Wow, can you say awesomesauce? Every time I find a free product that does a good job I’m always blown away. But every time I find a free product that goes above and beyond, I am almost moved to tears. That is how I feel about Live!Zilla. I almost felt silly for not looking for something like this in the past. So your asking, what does Live!Zilla do for me? Well, let me tell you, it provides you with a way to communicate live with your customers, transforming your page visits into client visits. When you go into a brick and mortar store (if its a good one) after you have browsed the store for a few minutes, a sales person will approach you and offer to help. Many times people forget that personal communication is key to winning clients, and can turn a Home Depot experience into an Ace Hardware experience. So, back to websites! What does Live!Zilla do? It is a tool that you install on your server and your PC, that transforms your site from a brochure, into a frontend sales experience. Let me give you an example. I designed a plumbing website for a local plumbing company here in Tucson, and decided to integrate chat on their site because many times, plumbing issues are so specific, that it doesnt make sense to have pricing for every possible scenario. Originally I used Googles free option, google chat, which allows you put a little bubble on a website with a link, that if clicked by the customer, opens a chat for them, and pops up a chat bubble for the company. The problem is two fold. The first is that communication is only one way. The client initiates it. This is fine for some customers, as they are looking for a very passive experience, and dont really care. For others who are less computer savvy, they might not even notice. The second problem lies with the company. If the company doesnt reply to the chat right away, the customer doesn’t know what is going on, and the button might not work. Live!Zilla has an ingenious way of solving both problems. The first problem, where communication is one way, is fixed by allowing the company to see exactly who (based on their IP address) is looking at their website live! This is amazing, and by itself, is useful in just knowing who is on your site at all times. As you can see from the screenshot above, not only can you see who is on your site, but you can see where they are from! You are given a map, and the IP is tracked automatically. Therefore if you are a local cleaning (or plumbing!) business in town, and see that someone from Timbuktu is looking at you site, you know you can ignore them. Even as a tracking tool, this is wonderful! But, thats not all! You can then select a person and send them a message through your website! So lets say your customer has been looking at your website for over 5 minutes, well you can then send them a message that pops down on the site saying, “What can I do to help?” the message is completely custom, and can be suited to meet individual situations.
I have installed many php scripts in my day, from Joomla to Concrete5 to OSticket, the process is usually pretty straightforward. You FTP the files on the server. You create a SQL database, and you load the site, and install. I was therefore pleasantly surprised by how simple it was to install. You simple run the executable file on your computer, and follow the step by step instructions. I think just about anyone with a tiny bit of experience can do this. The only part anyone might run afoul is creating the sql database, but if you don’t know how to do this, than you shouldn’t be installing it anyway. Have a friend take care of it for you instead.
What should I use it for?
Live!Zilla is an amazing tool, no doubt about it. I recommend you use Chat instigate tool sparingly, only when someone has been on your site for a while. It also makes a good tool for keeping track of your site visitors. When someone goes to your website, a little popup appears (see below)at this point you can instigate chat, or just keep tabs on the person as they surf your website. If you decide to instigate a chat, they will see the following window:
If they don’t want to chat, they will simply cancel the chat, and if they do, you have a potential sale.
The Bottom Line
I think that as a sales tool, this can’t be beat. It’s free, and the sheer amount of features is staggering. Website monitoring, chat instigation, custom images for both online and offline chats, and much more. If you have a website, and need to contact your customers, or simply want to track online views in real time with popups, this is the program for you.