Product Development May 21, 2020

The chat widget "hello"

Michael Kane @marclar

I see chat buttons on loads of sites these days. Sometimes they just sit there while you browse, and sometimes they'll pop open a message to say "Hey, we're here!"

Any opinions about which configuration is better? Any data?

  1. 5

    I prefer the ones that are just there and don't pop up. I really hate the ones that play a sound.

    1. 2

      Oh wow - hadn't encountered those before. Sounds terrible

      1. 1

        I can recognize that a popup might be good for engagement or a different audience than me at least. I think what I want is a widget that is smart enough that if I choose to close it, it won't pop up again. At least not for another month or so. I like that they are there, so they are easy to find.

    2. 1

      i hate that too. so annoying.

      1. 1

        So.. see on this very topic. I find it utterly infuriating that the intercom chat widget over-rides your phones "mute". My phone is always on silent mode. Always. however I was on an intercom support chat earlier and it was pinging when new messages arrived. I think that's pretty poor.

        1. 1

          i'm thinking about a similar implementation but i hate all of this as well.

          how would you do this better? if possible?

          1. 1

            Well I wouldn't override the users decision to have their phone in silent, that's for sure.

            I dunno if it needs to be done better to be honest. Most chat apps work the same way, in that they'll email you when they reply. I think that's fine. If you don't leave your email then that's on you. That's choice you make.

            1. 1

              very neat. i'm going to think through this some more...

  2. 2

    Good question!
    I co-founded Joonbot which a chatbot builder so I thought about this.
    Some people will say it’s annoying but pop ups work, meaning it helps you increase your conversion rate.
    What we did is that we designed the bubble pop up in a way it doesn’t disturb the user but grab attention. It’s a little bubble, the appearance is optional and soon it will disappear after x seconds. No need to close it.
    We will also add contextualisation features so the bot will not appear at all if the visitor is out of scope.
    Hope it helped!

    1. 1

      Interesting - when you say "pop ups work", do you mean that adding the "Hi" on increased your conversions?

      1. 2

        I wanted to say that popups work in general, the classic ones.

  3. 2

    I'm building a chat widget called Letterbase 😄

    I personally hate messages that pop up, but I can see why people use them. For less tech-savvy people, it helps them know that your widget is there and they can use it. It probably helps with engagement even for more tech-savvy people too.

    I think chat widgets on the bottom right are becoming a bigger and bigger paradigm such that it's no longer necessary to have a "welcome message" that pops up. But other messages (such as a message that pops up if you've spent a minute browsing the pricing page) could be useful.

    1. 1

      Good points, and I think you're right about chat widgets becoming a convention. It's kind of nice when certain UI practices become settled. Like header logos linking back to the homepage.

  4. 2

    I find ones that pop up a minor annoyance but we added this popup feature when we upgraded jivochat on my wife's website and the engagement went through the roof.

    I was shocked and surprised how much of a sales magnet it was.

    1. 1

      Reeeeallly. That's interesting (and surprising). Who's her audience?

      I think it's easy to forget that not everyone browses the web the same way you do.

      1. 2

        She has a visa company. Everyone has a question they want answered and everyone wants to free or personal advice.

        It's not so much a live chat and a popup prompt to ask a question as she's chosen not to answer it live because doesnt want to staff it 24/7 or give away countless hours of free advice without an email address.

        Sure might not be best practice but it does work Amazing well for her niche.

        1. 1

          Ah - very interesting (and wise to defend her free time). Thanks for the reply, @ryansw :)

          1. 1

            You're very welcome @marclar. It's certainly contrainian Michael and surprised me, but worth testing for sure.

  5. 2

    I suggest it may be a challenge to say "X is the best option". Just like a call to action and site content the most effective chat message is going to depend on the customer demographic, the page they're on, their mood, the day of week, the weather, etc. I'm being sarcastic but the point being there are so many factors impacting success of customer interactions it's hard to pinpoint.

    I do agree with you that the "Hello" chat boxes annoy me. The best approach, IMO, is to build a customer profile/persona and figure out what's likely to work best.

  6. 1

    I'm building OSS tool/widget to help makers and developers get feedback and votes on features. And I hope not to fall in this trap, It's not a chat but I want it to be effective to capture the user attention and encourage them to leave the feedback.

    1. 1

      I like it, @jamalx31! In general, I like being able to leave site feedback as long as I know I'm not agreeing to any follow-up emails or chats. I think explicit opt-in is crucial, and if I have any doubts that I might be committing myself to more than I want, I definitely won't touch [insert widget here].

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