Website Chat Should Shoot for Quality First, Quantity Second

Tearing Down the Wall

There’s a disturbing trend I’m seeing in the automotive industry when I visit websites. Perhaps it’s been like this for a while and I simply took my eye off the chat ball. When I see chat windows that instantly prompt for the customer’s contact information, it makes me cry a little inside.

This isn’t what chat is supposed to be about. I’d love to have that debate with anyone. Chat is an alternative means of instant information. In other words, it’s more akin to phone calls than to anything else. If you believe in having a barrier of entry for your customers to chat, then you should have your receptionist answer the phone with, “Thank you for calling XYZ Motors. Can I have your name, phone number, and email address, please? No? Okay, thank you for calling.”

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5-Minutes with Your Startup: AnybodyOutThere.com

It’s a question that people often ask when they’re alone, bored, concerned, or simply wanting to talk to someone for random reasons. “Anybody out there?”

This startup called AnybodyOutThere tries to help people who are asking the question by putting them in Instant Messaging conversations with people who may share their interests or concerns at the moment. With promised integration into several IM platforms, there is a certain sense of controlled chaos that surrounds the service.

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