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  1. #1

    * Live chat is a must!

    I personally think having live chat support In todays really competative web hosting environment Is a real must.
    Hosting companies are really entering Into break neck competition today and a chat agent really gives one and edge over the other. (well thats my opinion anyway)

    I really communicate via chat to companies,It a great help to me when I want Info about the company.

    What about you guys?
    do you think live chat Is as Important as I'm making It sound?

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  2. #2
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    I don't think it should be a deal breaker for anybody looking at a potential host.

    I know that many small businesses, if they can even afford to maintain a live chat presence, would rather spend the money saved by not having to man a live chat desk around the clock on other aspects of their service.
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  3. #3
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    As for big company, it would be a bonus to have live chat.
    However, you get what you pay for: if you want 24/7 live chat, you have to hire staff and pay them. For smaller hosts - it is not an option. If there is a host and has only 2 operatives at live chat, most customers won't be able to reach it and would be angry. And angry customer equals more angry reviews on WHT.
    In other words - live chat is good, is properly handed, but NOT a must for every host.
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  4. #4
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    I agree with maniakaz, if live chat can't properly supported at required times then it becomes a negative.
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  5. #5
    Having live chat support in place is an important factor for any web hosting company to consider.

    The primary goal for web hosting support should be fast, first contact solution. If the customer can ask their problem and have it fixed with one communication, then the customer is happy and the web hosting company is free to move on to larger issues. Otherwise, the support system can become bogged down and the customer unsatisfied.

    With that said, there are two real-time ways of achieving this first contact solution; phone and live chat. Since live chat has the added benefit of being written text, I believe it to be the best solution. This allows the company representative and the customer to communicate in real time towards a solution and without stress or the possibility of a misunderstanding (ever try to communicate a password or URL over the phone compared to chat?)

    In short, there are plenty of free solutions to providing live chat support and there is not much reason why a web hosting company cannot offer it.
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  6. #6
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    I think instead of live chat what is must is a proactive hosting company that does not give reasons to their customers to complain ! Doing so they avoid to have live support chat .And do we really need live chat for sales only after that ?

    Live chat for support at times makes me wonder, will I keep running into issues with that hosting company (just my 2 cents).
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  7. #7
    You are right that a web hosting company should be proactive to ensure that certain issues do not occur. IE, proper maintenance of hardware, reasonable security policies, well scheduled maintenance...

    However, no matter how proactive you are customers will still need basic support on some issues and it helps if you are there on live chat to help them when they need it. IE, How do I access webmail? I can't access my account, can you help?

    As far as sales, it is most certainly needed to have live chat for sales. Sometimes a customer wants to buy but won't because they have just one question they can't find an answer for. Why submit a ticket when you can just ask the question live?

    Quote Originally Posted by Energizer Bunny View Post
    I think instead of live chat what is must is a proactive hosting company that does not give reasons to their customers to complain ! Doing so they avoid to have live support chat .And do we really need live chat for sales only after that ?

    Live chat for support at times makes me wonder, will I keep running into issues with that hosting company (just my 2 cents).
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  8. #8
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    The vast majority of hosting companies are small. Having an operator 24/7 for live chat is simply not feasible for most of them.

    As such, no, I don't think that live chat is a must, unless we say by that that the time for small hosting companies is gone.
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  9. #9
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    I also don't think it's a must. I've never gone with a host because they had live chat or left because they didn't have live chat. I don't think I've ever used live chat for hosting as a client. If they can respond to support tickets efficiently then I'm fine with it - emergency phone number is a plus (something I use for dedicated servers when needed)
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  10. #10
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    *

    Quote Originally Posted by ldcdc View Post
    The vast majority of hosting companies are small. Having an operator 24/7 for live chat is simply not feasible for most of them.

    As such, no, I don't think that live chat is a must, unless we say by that that the time for small hosting companies is gone.
    In my opinion why deal with someone who can't afford putting a proper communication tunnel between the customer and himself? Maybe as well they can not afford having the server up 24x7 in such case?
    I think Live chat is a matter of trust and professionalism. It is a must.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SergeyS View Post
    In my opinion why deal with someone who can't afford putting a proper communication tunnel between the customer and himself? Maybe as well they can not afford having the server up 24x7 in such case?
    I think Live chat is a matter of trust and professionalism. It is a must.
    Would you consider a support ticket system an improper communication tunnel between customer and host? If it's done efficiently and on a timely fashion then it should be enough. Sure, Live Chat makes communication faster, but you can't call it more efficient. If there is an outage and it'll take exactly one hour to get it up, it's going to take one hour whether you find out via live chat or a ticket response.

    And Having a ticket system and hiring people to be on live chat 24/7 are on very different levels.

    So in my opinion, live chat isn't a must
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SergeyS View Post
    In my opinion why deal with someone who can't afford putting a proper communication tunnel between the customer and himself? Maybe as well they can not afford having the server up 24x7 in such case?
    I think Live chat is a matter of trust and professionalism. It is a must.
    IMHO Live Chat is good for two things:
    1) Pre-sale questions and answers
    2) Opening a support ticket for somebody who comes into live chat with an issue

    Really most large providers just do this - if the issue is extremely minor (i.e. you could resolve it yourself with a quick visit to http://www.google.com/) then chances are the op will take care of it for you if they can but realistically you should have Google'd it before you went into the live chat to begin with

    As for proper tunnels for communication - support tickets with response times under 30 minutes I would say is more than proper enough. And to counter the "what if the server is down, will the ticket still take 30 minutes to get a response?" type of statement I am guessing is coming up next I would say that going with a quality provider that pro-actively monitors their servers would mean that they were already aware of the issue and working on it before you could even get into live chat.

    Good luck
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  13. #13
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    Live chat is another security blanket feature. It makes end users feel better and more safe because there is yet one more way they can get a hold of a representative from your company.

    Mark
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  14. #14
    Live Chat is that one extra little piece that helps make a sale I believe. It says that someone is always there to help if you have questions. It also allows me to get information from them instantly from my laptop while Im laying in bed and dont have to get up, find my phone, and spend 30 minutes on hold. In the worst case, I dont think it can hinder your business, unless you keep it closed 24/7.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gawkwire View Post
    Live Chat is that one extra little piece that helps make a sale I believe. It says that someone is always there to help if you have questions. It also allows me to get information from them instantly from my laptop while Im laying in bed and dont have to get up, find my phone, and spend 30 minutes on hold. In the worst case, I dont think it can hinder your business, unless you keep it closed 24/7.
    Alternatively you could get information from them via email which you could do on your mobile phone in most cases which would be even more convenient than having your laptop in bed

    LiveChat is an excellent sales tool but I wouldn't rely upon it for support. From the provider's side of things I've found that issues get resolved much more quickly and effectively via tickets than live chat. With live chat the operator has to focus attention on you to make sure they've not missed a message etc... and they may have to manage multiple chats at a time where as in ticket based support they can let you know they are working on it - get to work on it and fix it - and then update you with no awkward pauses or emptiness.

    To each their own as to what they prefer to find in a hosting provider - if every one was the same and offered the same services and support there wouldn't be any need for WebHostingTalk.com
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  16. #16
    Go ahead and have mobile features also then. Personally, I still love my laptop in bed. lol
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gawkwire View Post
    Go ahead and have mobile features also then. Personally, I still love my laptop in bed. lol
    LOL - I stick to using the iPhone Mobile browser is pretty good and can even do live chat if I want (but most mobile browsers I've tested can't).
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  18. #18
    Live chat can be really annoying. The ability to e mail when I want to ask something and get a response makes more sense to me.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by FindDC's View Post
    Live chat can be really annoying. The ability to e mail when I want to ask something and get a response makes more sense to me.
    I personally am only annoyed by it when it pops up while I am visiting a site without me asking for any sort of assistance. Beyond that - it's there as an option if you need some sales help.
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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDVB View Post
    I personally am only annoyed by it when it pops up while I am visiting a site without me asking for any sort of assistance. Beyond that - it's there as an option if you need some sales help.
    Fair enough... it's also annoying when the pop up continues from one page to the next
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  21. #21
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    Livechat is worthless. It basically takes what was annoying about phone calls interrupting work, adds more annoyance, and makes them equally frustrating for users & poof: You've got pissed off support reps. & clients!
    David
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by David View Post
    Livechat is worthless. It basically takes what was annoying about phone calls interrupting work, adds more annoyance, and makes them equally frustrating for users & poof: You've got pissed off support reps. & clients!
    Which is why it shouldn't be used for support, I do see it as an excellent sales tool if used properly.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDVB View Post
    Which is why it shouldn't be used for support, I do see it as an excellent sales tool if used properly.
    So are phones & email. The former, non-invasive. The latter, perfect for a quick sales chat.
    David
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by David View Post
    So are phones & email. The former, non-invasive. The latter, perfect for a quick sales chat.
    I prefer a live chat conversation to a phone conversation myself but then again I'm not much of a phone type of guy
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  25. #25
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    So are phones & email
    ...just don't forget there may be person from Lithuania (me), whose host is in the USA. Toll-free number won't help and if I would like to ask anything, it would be too expensive to call.
    However, I would not leave my host if he stops maintaining live chat.
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  26. #26
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    Its basically the old support vs cost, tho i personally prefer livechat to phone support. For my first VPS it was a factor in choosing them, but these days any ticketing system that is same-day is fine for me.
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  27. #27

    *

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDVB View Post
    I personally am only annoyed by it when it pops up while I am visiting a site without me asking for any sort of assistance. Beyond that - it's there as an option if you need some sales help.
    yes,thats true popups are definately a pain,but have a chat agent Is a real plus for me.

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  28. #28
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    A live chat is always a plus for a company in my opinion, but I don't see it as a must have though. Its not that practical for some who can't really afford to pay. And also, its usually just for general queries. =)
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  29. #29
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    Live chat is not an absolute must but it does help specially with sales inquiries as one thing that most people will look for when selecting a web host are support options.

    If a web host does offer live chat support, it is very important that it is handled with sincerity rather than having it there just for the sake of it.
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  30. #30
    I'm agree with MikeDVB.When you have a problem ,you can get answer on your question immediate.Than you'll get a calling and will expect as long time.
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  31. #31
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    I won't host anywhere that does not have level one support via live chat. I hate tickets personally
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  32. #32
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    It can be and it cant be at the same time.

    I mean, yes it is a great benifit, but a hosting company can also show their strenghs in other methods which cant be show in Live Support.
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  33. #33
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    It is definitely a plus, though I don't think it as a must . Also it will do more help for sales queries rather than technical support IMO. For tech support I would prefer an efficient ticketing system.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by iHubNet-Matt View Post
    It is definitely a plus, though I don't think it as a must . Also it will do more help for sales queries rather than technical support IMO. For tech support I would prefer an efficient ticketing system.
    the both - ticketing system and live chats - are "must"s unless you are targeting specific auditory with gurus in hosting who don't need any informational help but only stable hosting. if you hit the range of clients from newbies to pros, then live chat AND ticket system for tech support are important. Phone support is also good if your clients are all english speaking. if you have clients from all over the world, it will be difficult for some of them to communicate with your support
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  35. #35
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    Can't say whether or not it's a must, but for me it is a big advantage being able to talk to someone over a chat window, much easier than calling.
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  36. Quote Originally Posted by hosting guru View Post
    I personally think having live chat support In todays really competative web hosting environment Is a real must.
    Hosting companies are really entering Into break neck competition today and a chat agent really gives one and edge over the other. (well thats my opinion anyway)

    I really communicate via chat to companies,It a great help to me when I want Info about the company.

    What about you guys?
    do you think live chat Is as Important as I'm making It sound?
    Of course it is important. I use live chat on my website, and it does help customers decide on what they should do.
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  37. #37
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    for me, i would prefer tickets/helpdesk. I personally belief with tickets our issue can be solved more effectively.

    For those that have excellent tickets respond time, they do not require live support. For enquiries through live support is fast which is more suitable for sales or billing enquiries. For Tech, i would feel tickets system gives a better reliability.
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  38. #38
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    I'm a shared hosting customer and I disagree with you, completely

    hosting guru: I'm a customer of shared hosting (3 sites) and you are a web hosting provider. I have one site at OLM that in 3 more weeks will be there for 8 years. Another site has been there since August 2007. The newest site, is with a different provider. OLM does not have Live Chat and if they did, I would not use it. They do have an 800 number, which I can call, free, on Skype, but I have never called them on the phone. I have always requested OLM support via email or their ticket system. Here on WHT, I've read many posts about people getting disconnected from Live Chat and/or the people on Live Chat not being able to resolve their issue. If I move my web sites to another provider, one thing I am *NOT* looking for is Live Chat. My 2 cents, as a customer. Your view, as a provider, obviously is different, and that's OK. GL!
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  39. #39
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    maniakaz install Skype and you can call USA toll free numbers, free

    Quote Originally Posted by maniakaz View Post
    ...just don't forget there may be person from Lithuania (me), whose host is in the USA. Toll-free number won't help and if I would like to ask anything, it would be too expensive to call.
    However, I would not leave my host if he stops maintaining live chat.
    maniakaz: install Skype and you can call phone numbers that are toll free, within the USA, free, from overseas. The quality is usually excellent.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDVB View Post
    IMHO Live Chat is good for two things:
    1) Pre-sale questions and answers
    2) Opening a support ticket for somebody who comes into live chat with an issue
    This has been brought up before and I'm with Mike on this one.

    Dave
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