Concept Feedback, a community that helps site designers and developers get quick constructive criticism on their various projects, and in the article we stressed the importance for young companies to collect and analyze user feedback. Another part of this type of site analysis is tracking bugs, and TechStars graduate SnapABug provides an innovative way to do this via live instant message sessions. Early next week, however, SnapABug will take this feature one step further by adding a pro-active chat feature which will allow companies to both help wayward visitors and capitalize on possible sales opportunities.Earlier in the week, we profiled
SnapABug is a service that companies can embed on their website that allows customers to submit a form reporting problems or bugs with the site. Customers could also choose to speak with a support agent after submitting their comment, but with the service's forthcoming new features, a chat session is automatically created when users linger on a single page for a few minutes. If the user decides to chat, the support agent is then connected and takes control of the previously automated message.
For support agents, they can use any instant messaging client they choose, even mobile clients on smartphones, to provide instant customer service on bugs and potentially drive sales. They can view a screenshot of the page the viewer is on as well as contextual information including where the visitor is browsing from. The details of the customer's bug report can also be synced with existing CRMs and bug trackers, such as ZenDesk, Salesforce and FogBugz.
I can see this being a useful tool for a company in the early development stages to squash bugs as they appear to visitors, but part of the reason SnapABug is rolling out the pro-active chat feature is that companies were finding the support discussions were turning into sales opportunities.
"With the introduction of live chat, several customers started using SnapABug as a sales tool, and their feedback was extremely positive," the company says. "The pro-active chat feature adds a key functionality for them to be even more successful in closing sales."
On the other hand, this type of tool could be seen by customers as intrusive and an annoyance, so it is smart that the chat only pops up after a couple minutes of inactivity. It would behoove businesses to not over use this feature or to set a quicker time limit on the pro-active chat, lest their handy new chat tool be compared to Microsoft Office's "Clippy." So before you go poking into your visitor's browsers, make sure you don't over use the service and annoy customers.
If businesses can find a balance between helpful and intrusive, this could be a useful tool for guiding site visitors toward sign ups or sales, and for finding and addressing bugs in real time.