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Back to the previous post in the Best Practice series: Offline Messaging

Olark Best Practices — Part 4:  Proactive Messaging

In an earlier post in the series we talked about user engagement and making your visitor aware that you’ve put live chat on your Website and that you’re standing by, ready to answer question and help people out. But sometimes that is not enough to get people started having a conversation and to that end we’ve provided a couple of more proactive approaches to get them chatting and letting you now what they need.

There are three basic ways to connect with your site visitors and let them know you’re available to start a conversation:

1. Initiate a chat with any visitor via the buddy list

2. The Olark Greeter utility

3. Targeted chat  (the Greeter on steroids!)

Initiate a chat with any visitor via the buddy list:

The simplest. It’s as easy as clicking on any user you see in your buddy list to reach out and start a chat with them.  We recommend extreme caution in doing this though as people can be touchy about their privacy and not react well to someone suddenly starting a chat with them.   I blame the Nigerian bank spammers for this level of paranoia.   But if you identify the user as a repeat visitor and someone you know won’t mind (the buddy list user info is powerful Kung-fu!), start that chat.

The Greeter

The Greeter is a cool little utility that allows you to set a timer wherein a chat box will pop up for a visitor (once per visit, not every time they navigate to a new page) with a message you create.

Ex:  set your greeter to pop up if when a user has been on your Website =/> :25 seconds  “Hey there, can I answer any questions you might have?”

It’s simple to set up and many of our customers report up to 300% more chats when they employ the Greeter.  You can find The Greeter from the customize tab in your Olark.com dashboard.

Targeted Chat

This is basically The Greeter on steroids and a high protein diet. You can employ Targeted Chat to get completely granular with the scenarios for reaching out.

A couple of example of things you can do using Targeted Chat rules:

If a user is on say, his 3rd visit to Olark  expand the chat with this message: “Welcome back, can we help you out, do you have any questions?”  and change his nickname in the buddy list to “repeat visitor”

If a visitor has been on “this page” for the second time in one session, expand the chat with his message: “Are you having any difficulties with the download process? Can I help you?”

“Highlight returning visitors in my buddy list”

Target my French visitors by sending a custom message in their language:    If the visitor’s country is France, send this message:  “Bonjour, Comment etes-vous?”

If a visitor is viewing the page, http://www.olark.com/extensions/targeting, expand the box with this message: “Any feedback on Targeted chat you’d like to share with us?”

You get the idea, the only limits are your own creativity in interacting with your customers and visitors. You can turn the rules off and on as needed and really test out which messaging works best. This is powerful Juju in helping you to make the most of your live chat offering.

Have fun and be sure to tell us of creative ways you’ve found to use targeted chat to ramp up chatting with your site’s visitors.

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