Olark is a web-based application that allows real-time chat and monitoring of website visitors through instant messaging clients. Now that the formal description is out of the way, let’s look at what Olark can offer to website operators and their customers.
If you run an online business you don’t need me to tell you how important it is to provide customer care. Many website operators do this by responding to emails and answering phone calls, Olark takes the relationship between operator and customer to a new level; one that is lot more personal.
Olark can be customised to blend in with the colour scheme of your site and the only noticeable change to the site is the small widget in the bottom right-hand corner. As you would expect from an IM, the chat on Olark is fast and does not lag in any way. You can choose whether you wish to engage with visitors or let them make the first contact. As a stand-alone chat tool, Olark is worth the monthly fee, however, it is much more than simply a way to communicate with customers.
Like I said, Olark is primarily a live chat application, but it is also much more. Actually, it doesn’t have to be a chat tool at all; you can choose to hide the IM completely and use Olark purely to monitor visitors should that appeal to you.
From the operator’s perspective, Olark is an excellent application and can be vital for business. There are a number of key features that allow the improvement of customer service. The first is the ability to gather information about visitors even when you are offline. Details of URL, location and status are all available, and whilst in a conversation, both operator and visitor can view the same page, meaning customers can be helped more thoroughly. Multiple operators can also join in a conversation when required.
Olark can also be integrated with Google Analytics, providing you with essential feedback on when your site is most visited.
Of course, not every site may require a chat tool and just how many people will use the feature in relation to the monthly subscription fee may be a worry. That being said, you will never know until you try it. Olark are currently offering a free 14-day trial, I would recommend that you take this option and see how well it performs before signing-up.