Eagle Scout? Let customers contact your in-house experts directly with Google Chatback Badge

Posted by tom klein July 17, 2008

Your website may do a good job of pitching your product, but in the end, nothing beats a personal connection with your customer. While website chat applications are nothing new, they’re generally just web versions of the old call center. Given that most of your company is probably already on an instant messenger, why not let prospects or customers contact your in-house experts directly.

Google Talk Chatback Badge is a fast and easy way to do just that. It’s a free feature with a Google Talk or Gmail account (both happen to be free too). To add the badge, simply copy a line of code and paste in the html of your website. You can customize the appearance of your badge with a simple drop down menu, and Chatback will generate an updated code. Ideally, the badge should be placed by your name on your company bio page, like we have done here.

Once embedded, the badge appears as a tiny bubble beside your name, displaying your availability status, which updates as your Google Talk status updates. Site visitors don’t need a Google Talk account to use the application. By clicking on your chat bubble, Google Talk will launch in a separate browser window and send you a notification with a link to the conversation.

If you’re looking for a way to engage customers or prospects while they are on your site, try adding a Chatback Badge.

Google Talk can be run through its own chat client or any Jabber/XMPP -supported system. Google Talk is an open-source offering, so developers can create and customize their own XMPP chat client and use Google Talk and all of its features, including the Chatback Badge.

Everyone has a preference when it comes to communication. Some customers prefer to hear a friendly voice; others are happy to send an email or submit a web form. It's smart to accommodate all customer preferences, especially with so many free tools at your disposal.

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