Software

Options for Adding Live Chat on Websites

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The next phase of my plan to bring our company’s customer service experience to the 21st century is embedding a live chat feature onto one of our brand’s websites. In the past few days, I have been researching the many products out there that can provide customers with instant access to our service agents’ immense knowledge (without having to wait for an email response). 

As we currently use 8×8’s VoIP Virtual Office/Virtual Contact Center and Zendesk Support/Guide, utilizing one of our existing services to facilitate the live chat feature was my first goal.

In this post, I will share my research into 8×8 and Zendesk chat services, their prices, as well as some other options.

Let’s begin with one of the most vital aspects of any company decision, the price.

Prices

Here is some information I found concerning the price differences between buying Chat on 8×8 and Zendesk.

Zendesk Chat: We would have to upgrade our WBKF Zendesk seat (1 total) to Zendesk Chat Team ($14/month/paid annually ($168) or $19/month/paid monthly).

8×8 Chat: Would have to upgrade all 8 VCC X6 licenses ($110/month) to X7 for a +$20/per month/per agent difference= $160/month increase. Or, we can upgrade to X8 licenses for an increase of +$62/per month/per agent ($496/month increase).

Zendesk

Price to include a Live Chat Function for Zendesk: +$14/month billed annually ($168) or ($19/month) increase. Using this method, we would get unlimited chat, 2 triggers, 2 departments, Zendesk Message, widget customization, and public apps.

Difference= $14-$19/month increase.

8×8

Price to include just the Live Chat Function (X7) for 8×8 VCC: +$20/per month/per agent.

Difference= $160/month increase.

Price to include Live Chat and other features (X8) for 8×8 VCC +$62/per month/per agent.

Difference= $496/month increase.

 While the X7 plan is not listed on 8×8’s website, from my communications with them, it appears that we would only have access to Chat and nothing else.

Using the X8 method, we would get the other benefits, including chat, email, SMS, social media channels, co-browse, outbound predictive dialer (5k minutes), quality management, and speech analytics.

Summary

Adding a single Zendesk Chat Team seat to WBKF’s account would be cheaper than 8×8; however, 8×8 would offer more features.

To gather the above information, I used a combination of my own research as well as talking with our representatives at each company; below, are these conversations. Why is it important to add emails such as these? Due to the fact that I must present my findings on chat products and prices, I want to show the actual conversations I had in coming up with each cost. With the emails added, if a question arises in a meeting, I can quickly show, word-for-word, what was said.

You might notice that the first emails I sent to each company are quite similar and both mention that I am leaning towards using the opposing company. While it didn’t quite work for this situation (probably due to the drastically lower dollar amounts when compared to many of our other purchases), it always is an excellent idea to get companies to bid against each other. Never settle on the first estimate.

Communications with Zendesk and 8×8

Zendesk

Hello Claire,

This is William Donaldson. I had a few questions about Zendesk Chat. First, let me explain the situation.

One of our brands, WBKF, has a single agent answering calls and emails; with some of our recent changes, that agent now has a lot more free time on her hands. So, my boss asked me how we could implement Zendesk Chat on our WBKF website. I first tried to test Chat by adding onto a Zendesk Web Widget that we have on a test page, but I am assuming that the Lite plan doesn’t really allow for this.

  1. Are we able to get a trial of an upgraded Zendesk Chat so I can demo it for my boss?
  2. Can I purchase Zendesk Chat just for one agent? Or one brand?
  3. With our contract almost ending and due to the fact that we reduced our Zendesk agent seats, can I get some costs of what adding Chat would be?

I was asked to bring some other options for chat functions by next Friday, including purchasing Chat though our VoIP provider 8×8; however, I would rather stay with Zendesk (because I love it), so anything you can do to make this more attractive to us would be greatly appreciated.

“Hi Will,

 You can activate a Zendesk Chat trial within your Support instance – see instructions here.

  1. You can purchase a subset of licenses for Zendesk Chat.
  2. Pricing depends on the desired plan level – you can see a breakdown hereof the different plans we offer.

 Let me know if you have any questions – happy to jump on a call next week to discuss this with you!”

 8×8

Hello Michael,

This is William Donaldson. I had a few questions about 8×8 VCC’s Chat feature. First, let me explain the situation.

One of our brands, WBKF, has a single agent answering calls and emails; with some of our recent changes, that agent now has a lot more free time on her hands. So, my boss asked me how we could implement a live chat mechanic on our WBKF website. 

  1. How can we add Chat to VCC or can we already use it? Do we need to upgrade our plan or license?
  2. Can I purchase an upgraded plan/license just for one agent?
  3. Can I get some costs of what adding Chat (whether plan or license upgrade) would be?

I was asked to bring some other options for chat functions by next Friday, including purchasing Chat though our CSM Zendesk; however, I would rather stay with 8×8 (because I love it), so anything you can do to make this more attractive to us would be greatly appreciated.

“Hi Will,

 I apologize for my delayed response, I just got back from vacation and I wanted to respond to your email immediately as soon as I was able to; 

  1. How can we add Chat to VCC or can we already use it? Do we need to upgrade our plan or license? 

You would need to add X7 licenses which include Chat/Email Queues. That seat costs $130 per user. 

  1. Can I purchase an upgraded plan/license just for one agent?

No, it must be for all agents in the CX.  

  1. Can I get some costs of what adding Chat (whether plan or license upgrade) would be? 

$130 per user. You’d add X7 across the board, swap out the licenses, then cancel the unused X6. 

I hope my response is helpful, and I am glad you are having a great experience with 8×8 so far. Let me know if there are any more questions or would like to upgrade the X6 licenses to X7.”

Hello Michael,

So, we can’t upgrade just one of the X6 licenses that we use in Customer Service to an X7 to open up live chat for a website (only external users/customers)? We’ve upgraded licenses before for only a select number of people; not sure why this is different.

“Hi, William,

 X2-X4 is part of our Virtual Office

X5-X8 is our Virtual Contact Center

 If you are upgrading a license within Virtual Contact Center, then you will need to upgrade all of the VCC licenses.

 Last time you upgraded an X4 to X6 which you can do regardless of the number of licenses that are getting upgraded. But if you are upgrading a VCC license then all of the VCC licenses would need to be upgraded. It is either all or none, basically.

 The price difference is $20 per license if you would like to upgrade to X7 and add Chat to VCC.”

After learning more about how to get a live chat on our website utilizing one of our existing systems, the next plausible step would be to research other companies and products. Below, are three live chat services that captured my attention.

Other Possible Chat Products

Aside from 8×8 and Zendesk, other companies offer chat services that can be embedded onto a website as well. Below, are just a sample of what is available.

Facebook Messenger Customer Chat Widget

 This plugin allows for a small floating icon to appear in the bottom-right corner of our website, enabling our customers to have a live chat with our agents.

This would be free, only require that we have a Facebook page (which we do), and can be added to our site with just a bit of inserted code.

However, customers would have to have a Facebook account to access this service. I am not sure how suitable Facebook’s live chat widget would be, as many customers might not want to discuss issues using their actual Facebook account. Furthermore, a customer might not have a Facebook account and would need to create one just to be able to talk with an agent.

Tawk (https://www.tawk.to/)

Monitor and chat with the visitors on your website, mobile app, or from a free customizable page. Monitor traffic on your website and be there when visitors need you most. Proactively initiate a chat with your website visitors and app users. Unlock a new frictionless channel for conversational commerce.

 My Live Chat (https://mylivechat.com/)

Free plan, activated by inserting some HTML code onto our website. Unlimited chats separated by Sales and Support, SSL secured, file exchange functionality, and customizable chat window, logos, and colors.

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Work Done

 Zendesk

I added Live Chat to our Help Center; to view this, log in as an End User then navigate to the bottom right of the screen to Chat with Us.

So far, I have tested the features and found them to be in working order. One great aspect of using Zendesk Chat is that the chats make tickets automatically, thus allowing trigger usage, SLA’s, and satisfaction scores.

   How to Add Live Chat Widget to a Web Page

We will need to add the widget to our site by embedding the widget script in the HTML source code of our page.

To add the live chat widget to a web page

  1. From the dashboard, select SettingsWidget, then click the Getting Started
  2. Copy the embed script, as shown in the example below:2
  3. In the source code of the web page, paste the embed script between the page’s head tags.You can paste it either right after the opening <head> tag or right before the closing </head>.
  4. Save and publish the page.

The widget should be visible after reloading the page in a browser.

8×8

Unable to test the functionality of 8×8’s VCC Chat, however, chats would be handled in the same window that calls are answered in.

Summary

After carefully reviewing several live chat products, I believe Zendesk Chat will be the best option for our current needs. By being able to only purchase one Chat seat, we will save a significant amount of money compared to 8×8, as well as be able to get customer satisfaction, auto-create tickets, and use triggers/automations to route chats at a higher capacity and precision.

Just now, I got out of a meeting where I presented my findings and they agreed that Zendesk Chat is the most logical choice.

I am now awaiting the decision to pull the trigger on Zendesk Chat by starting to build-out the launch of the new feature. Before we have live chat on our website, I will need to figure out what triggers and automations I will need to create to route the auto-generated chat tickets with, what SLA to assign them, and design a how-to document to be used for training purposes. Furthermore, the chat widget’s code will have to be inserted into our website, requiring some discussion with our web dev department.

I can’t wait to see the results of adding live chat to our first website; hopefully, if the project is successful, we can add it to all of the others.

It is assignments like this that allow me to learn new things while bringing a higher level of technology to the business.

One small step for IT, one giant leap for the company.

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