PureChat: A Live Web Chat Company in Just 30 Days
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PureChat: A Live Web Chat Company in Just 30 Days

Are you using live web chat on your web site? If not…why not? Well, to be honest Axosoft isn’t using it at the moment either, but we should (See update at the end of this article).  Some well known companies who know a thing or two about online sales have decided live web chat is a good idea. For example, Apple uses an “Ask Now” button on their online store, and Dell utilizes a “Click to Chat” link at the top-left of their product pages.

This may sound totally obvious, but providing instant answers to your visitors questions is a good thing. Some visitors are one answer away from signing up for your product or service — so making it easy and fast to provide those answer starts to make a lot of sense.  And think of the alternative: your visitors don’t find an answer they’re looking for, they don’t want to call or send an email to your staff, so what do they do? They go back to Google and continue searching until they find an answer on one of your competitors’ web sites.

I know live web chat works, because on previous versions of Axosoft.com and TransferBigFiles.com, we did use live web chat.  We saw some excellent results with visitors highly rating their chat experiences, in general. Unfortunately, when we made some major updates to our websites, it wasn’t as easy as it should have been to carry over our live chat solution. And there was no one to complain to, either.  You see, we were dog-fooding our own product, PureChat.

So why am I talking about live web chat now?

As I talked about in my last article, Axosoft has been working on our ‘30-day Projects’ — an annual tradition of playing with new technologies, learning some new things along the way, and then applying those things to our core businesses. Most of our team is working on DashZen. Three developers, however, are resurrecting Pure Chat — a live website chatting platform, like the ones on Apple’s and Dell’s site.  One operator is totally free, so give it a try.

The Pure Chat Team
The Pure Chat team (left side) designing, coding, and testing Pure Chat.

In its previous incarnation (which also started as a 30-day project), PureChat was a server-side app that required a lot of know-how to install and use. This time around, it’s entirely hosted and only requires users to paste a snippet of javascript on their websites. This is huge. If the original PureChat had been designed like this, we would likely still be using it, we would have avoided the interruption in live web chat service, and I believe it would have had a real chance to grow as a product. PureChat Logos

So why work on Pure Chat again?

This app fits well into the spirit of our 30-day projects. It offers us the opportunity to experiment with newer technologies, like node.js. There’s an established market, with what appears to be plenty of room for competent competitors to play on a level playing field. There’s also an opportunity to disrupt the market with our “fast, easy, and cheap” philosophy that could put Pure Chat right in the Sweet Spot. I should also mentioned that we started the project all over from scratch, and no one on the Pure Chat team has ever worked on it before. So, it’s an entirely new project for each of them.

Pure Chat Operator page
The operator dashboard provides a great UI for managing multiple conversations.

We’re working hard to make sure Pure Chat provides super-fast performance, an intuitive user interface for operators, basic reporting and logging, and a drop-dead simple UI for visitors to chat and provide feedback about their experiences.

So how do I use PureChat?

By far, the most exciting thing, to me, about both of our 30-day projects is getting the chance to use the products. I expect to build some insight-provoking dashboards with DashZen. And, I look forward to giving our customers and website visitors quick and easy access to our team and to provide instant answers to whatever questions they may have. Like I said, we’re shooting to make this fast, easy, and cheap — we’d love it if you would check out  purechat.com and let us know how we’re doing.

UPDATE: Axosoft is now using Pure Chat at OnTimeNow.com and at PureChat.com.

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