Hundreds of hours, a ton of coffee and burning the candle at both ends. We’ve finally launched the latest version of Provide Chat. Better features, better interface, just plain better. Here’s our story.
To say the last two years have been a whirlwind would be a massive understatement.
We’ve been working day and night (an insane amount of work!) to bring you a phenomenal live chat product. I’m talking about the newest version of Provide Chat!
In 2010, we launched Provide Chat with the goal of being a low-cost, feature-rich option for live support. In those 6 short years, we saw thousands of visitors sign up for Provide Chat.
People loved the product, the interface, and how easy it was to get started, but from what we could see, it wasn’t good enough.
In May of 2014 Derek and I took a look at the state of the live chat software industry to get a better idea of what had changed during that time.
Luke and Derek working on Provide Chat, September 2016
We noticed that while Provide Chat was still an awesome live chat application, many of our competitors had begun offering new features and functionality that Provide Chat just wasn’t keeping pace with.
As of today, the “live chat software” space has become very crowded, and many of the reasons why we launched Provide Chat six years ago are more relevant today than ever before.
There are just tons of live chat products out there, and many of them are overpriced, sub-par, and are just way too complex.
The products are loaded with so many bells and whistles that the software’s main purpose, providing immediate live support to your website visitors, becomes a burden.
Our mission has always been to offer you a live chat application that’s easy to use. That’s it. Log in, chat, make your customers happy, sell more stuff.
We took note of the changes to the live chat industry, and decided to list four main goals that a new version of Provide Chat would have to meet:
To do this, we had to heavily scrutinize our product, check competitor offerings, talk to our customers and people who use live chat software, and read reviews for various products.
We took down all of the information we found, filtered through it, and went back to the drawing board.
We the mixed our years of experience with the knowledge we compiled, and started planning, designing, coding, and drawing up a marketing plan.
Many late nights and early mornings went into this, and we’ve built a product that we’re very proud of, and feel that you will be too.
Through trial and error, successes and failures, we firmly believe we’ve created a live chat product that not only will you love, but your customers will too.
You can be certain that Provide Chat offers many of the same benefits and a feature set that competes with rival products (in some cases more) AND all of this at a price that can’t be beat.
After 566 days and getting through hundreds of beers, hundreds soft drinks, 1,000+ cups of coffee, several snacks, meetings, pizzas, dinners, mistakes along the way, and more beer – we’re finally ready to launch. Let’s go over some of the best of what the latest version of Provide Chat has to offer.
In the original version of Provide Chat, you would fill out all of your information, sign up, and you would be taken to Provide Chat’s dashboard.
Many customers would ask “Okay, now what?”
Getting setup is now easier than ever before. To get started, just enter your email address, and Provide Chat will guide you through the rest. You don’t have to pay a thing to try Provide Chat.
Not only that, we’ve created a top-notch onboarding process (the wizard that will guide you through setup) where you can have Provide Chat on your website in as little as three minutes. I’m serious.
And if you don’t want to do it yourself, well then just send me your info and I’ll install it for you. No charge, this is free even if you’re just taking Provide Chat for a test drive.
I believe this product is so great that’ll I’ll set it up on your website for you so you can get started right now. It’s really that easy.
Once you’re all set up, you can begin chatting with your customers in real time. Just log-in and go. Chase leads (invite your visitors to chat). Pitch your product or service. Close more sales.
Provide Chat’s interface has been redesigned from the ground up. More than just that, the entire product has been coded from the ground up!
All the great features you remember (or don’t if you’re a new customer) and even more.
Here’s a screenshot, take a look.
Your visitors are on the left. You have visitors who are on the site, people waiting to chat, and your current chats. In the middle is your current chat, just enter your message and click send. To the right is your visitor’s information. Click on tabs below to move between chats.
That’s it. In just 52 words I just explained how easy it is to chat live with your site visitors. That’s how easy it’ll be for you to use AND how easy it will be to train your agents how to use.
And if you ever have questions while using the product, just fire off an email or chat live here, support is free!
When visitors come to your site they might be checking things out on a mobile device or looking at it on their desktop.
The new Provide Chat widget is designed to handle mobile and desktop devices. This is a huge improvement, because before everything was done from a separate chat window.
Here’s what it used to look like:
And here’s how it looks now (in a variety of different colors!):
Best of all, whatever colors or design you use for your site, you can customize the chat widget to match your website’s look and feel.
Have a website designed in blue? Customize your widget to use the exact same blue. The choice of colors is yours.
You can even change the fields, the language (French, Spanish, etc) or anything else.
Customizing the chat widget your visitors use to chat live with your agents has never been this easy. This is the best widget on the market!
Do you have more than one website?
Business owners, entrepreneurs, and customer service manager’s are often dealing with customers from more than one website.
If you’re one of those people then you’re going to love Provide Chat’s ability to work across more than one of your websites.
A lot of live chat providers don’t even support this feature, which I think is nuts. They expect you to pay for a separate plan for each website you manage. That’s crazy and not the case with Provide Chat.
When you create a new agent, you determine what website’s she’s responsible for. This means she can chat with visitors on Website A and Website B, while another agent can be limited to chatting with visitors from only Website B. It’s entirely up to you how you set this up.
Just place the widget on every website you plan to use Provide Chat on!
Do you have multiple sites in multiple languages?
Say you have one English and one Spanish website. You can create a separate widget for each website, one in Spanish and one in English.
What this means is you can have the visitors’ chat widget displayed in English on your English site, and displayed in Spanish on your Spanish site.
This feature is so powerful I could talk about it in depth over and over, but you really have to get started with Provide Chat to believe it.
Finally, there’s no limit to how many websites you can use with Provide Chat.
Seriously, $15 bucks and you get all this and more (stuff I won’t even have time to get into here).
If you want the paid version of Provide Chat you get everything, and I mean everything.
And the pricing is super simple, no BS.
Are you confused by all of those other offerings with the different packages (Silver, Gold, Platinum) and they have different features?
Pricing plans are just a mess, it’s not always clear if you have the exact features you need or you might not know exactly what you’re getting.
Before you know it you’re paying more for a plan that sucks.
At $15 per month (when you subscribe for a year) you get everything. $15 per agent, every feature, it’s that simple. Want another agent, pay another $15.
This is the best-priced product for the features you get on the market.
Signing up for Provide Chat is entirely up to you, but I would be honored if you checked it out and made the switch. And if you love it, feel free to share it on the social web.
If you’re not sure, every account comes with a 14-day free trial. You get to test drive everything.
We’ll even set it up on your website for you (if you want!). Yes, we’ll set it up on your website while you’re on the free trial.
If you don’t upgrade by then you’ll be switched to our Forever Free plan where you’re limited to 20 chats per month.
Pay $15 at any time and those chats become unlimited.
Remember, this was a complete rewrite from the ground up, and a ton of work. It’s really the initial production launch of an entirely new product, and with any new web app, there may be some minor issues.
As we work hard to build the community of users that embrace Provide Chat, we’ll be relying on you to point out anything that doesn’t work quite right.
We appreciate the time and effort you put into providing feedback about the product and what is important for your business.
We’ve got a whole lot more in the pipeline as well, so stay tuned – we’re listening and will continue to do so.
If you’re a paid user, and you find a bug, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll say thank you by giving you one month free.
Finally, we always love to hear your thoughts. Please continue to provide feedback via comments (below), Twitter, and also to us directly via email: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
After all, we’re doing this to help you.
In short, Provide Chat solves all of your live chat needs by giving you a low-cost, easy to deploy solution that can have you providing live chat support in minutes.
Thanks for reading and we really hope you’ll love using the new Provide Chat as much as we loved building it for you.
This article is written by Luke Holzken. Provide Chat's Product Manager. He's interested in all things online marketing related but his primary passions include content marketing, SEO, customer service, website analytics, and running a SaaS startup.