How Live Chat affects mobile speed.

Updated: June 2018
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Live support is a web service for communicating with text in real time with web visitors. Third-party live-support applications are commonly used to provide customers information. It’s also called live help or live chat.

People don’t want to chat … they want answers.

LiveChat helps you support customers in need of help. It allows you to increase your sales by engaging the right prospects at the right time as well as by generating a ton of new leads. – Source

Is that self-serving statement by LiveChat, LLC about “tons of new leads” true? Popular popup-style live-chat are often found on WordPress home pages and landing pages.

Does live chat really boost conversions? You’ll find plenty of affiliate articles answering, “Yes.” Promises, promises. Face it, live chat is an overhyped and overused fad to sell plugins and API services. Making money isn’t bad. Lying is.

Do you have live chat activated on your Home page? Are you really getting benefit from this heavy feature?

For example: Live chat heaviness typically is 9 requests and around 350k of page weight added. It may cost $17 per month or $180 annual overhead. Does live chat really contribute to profitability? It may be your heaviest web asset.

Site owners include wasteful live chat – even when it’s ridiculous presumption.

Sites using live chat often try saving money on a per-interaction basis. A chat agent handles three to six conversations at once – while a telephone agent handles just one.

Because you have cool technology doesn’t mean it provides a better user experience. Didn’t mother ever tell you, “Just because you *can* doesn’t mean you should?”

Live chat is bad when you’re using a free or low-quality chat provider. Your page loads slower. Or may not load at all during chat-provider downtime. Before-and-after speed measurement tell how bad the impact is on performance.

Chat technology takeover hasn’t lived up to the marketing gimmick hype.

Live chat on home pages and landing pages is intrusive. It interrupts the user experience in the same way popups do. It distracts attention from page content. Pages have content for a reason. There’s a message to deliver. Chat popups distract.

If users can’t find what they need, without the help of live chat, then there’s something wrong with your site. You need to fix it, not chuck another slow-loading gizmo on top of it.

Does live chat feel trustworthy? It reminds us of gimicky slick tricks. Herd mentality strikes again.

Live chat only works if there’s someone caring behind the software to respond to customers.

Some sites use live chat because their forms suck. Some think live chat is “better” than web forms. There must be something wrong with your form design. Fix your form before adding live chat.

Improve your forms instead:

  • Use form elements correctly.
  • Remove unnecessary fields.
  • Remove unnecessary clicks.
  • Improve mobile performance.
  • Stop using CAPTCHAs.
  • Take it easy on validation.
  • Stick to single columns.

We recommend not using live chat because it ruins UX and performance speed. It’s also indicative of sloppy marketing communications. Improve your content instead.

OFF-SITE LINK
New Research: 21% of Companies Fail to Respond to Live Chat Requests

Godspeed—

Steve Teare
performance engineer

Mobile WordPress Speed – without coding!

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