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University Web Developers

Hi Everyone,

I'm doing research for an online chat interface. Would anyone have recommendations that aren't in house built.

We'll need to embed it on our website.

Thanks again,

Katra

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Hi Katra,

For background, are you using a specific CMS or preferred technology stack, and do you have a preference for a 'cloudy' hosted solution you just drop in with an iframe, or something that integrates directly with your CMS?

(Chat also interests me a lot, as we are currently looking to integrate chat with a new CRM system, so that chats with prospective students can be associated with their other contact information.)

Have you been able to make any outcome statements re: web traffic or online inquiry percentage increases after implementing a chat module? If you would care to share any data or figures I'd be much obliged!

In our case the impact of our current proprietary chat tool seems to be minimal, as it is little-used. It requires log-in with contact details and is slow to load. I don't have any metrics on its impact to back up my perception though.

I expect that a lighter-weight solution like olark (http://www.olark.com/) would offer a much better user experience, and would be more used. Olark has a free version you can check out of you want to do some testing: https://www.olark.com/signup/create_new_account

Has anyone used olark or a similar hosted chat solution? Did you find it worthwhile?

Thanks, Daniel. We don't currently have any livechat solution so this is new fact-finding territory for us! I will keep the forum posted as/if we are able to move forward.

Katra,

I used Mibew (http://mibew.org/) at my previous job to help our webinar attendees with technical issues. Our university's department of student activities also uses it on their website. (https://studentactivities.tamu.edu/app/ - look for "chat with us" in the footer"). This is an open-source alternative that would probably be good for what you need. You'll definitely need in-house tech help to implement and maintain it though.

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