02/10/2012 16:51

powen is a website builder that powers more than 6 million websites. Happy customers are essential to their success as they have built their brand around fun and ease of use.

US Jimdo manager, Powen Shiah, tells us in the first installment of our interview series how and why they are using live chat.

When did you start using live chat and which provider did you choose?

We started using SnapEngage in March 2011.

Are you using SnapEngage to help new or existing customers? Or both?

We’re using live chat with both new customers and existing customers. When we first started, we seemed to get more questions from people who weren’t Jimdo customers yet, and now the preponderance seem to be existing customers.

What do you like about SnapEngage or live chat in general? What don’t you like?

Live chat in general is great! It makes it possible for us to help more than one user in “real-time” at once, which just isn’t possible with phone support.
SnapEngage in particular is really easy to work with, and it has pretty much everything we need without overwhelming us with options.

The only improvement we would like is if the tool wouldn’t change or strip out code. Sometimes users want us to take a look at code they’re pasting into their site, but SnapEngage will turn "<" into "&amp;lt;" for example.  Users say that sometimes, long URLs that we send them get turned into short URLs. That can be confusing.

Did you do any kind of analysis to measure whether live chat has helped grow your sales?

We haven’t examined the effect in detail. Anecdotally, we’ve found people are happy to be able to ask questions to us directly and clarify immediately. Often their questions before purchasing JimdoPro or JimdoBusiness are quick and easily answered, so it’s great that they don’t have to wait to hear back from us by email. Our users also know they can reach us “live” when they have questions, so that makes them more confident about upgrading to a paid web service.

What was the most interesting or hilarious chat you or your colleagues ever had?

William actually had a girl ask if he had a girlfriend. She said that she had a friend who thought he was cute and was interested in meeting him. It was pretty awkward, but we all thought it was funny.

Powen, thank you very much for taking the time and providing all these interesting insights!

If you have any further questions, please feel free to leave a comment!

18/09/2012 16:32

Live chat has become an important marketing and support tool. Almost every company using it finds that it pays dividends to include live support on their website. But what about the pitfalls? Here are six important live chat mistakes that no company should make.

live chat mistakes thunderstorm

1. Missing important chats

snapengage-statusNo matter which live chat provider you choose, you’ll have the ability to change your status. This works in exactly the same way as a normal instant messenger (IM) tool: you can set your status as Available, Offline or Away (there may be other choices too). Use this feature diligently: the worst thing you can do is appear available when you’re speaking on the phone or while having lunch.

Tip: Automatic settings are great, but be careful. Smartphone chat apps don’t always automatically change your status when you stop using your device. When your chat app is minimized, you may not realize that your status has not changed. Try to get into the habit of switching off chat manually on mobile devices, and take time to test your app to ensure the auto-away feature works as you expect.

2. A lack of market focus

Setting up your chat tool correctly is a key consideration when it comes to being proactive and using your time well. If you don’t offer your services to a particular country, set up your live chat tool so that it won’t display to people from those countries.

Quick fix: Most major live chat tools, such as Zopim and Olark, allow you to filter out countries and languages, so you have complete control over the visibility of your chat box.

3. Using auto-responders

autorespondersSetting up ‘canned’ responses seems like a great time-saving idea, but customers really don’t like it. Much like automated telephone menus and call center scripts, autoresponders make customers feel that you can’t spare the time to deal with them personally - a real no-no when it comes to customer service.

Quick fix: Less is more. Live chat boxes tend to be very small, and long, wordy auto responses will annoy your clients. Use auto-responders sparingly - if at all.

4. Losing your cool

Support is a difficult customer service task. Yes, customers aren’t always the innocent party, but customer service is all about handling problematic clients professionally. Live chat can be abused by people looking to waste time, start a fight or vent their frustration. If a chat seems to be veering off into time-wasting territory, politely end the conversation. And if a customer seems keen, don’t be pushy; it’s just as easy for a customer to end a live chat session as it is for them to initiate one, and that may lose you an important sale.

Quick fix: Offer alternative support channels, such as email or tickets, for clients who need to explain complex issues. And if you encounter one of those rare cases when a customer gets rude, feel free to free to block him without any further comment.

5. Lack of integration

Live chat shouldn’t be seen as a standalone support channel. If you’ve given someone personal attention in the past, they’ll appreciate the fact that you remember their issue, and you’ll save time if you can refer to their previous queries quickly.

Tip: Check integrations before you buy. Choose a tool which slots in with your existing helpdesk software or CMS.

6. Failure to improve

Most professional live chat tools offer transcripts and histories. Regularly check through your own chat transcripts to make sure you did the best you could. If you oversee a team of support staff, review their transcripts and make sure they’re passing on the best advice in the most appropriate and professional way.

Tip: Support should be seen as a cycle, not a one-way street. Use chat transcript data to feed back into your support strategy and reveal opportunities for improvement.


Live chat is powerful, but your own implementation of chat needs to be well thought through to be truly effective. For more general information please take a look at this introduction to live chat. And to find reviews of the best providers, please click here.

Please leave a comment if you have any questions!


03/09/2012 14:57

livechatsoftwareMore and more online stores and websites have a little “chat with us” button on their homepages these days. You’ve probably seen it and maybe even used it.

It’s simple, unobtrusive and goes down particularly well with Generation Facebook who chat more than they send emails. Nowadays people simply want faster responses than email can deliver. Nobody knows when an email will be answered; it's quite the opposite when you have someone chatting with you right at that moment.

Phone support is cumbersome and expensive to run - a route that many small and medium-sized companies want to avoid. Moreover, most people are fed up with complicated automated phone menus, long waiting times and bad connections.

Live chat support does not solve all problems, but it makes a lot of sense to add it to your website if the following applies to you:

  • more than 10,000 unique visitors per month
  • your products are not entirely self-explanatory
  • your products can be bought online
  • you or one of your staff has enough time for live support
  • you don’t have enough conversions and don’t know why

Sounds interesting?

Then check out our reviews and find a live chat tool that suits your business. Right now we only have a limited number of tools available but we’ll be adding more shortly.

By the way: is the latest comparison website of the ToolTester.Network. We also review website builders on and email marketing software on

tooltester network

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