5 ways to spot a shady live chat provider

Live chat is a growing market. And that means, unfortunately, that there is a huge upsurge in the shady live chat provider.

From insecure freeware, to cowboy coders, to upstarts with no experience or expertise – there are many pitfalls an unwitting business can fall into when choosing a chat solution.

So how do you know who to trust? Here are 5 ways to spot a shady live chat provider.

1. Their customers

True, you can’t judge a company by its customers alone. But it’s certainly a starting point.

Good, functional chat software will always attract customers – wherever in the world they are, whatever their size and whatever their industry. When choosing a live chat provider, always check out their existing customer base.

Diverse customers, and lots of them, suggest a provider with a flexible and well-loved product. It’s not always a guarantee of reliability, and it shouldn’t be the only thing you judge by. As an initial hallmark of quality, however, you can’t go wrong by looking at customers.

2. Their reviews

Happy customers spread the word. A live chat provider worth their salt will be able to share positive customer reviews that testify the utility of their solution.

We’re not talking about paid reviews on fake “Top X” or “Best of” websites, which the provider has had to fork out to feature on. We’re talking about real words from real customers – whether it’s a full case study, a collection of tweets, or even a video interview.

If a live chat provider can’t share their good reviews with you, the odds are they don’t have good software.

3. Their website

A website riddled with errors suggests a sloppy company. Similarly, a website with vague information suggests something to hide.

A live chat provider doesn’t have to have the world’s flashiest, most stylish website to produce a strong solution. What they should have is a functional, transparent website that offers clear information on product features and price packages.

And of course, they should also have a live chat option on their website that works. Aesthetics aren’t everything, but if a company looks like a cowboy provider: they probably are a cowboy provider.

4. Their trial process

A two-week trial is bad news. So is a one-week trial. No trial at all is an absolute no-no.

If the live chat provider is confident about their solution, they’ll be happy to offer you a free one-month trial. They have nothing to hide, and want to showcase their software fully to entice you to buy.

A shady provider will reduce the trial period in a bid to mask software deficiencies, or to force your hand in buying. Always, always try before you buy.

5. Their software

That brings us to the final and most important list item: the live chat software itself. Make full use of the trial period to test out the solution on your own website.

Does it do its job well? Is it reliable? Do your operators enjoy using it? Do your customers? Does it have a useful range of features? Was the provider available for help and support where needed?

Constantly ask these kinds of questions when trialing, and never accept anything less than a robust, secure chat solution that works.

With thousands of cowboys infiltrating the market and competing for your custom, don’t make the mistake of falling for a shady live chat provider. Choose a time-tested brand you can trust. Choose WhosOn.