by Michele Nachum
Published on 14 June 2011
The best thing about shopping for products and services online, besides the incredible convenience, is that I can go through an online store, take my time without bumping into other shoppers or waiting in line. But while I like the ability to shop in private, there are times I wish there was an easier way to converse with customer service when I have questions. That is the beauty of live chat applications - and frankly I wish that more businesses would adapt this feature on their sites - as email and FAQs don't always fit the bill. Of course the beauty of live chat is it is there are there when you want it and when you don't, you simply don't have to engage.
The new version of the popular live chat product by HelpOnClick helps you to install a live chat widget on your business website, enabling you to interact immediately with customers. From a business perspective, live chat offers not only a great way to provide instant customer service, but to gain insights into a customer's state-of-mind that you normally wouldn't get. It's an opportunity to gauge what kinds of questions they are asking, their mood, whether they like your product or service and then use this intelligence to generate more sales.
What Does It Look Like?
HelpOnClick is an easy product to navigate and provides first-time users with an informative how-to video on its homepage, plenty of FAQs and screen shots available - not to mention a live chat option so that you can receive instant feedback from the HelpOnClick staff. Upon entering the HelpOnClick site, you are presented with the option of a 14-day free trial period. You need to sign in with a valid email address and URL. While this may be obvious, I should stress, you do need a website here since you will be implementing the live chat feature on your business or e-commerce site.
HelpOnClick is an affordable business software and has subscription packages starting at $19 per month for the Basic, $29 per month for the Pro and $49 per month for Deluxe. There is also a Corporate package for $99 per month. All subscription levels allows you to set up your live chat widget and icon and instigate multiple chats. The difference among the various packages is the amount of operators you can use (one operator for Basic, three operators for Pro for example) as well as some of the security and customization features.
To begin the process of using HelpOnClick, you will need to install the live chat widget on your website. If you are unsure how this works, you can learn more on HelpOnClick's help section as well as in their live online video on their homepage.
After signing up, you will receive a dashboard that will help you keep track of your customers and other pertinent information. Go to the "Admin" tab, then "Settings," and click on "Widget" where HelpOnClick supplies a block of HTML code. You can copy and paste the code onto your website - and once you are done with that, your Live Chat Widget appears. The same process can be implemented for the live chat icon - which allows you to place a photo of an operator, your logo, and more. You can choose to upload the templates that HelpOnClick provides or customize your own live chat look.
Another option, if you prefer, you can navigate to the "Widget + Icon" tab where you can input the widget code as well as the icon code.
Setting up operators is a very straight forward process. You simply navigate to the "Settings" tab and then click on "Set Up" and then "Operator" and type in the names of your personnel.
In addition you can assign your operators to different departments such as sales or marketing. To input in various departments, you simply click on the "Set Up" and then "Departments" tab.
HelpOnClick offers you two views: The Operator View allows you to see what the customer is browsing so you can then invite them for a chat and converse with them on the features of your product or service where they have indicated interest. The Vistor view will enable your operator to see what the customer is actually typing.
You can also opt to hide the live chat widget when no operator is online.
More Chat Features:
HelpOnClick provides many options to help you customize your live chat experience - and all subscription levels allow some level of customization of both text and icons. Other ways to make your live chat your own, is that you can stipulate the amount of time it takes for a visitor to your website to see the live chat option. In addition, you can define what language you want to use to help your customers (HelpOnClick supports all languages by the way), set up automatic chat invitations and even set predefined messages for quick live help. In terms of making sure your live chat widget comports with your business brand, you can implement themes on your live chat widget to match your website. Different subscription levels will support different features and you can find them listed out in HelpOnClick's overview on their website.
HelpOnClick allows you the option to implement SSL security for both operators and visitors. Note, this feature is not available in the Basic subscription level but in the Pro, Deluxe and Corporate. To enact this feature, you will click on "Settings" and then "Force SSL security" and this will enable enhanced SSL security for both operators and visitors.
Reports and Analytics:
One of the nifty tools that HelpOnClick provides is that the product will capture vital customer information such as their IP address and which pages of the site they viewed as well as a transcipt of their conversation. You can also print out chat histories as well as reports on operator statistics and much more. This data should provide you with some valuable insights on how your customers are reacting to your services.
Is it for You?
HelpOnClick is a great tool for any business website where there are specific products or services being sold or offered. E-commerce sites come to mind but also any site that has an offering that might need customer support . These might be sites selling insurance, real estate, medical supplies, application software and more.
As a first-time user of HelpOnClick, I personally found the product easy to navigate. The settings tab is your key for customizing your customer live chat experience. The fact that you can customize the language, icon and text, makes HelpOnClick relevant to multiple industries and gives a global appeal.