Nobody would give a CC online as it is not secure. I would not even take the # cos it's a liability to us.
    Does it help your conversions?
    Yes. It was used to help customers in making a decision and going on with the checkout on the customer's PC.

  13. #13
    CPA Network Rep
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    Purely from a customer standpoint, I think that option is a great one to have. I am not likely to call a 1-800 number unless I have a REAL problem but I would be inclined to use a chat link for a quick question. No hold time, no busy signal etc. I would think it would be a great tool for you to use

  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Just got an interesting number...

    On the auto insurance form, which contains some of the most difficult to understand questions for some, the number of people who completed step 3 of the form went up 2.7% when we added live chat and used it effectively.

    For the merchant (us) this means about $90,000 more in revenue on auto insurance leads alone each year.

    For our top auto insurance affiliate, this could be worth $5,000-$8,000 a year.

    Of course, there are many more benefits and many more forms that we offer. But this one step alone would have more than paid for the staff it takes to man live chat
    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Sheri's Avatar
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    I guess I would recommend that merchants that use Live Chat be very explicit about how the tracking takes place and is maintained from the original click.

    There is another thread talking about cookie washing and one of the concerns that was brought up was Live Chat. The concern is that when someone starts dealing with live chat and completes a sale or clicks a link through that, the initial affiliate cookie is washed out.

    I'm not sure if this is happening, but it seems plausible. So, if you use it, just make sure that the tracking is intact and that you communicate this clearly to anyone that might be considering your program.

    Sheri

  16. #16
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMcWilliams
    Just got an interesting number...

    On the auto insurance form, which contains some of the most difficult to understand questions for some, the number of people who completed step 3 of the form went up 2.7% when we added live chat and used it effectively.

    For the merchant (us) this means about $90,000 more in revenue on auto insurance leads alone each year.
    Matt, is that a hypothetical answer/statement or something that is based on ur factual results?

  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    That was the result of a test we did about a month ago.

    Step 3 has always been our black hole of sorts. We ask questions there like liability limit that many people simply do not understand. Adding the live chat provided an outlet for the questions.

    We did A/B testing with and without the live chat...and those were the results.

    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

  18. #18
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    I use it - and yes - it has made me sales that I would have lost without it

    Is it worth it?

    It sure is a PITA - but, I'm online anyway at the time.

  19. #19
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  20. #20
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    ah ha! My next question...what chat service do you use?
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  21. #21
    Affiliate Manager adambha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MINDsprinter
    what chat service do you use?
    Help Center Live - http://www.helpcenterlive.com

    Adam

  22. #22
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    We use LivePerson.com and think it is super
    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador beachcom's Avatar
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    I use whoson dot com. Super easy set, super support. Live tracking that tracks where they were refered from, if they are repeat customers (via IP address), you can set up different flags for different referers, a flag when they go to the shopping cart and check out flag. They email your sites stats each morning.

    They have hosted and nonhosted, I use the hosted beacause its cheaper. Several different ways to make payments including paypal. Up time is nearly 100% for me. As a matter of fact, the only down time they've had the last few months is when they went offline for about 5 minutes to update.

    I don't believe their software and tracking has anything to do with the customers cookies either.

    Check em out,
    Joey

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador
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    [quote]I don't believe their software and tracking has anything to do with the customers cookies either. [\quote]

    If the live chat steals the sale from the affiliate, then yes it matters!

    If having the live chat person complete the sale, means that the affiliate doesn't get paid a commission after having brought the customer to the site, then it means that people like me pull our links from the merchant.

    There are merchants who are fantastic about tracking affiliate sales who also use live chat types of services. So not all merchants who use such a service are evil.

    Just make sure you know how it affects affiliate sales.

  25. #25
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Lily
    If having the live chat person complete the sale, means that the affiliate doesn't get paid a commission after having brought the customer to the site, then it means that people like me pull our links from the merchant.
    Which to me would make it pointless to steal the commission

    I would hope that most AM's would realize that what little short-term gain there MIGHT be in stealing commissions is more than made up for in losing affiliates (especially those who might just post here)
    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

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