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Live Tech Support – Click Here (Part 4 of the review)

Live Tech Support - Click Here (Part 4 of the review) - istudioweb.comThis is a part 4 of the live help and live chat service providers. Previous parts can be found here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

As we were observing various web site live chat service providers, it has inevitably come to our attention that the origin of the product has huge impact on the product itself. Even though almost all of these services mostly targeted to English-speaking audience. For example, one of the live chat services developed in Poland had really horrible English product description – like a textbook example of “how not to describe your product”. On the other hand, another live support service, originated in China, has vast amounts of information available with trial downloads and support options that even include Skype.

123LiveHelp – this provider of live support software targets small business owners of a somewhat larger size then mom and pop shops. Hosted solution starts at $50 per month per seat for text-only version and $150 per month per seat for text + video. Single owned license costs $599 for text-only version and text+video live chat license would be yours to own for a whopping $1599. Obviously you need a special need for a video feed, but if you do – this might be a solution for you.

MyWebChatLive – despite the poor outlook of the web site, this live help service claims to have a top-notch connectivity to tier 1 data centers. Not sure what that means, but in any case if you want to give it a shot – the pricing will encourage you to do so: 2 concurrent operators with all features enabled will set you off for only $17.95 with $2.95 for each additional operator. There is, of course, 30-days money back guarantee, free trial and other nice perks. What I liked about this service is that the desktop clients (again – Windows only) has that distinctive Vista/Office 2007 look. Among cons is the fact that service is configured for one web site only. Unfortunately, I was unable to test drive the service, since the live chat client download constantly timed out and the live support was – you guessed it! – unavailable.

(To be continued…)

Live Tech Support – Click Here (Part 3 of the review)

Live Help Services Review Part 3 - iStudioWeb.comThis is part 3 of the live web chat and live help review. If you missed first two they can be found here: Part 1, Part 2.

Most of live help service providers fail to impress for one little reason: their sales isn’t available. While trying to get in touch with anyone at some companies that provide live web chat I discovered that live chat sales reps were unavailable. The very tool they are trying to promote isn’t being used. And I am not talking 24×7 service, this is perfectly business time at around 10 – 11am EST. Besides everything else, this leaves an impression of a one-man shop behind the service, which (while being totally normal business model) raises the question of reliability.

Now, let’s move on to the reviews.

HelpOnClick – very simple live help and live chat service. While perfectly functional and quite inexpensive it lacks visual appeal for both web site itself and chat windows/operator screens (and it also lacked live operator when I needed it). While looking at operator screen I couldn’t help but think that it was designed by a programmer, not a web or interface designer. It very functional yet inconvenient to use for people who lack enough computer training – they simply look at wrong places in order to find a required controlling mechanism. Pricing varies from $19 for single operator license per month to $49 per month for Deluxe plan with unlimited number of operators.

SalesRep – offers hosted and outsourced flavors of live chat service. The hosted live help service starts at $8.95 per month for 1 seat, 3 seats will cost you $27.95 and 20-seat corporate license will set you back for $87.95 per month. It must be noted that certain sections of admin console for this service looked horrible in my Firefox. Overall experience of using this live help service provider was somewhat troublesome. The chat window (on both customer and operator side) kept blinking while refreshing all the time, sometime even preventing customer from typing. We didn’t notice any such problems with most of other services.

(Continued – Read Part 4 of the Live Chat Services Review)

Live Tech Support – Click Here (Part 2 of the review)

Live Tech Support - Click Here (Part II of the review) - iStudioWeb.comThis is Part II of the review -see Live Tech Support – Click Here (Part I of the review).

Most of the live web site chat services look very generic. Don’t get me wrong, they all look different and unique, but when I look at their web site my experience of web developer tells me that the web site looks “generic”. Images, layout, the way the information is presented – everything looks “just like everybody else”. However, some companies are not doing it in the most efficient way. They either overwhelm a prospective customer with information or deprive of it, pushing the visitor to contact a sales person. While I don’t have an overall universal solution for this, I believe some of these services can get a better job done with their web sites.

With all that said – let’s continue with a review.

LiveChatInc – this web chat software provider offers various solutions for businesses of different sizes, leaning towards larger scale businesses. The company is selling various solutions (LiveChat Contact Center, LiveChat Communicator, LiveChat chat server) for businesses of various scales. While not the best solution for small business, their services still within affordable range at $33 per operator per month for LiveChat Contact Center license. There are some add-ons for LiveChat applications, like Microsoft CRM for Contact Center, MSN and ICQ protocol plug-ins and even Remote Desktop add-on.

WhosOn – all-around live web chat solution provider. Offers hosted, installable, dedicated server and ISP live web chat solutions. Hosted solution – most suitable for small business yet too expensive for any meaningful use – is priced from $45 per month per operator (with $30 per additional operator license). If you want to monitor additional web sites – that’s another $30 per month. Optional ability to change the chat window design will hit you with another $20 per month. For a small business to monitor 3 web sites with 3 concurrent operators the monthly cost would be $165, and that’s before customization cost.

WebSiteAlive – very customer-friendly live chat service. Even the cheapest plan allows unlimited web site monitoring and 2 concurrent operators at any time. The interface is web-based which is somewhat limiting, to my understanding. The real difference between the versions are the reporting features – Lite version of live help software is totally stripped of any reporting, PRO has about half of what PRO+ offers. Not sure it’s a good upselling technique, but I am no marketing department. Price varies from $29.95 per month for Lite with 2 operators licenses to $97.95 per month for PRO+ with 2 operators licenses. Additional operator license is only $9.95, which seems a better offer then competition.

(Continued – Read Part 3 of the Live Help Service Reviews)