We’re always looking for ways that improve lead conversions on Adwords landing pages. One way to do this is to add the “chat with somebody now” icon on the landing page to encourage those visitors who are inclined to chat to do so. This functionality is easy to add.

Some background: This research was done March 2009. We were looking for a chat dialog box to be an option when potential customers landed on certain pages. We didn’t expect much traffic at all — perhaps 1 or 2 chats a day — so we don’t require features designed for high volume call centers. A “one time fee” was more appealing than a monthly fee for that reason as well.

volusion.com
won a “small business computing award” and offer the chat solution for “free”, which means in exchange for their unobtrusive ‘powered by’ branding on your chat window. They have a $30 per month “premium edition” which gives you more features, notably, “proactively prompt customers for Chat”. The free version from Volusion looked appealing, however, proactive invitation to chat is a feature that I wanted and it doesn’t come with the free version of Volusion and a $30 monthly fee is beyond the scope of what I want to pay — and it’s a windows only application. The clincher is: It doesn’t work on a mac and I only work on a mac.

customerreach
They offer a 14 day free trail. Their pricing is monthly starting at $25 a month and going up to $90 a month — or they seem to have an “unlimited one time fee” of $499. They offer features that seem to be suited for larger call centers. I didn’t try this because of the pricing.

PHPLiveSupport
They have a 30 day free trial and the costs are “starts at $89.95”. They have free icons and PHP Live WinApp, for an extra $19.95. You can modify the code and it works with MySQL. I tried the free trial but it wasn’t an install — the free trail is totally on their servers. Plus, my first impression of the UI was a turn off.

PHPLiveChat
They seem to offer a PHP application that you can install. They are offering an “older version” 2.7 for free. The new version 2.8r1 is one time $49.99 one time cost. The web site lacks examples, although they have the application installed, nobody was home on the other end of their chat when we visited. I installed the free version on my server and I’m going to use this application. After further testing, I will upgrade if it turns out that my customers like this feature.

LivePerson
Pricing not given on the web site but was told that it’s “Pretty Expensive,” which probably means hundreds of dollars a month. LivePerson offers reporting and routing options — use it for Sales, billing, and various support teams — plus it has features like like Click-to-call VOIP for leads on your web site. It uses a Windows client on the user end