Knowing a little bit about your visitors before you engage them can make for a much more positive interaction. It can also help you decide whether or not it’s worth initiating a chat.
How to get it
We offer several such pieces of information, all available in each contact’s info — where a status or away message would appear. These include the current page a user is viewing, how many pages they’ve viewed, how long they’ve been on your site, what URL referred them to your site, what browser they’re using, and where they are physically located.
How to view this information is simple but slightly different depending on what messaging client you’re using, but here’s how to do it in a few popular ones:
- In Adium, you can hover your mouse over a contact for the tooltip, select a contact and choose Get Info (⇧⌘I) from the Contact menu, or right-click and choose Get Info.
- In iChat, you can select a contact, then choose Show Info (⇧⌘I) from the Buddies menu, or right-click and choose Show Info.
- In Pidgin, hover over a contact for the tooltip, click on a contact and choose Get User Info (Ctrl I) from the Buddies menu, or right click a contact and choose Get Info.
- In Meebo, you can hover over a contact for a tooltip, or right-click and choose View Profile.
The power of live chat
Knowing just those small pieces of information can make your interactions with your visitors and potential customers much more productive. Has someone been to your site several times but not bought anything yet? Maybe they just need one last little suggestion or piece of information that you can easily offer!
When I get a message from someone on the Olark site, I know right away whether they’re likely to have a technical question about their account (because they’re logged in and on their account dashboard) or a question about our services (because they’re looking at our plans or features). And if they seem a little bit unsure of what they want, I know which direction to point them.
And when someone comes from a search engine like Google, you can often tell what keywords they used by looking at the “referred from” address, which can be great for helping point people in the right direction.
Finally, when I’m helping our users using Olark chat, I can offer better service when I know where someone is located. Small things like saying “good morning” or “good night” based on the time of day are always nice. So is being able to offer help in someone’s native language, with the help of Google Translate.
Being able to chat live with your visitors is valuable, but a little information about them can make it even more valuable. So take advantage of the data we offer and chat more confidently with your web site’s visitors!