See that little green tab on the bottom right side of our website that says either “Chat with a human” or “Contact us!”? That’s from a live chat support service we use called Olark. When we have it turned on, you can chat with someone on the MoonClerk team directly and when it’s turned off, you can quickly send us an email.

We’re pretty picky about the services we use so when we find one that makes a difference in our business, we naturally want to share it with you. Who knows, maybe it can help your business or nonprofit. Olark is one such service.

Although we designed MoonClerk to be an easy-to-use recurring payment system, we work for a lot of different types of companies – from service providers to web designers to marketing agencies – so we still get a lot of industry specific questions. For instance, a nonprofit may ask, “Am I able to let my donors choose which fund they want to give to?” For a service provider, it may be, “Can I use MoonClerk as a virtual terminal to check my customers out on an iPad?” Usually our customers want to know the answers to these types of questions before they sign up. We try to do our best on our marketing site and Frequenty Asked Questions to answer those questions, but sometimes either the customer doesn’t want to search through all of that information to find the answer or they can’t find it. That’s where live chat support comes in. Live chat support allows anyone to immediately contact us to ask those questions. In fact, as I’m typing this blog post right now, I’m also “chatting” with a customer on Olark.

Having the ability for us to answer those questions immediately is invaluable. We’ve had customer who signed up to become paying customers immediately after live chatting with us. Based on the reactions we’ve received, they probably wouldn’t have become customers if they hadn’t had the opportunity to interact with us.

Many MoonClerk customers are small businesses such as coffee roasters or freelancers. For many of them, the online subscription model is a new concept for their business. Most of their business takes place offline, but they’re looking to tap into subscriptions by offering something like a Coffee of the Month. Through Olark, we can help educate them about what may be involved not just in the payment aspect of their bussiness but in other aspects of the subscription business model. We love being able to provide added value to our customers that goes above and beyond what they may normally expect from a “payments” company.

But, live chat support isn’t just for potential customers. Already existing customers contact us through Olark as well. When that happens, we have the opportunity to really start a conversation about how they’re using MoonClerk and what we need to do to improve. It’s like conducting a live survey or interview of a real customer. In fact, some of the feedback we’ve received from our live chat sessions has made its way into the features we’ve released. Sometimes existing customers will also ask about certain features that they want and that we’re getting ready to release. Some of our customers have actually been really impressed knowing we’re one step ahead and thinking about the future.

So, why is live chat support even more important if you’re a business accepting recurring payment or donations? Because if someone is going to entrust you with charging their card every month without their explicit approval each time, knowing they can trust you is even more important to them. Being able to immediately answer their questions and built rapport with them lets them know a real human at your company cares about them as a customer. And that builds trust.

Most MoonClerk customers have websites, whether they take payments directly on their websites or just use MoonClerk as a back-office payments tool. So, whichever case is yours, we encourage you to go the extra mile and start doing live chat support. Don’t worry about not always “being there.” If you’re not at your computer, just set your status to “Away”. Providing some live chat support opportunities is better than providing none.

Finally, with a variety of other live chat support services, you may be wondering why we recommend Olark. First off, they practice what they preach. Their business model is all about providing customer service and they provide great live chat support themselves. We’ve communicated with some of their staff and trust them enough to give them our money. Some of the other features we like are the ability to design the tab to look like the MoonClerk marketing site, the ability to see information about the person we’re chatting with (which pages they’ve visited, where they’re from, etc.,) and the ability to display different text depending on whether we’re available to chat or not.

Here at MoonClerk, we love Olark and all it has to offer to potential and existing customers. If you want some unbiased answers about using live chat support with your business or if you have questions about MoonClerk, feel free to get in touch with us.