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Olark

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Olark

$15.00 Monthly Fees

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Founded in 2009 by Ben Congleton, Matt Pizzimenti, Roland Osborne, and Zach Steindler, Olark offers customizable enterprise chat solutions that include several features not provided by many other companies in the industry.

The Good

  • Customer-Centric Approach
  • Customizability
  • Unlimited Conversations
  • API Capabilities
  • Cobrowsing

Customer-Centric Approach

Olark provides a truly customer-centric approach. The company makes it easy for businesses to select when to chat and when to use automatic canned responses, which makes for both good customer experience and appropriate use of agent time. Olark also creates a profile for each customer so agents know with whom they are chatting and why.

Customizability

With Olark, you can easily customize your chat box, windows, and buttons so that they match your website theme, which is an espcially helpful feature from a branding perspective.

Unlimited Conversations

With the exception of the free version, Olark offers unlimited conversations on every service level. Many other companies in the industry put a cap on the number of conversations that may take place each month, expecially on lower-tier packages, so it's nice that Olark does not.

API Capabilities

Olark's product includes Java-open API capabilities, which means that Olark will work great with any third-party platform that includes a Java-based integration, including the following:

  • iChat
  • Adium
  • Blackberry Messenger
  • Pidgin

In addition, full shopping cart integration is built into each of Olark's service levels, which helps with reducing the number of abandoned online carts.

Cobrowsing

Olark gives agents the ability to provide hands-on help by cobrowsing with customers. This feature is included with all paid subscriptions.

The Bad

  • Limitations

Limitations

While Olark does a pretty good job of incorporating features across all subscription levels, there are a few features that are not included with lower subscription levels. For example, phone support is only included with the Ultimate subscription level. Additionally, some customers might want to incorporate CSS abilities into the chat feature, making Olark truly scalable with their website. These CSS abilities are available through the developer portal, but it costs an additional $299.

The Bottom Line

Olark offers some good features, such as customized chat tools, cobrowsing options, and API capabilities. The company also offers unlimited conversations with every package, which is beneficial for both large and small businesses. However, there are some limitations to Olark's phone support and CSS abilities.

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