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Experience with in-page chat widgets to engage with visitors to your site?

I'm looking for ways to better engage with people who visit our web site, to learn more about what they're looking for and how we might improve our product and/or presentation. Does anyone have experience embedding a chat widget onto their home page for this purpose? Other tips for getting information from people who drop onto your home page and then wander away?

(For context, our product is a backend service, and our target customer is an engineer or engineering manager responsible for operating a web site.)

18 Replies

Travis Workman
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Travis Workman Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder/President at Cognisoft
There are several different ones I have used over the years some cost money some are open source some are licensed with the source. One I have liked is one called CometChat they have a wide array of options and are not too expensive and they include not just an online chat but could do an interactive whiteboarding session with your end users along with video chat. Give them a look. As a caveat I am not affiliated with them I have just used their product for many of my clients and they have been very happy with the product cometchat provides. If you want a demo we could arrange a time I could show you on one of my pet projects I have going where I have implemented that service.
Dave Angelow
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Dave Angelow Entrepreneur • Advisor
Board Member at HAND Austin
I've had decent experience withhttp://www.olark.com/
Roger Smith
2
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Roger Smith Entrepreneur
Chief Technology Officer at RealtyClub Investment Advisors
I have used Olark in the past and like it a lot. In fact I have incorporated a feature where if the app runs int some error it will popup a notification to the visitor and the operator so that the operator can let the visitor know that we are aware of the issue and will look to resolve it. That extra special touch! :)
Sandeep Arneja
1
0
Sandeep Arneja Entrepreneur
Co-founder & CTO at ListenLoop.com
Hi Steve, Improving product messaging, building features which customers want and listening to what customers have to say are all in my opinion a must.

Here are some of the tools out there to help you get started:

1. UserVoice - With this you can add a feedback button to your site which customers can click on to leave feedback.

2. Olark - With this you can add a chat widget to your page, so customer can leave feedback

3. Qualroo - With this you can a add a chat widget like olark but also automatically initiate conversations and conduct surveys.

4. FeatureKicker - With this you can collect customer insights by asking the right question at the right time. For example, ask a question when customer clicks on a button or when they have scrolled some page element in to the viewport, or when the have scrolled to the bottom or when they have been on page idle for X seconds etc. etc. The questions you ask are completely customizable and can range from simple yes/no to free-form text boxes.
FeatureKicker has a rules engine which will tracks your visitors so you are asking the right person, the right question. For example you probably don't want to ask a question like "how do i improve my sales chart" to a person who came to your site for the first time or if someone was prompted to give feedback, you don't want to ask them again for a specific period of time, etc. etc.

Full Disclosure: I am the CTO @ FeatureKicker so am a bit biased ;)

Thanks
Sandeep
Steve Newman
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Steve Newman Entrepreneur
CEO/Founder @ Scalyr
How do you present this on your home page? Just a "chat with us" button, or something more prominent? I want to encourage people to chat, but don't want to come on too strong -- when a site pops out at me with a chat session that I didn't initiate, it feels creepy.

Also, what happens if a user clicks the chat button and you don't have anyone online to respond to chats?
Travis Workman
0
0
Travis Workman Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder/President at Cognisoft
Steve - The general way to do this is to display a "Chat with us", "Feedback", or "Assistance" button or you can follow the new kindle craze and use their branding for their help support button. If no one is available you can either disable that icon or when they click the button to interact you can show a message that no one is available and have a form where they can submit the question or problem and you have a feedback loop of say 8 to 12 hours to return the message.
Vijay Goel, MD
0
0
Vijay Goel, MD Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder Chefalytics, Co-owner Bite Catering Couture, Independent consultant (ex-McKinsey)
Are you guys seeing any changes in conversion funnels or user bounce rates/ engagement factors after putting these in place?


Travis Workman
0
0
Travis Workman Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder/President at Cognisoft
Vijay - I can speak to some of my clients to see what type of metrics they have seen since before and after they put in this type of a feature and get back to you. I will of course have to get their permission to share them with you and not just get them and share. Thanks,
Austin Cornelio
1
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Austin Cornelio Entrepreneur
Co-Founder & Frontend Engineering Consultant
Hey Steve, We've had great success using Olark for engaging users both in app and on our marketing site. It also integrates with Adium and is key to they way we interact with new trial users who signup for our service. I would recommend checking these two products out. The really cool thing about using Olark with the Adium chat client is that you can track what the user is doing (to and extent) as you can see their history and pages they have visited in real time. I would also recommend installing a simple means for the user to provide feedback. In your app this is as simple as a large "feedback" button on every page where the user can easily input a few notes that get sent to your product team or whoever. This seems pretty obvious, but it's pretty astonishing how many products don't include a simple way to collect user input. Hope this helps. Here are some links to the products I mentioned. https://www.olark.com/ https://adium.im/ Austin
Sandeep Arneja
0
1
Sandeep Arneja Entrepreneur
Co-founder & CTO at ListenLoop.com
Steve, you asked "how do you present this on your homepage"?

With FeatureKicker, you can identify parts of your website (e.g., buttons, images, etc.). When a user clicks on that part, our tech opens a modal window and gets user input on that feature. This puts the question at the point of interaction -- which is the peek of a user's engagement.

Now, if you are looking to have a place where customers can either vent or get support, then I would say a chat tool would do the job. We use Olark on our site (featurekicker.com). But in my experience, visitors who interact with such a tool are engaging in a chat because they're either extremely happy or required support. And while you're mileage may vary, the engagement rate for the chat tool on our website is less than 1%. Whereas the response rate to questions posed with FeatureKicker is 60%+.

Steve, you also mentioned that you "don't want to come on too strong."

I completely understand; you don't want to ask a question to all users, all of the time. That's why we built a Rules Engine, so you can control how, when, and to whom a question is posed.

I recommend that you try a chat tool for venting and customer support, and use FeatureKicker to improve your product based on customer insights.

Sign-up for a demo at featurekicker.com.

Sandeep
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