Mar 18 2011
There’s one thing I love about start-ups. They often take a service that was once only available to large companies and make it available to the masses. Sure large corporations with their budgets and political hierarchies, are able to enjoy a few novelties before the rest of us. But the beauty of the web is for every luxury enjoyed by big money, comes a few smart software developers who make it available to everyone.
One of these novelties is a live online chat system. These have been a staple for fortune 500 companies to field and triage the constant flow of inquires. For smaller companies building one usually isn’t worth the effort or expense. Instead they generally rely on rudimentary contact forms, or in many cases, simply listing one’s email address.
Breaking down the cruel walls of classism in the world of live support software, is HelpDen. HelpDen provides a simple to use chat service that anybody can install on their website. And, their basic offering is free.
The way it works is simple enough to leave this particular review wanting for words. You sign up for an account, place the code snippet in the header of your website, then log in and begin responding to the influx of inquires. The End.
Now at the risk of unduly elaborating, there are a few features worth mentioning. I was particularly enthused about the standard response option. In many cases businesses find that some questions come up over and over again. For this companies often create FAQs. Many clients don’t always read these, or perhaps there are some questions you don’t post online but come up frequently enough. With HelpDen you can create pre canned answers and send them with a press of a button. The system also allows you to edit the response prior to sending so you can personalize it. Along these lines and possibly more impressive is that you can also upload important files to your HelpDen account. Once uploaded, it’s as simple as clicking on the send file button to shoot the document over to someone you’re chatting with.
Many of us might not be online or are not looking at the HelpDen live chat dashboard all the time. For this they provide two options. If you’re logged in and the have the browser open, but it’s in the background, it will make an audible alert so you know when someone’s sent you an inquiry. If you’re offline it lets you configure a personalized offline message and collects their information for you to get back to them. It will also email you notifying you to log in and respond to them.
Not wanting to miss all the fun, we had to give it a test run of our own.
See exhibit A on the top right of the screen. (Since removed since HelpDen moved to only a 14 day free trial.) You’ll note that we may not be online since we prefer to hide behind the veil of safety provided by email. When an agent is online the widget displays at green, and red for offline. It can be placed on various parts of your screen, depending on your design.
At the end of the day responding to customer inquires are to help maintain customer satisfaction and increase sales. For this HelpDen will track all client’s data if they check the box for you to get back to them. Having worked in and around sales teams these leads are the most sought after. Those that came to you and left their information are always the easiest. Top sales people relish them and can close them in minutes.
HelpDen’s free live support is their basic package. The tool can be used for a single agent. For sales and customer service teams you have the option to upgrade to accommodate multiple agents. The Premium product is also white label so you can apply your own brand.
Building a live chat system from scratch is an involved task. Smaller businesses usually can’t justify the cost. HelpDen’s live chat software makes better customer service available for everyone.