Chat Support Competitive Analysis
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Chat Competitive Analysis
This competitive analysis is intended to evaluate "Chat Implementations" for a number of websites. These particular companies have been identified as either having a good implementation or being in direct competition with the company I work for. The usability and experience findings as well as implementation and ux notes and opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect the company I work for.
#CompetitorsImplementation Description
(unbiased path)
Usability Ranking

0 - easily usable
1 - slightly poor
2 - moderately poor
3 - unusable
Experience Ranking

000 - Excellent
00 - good experience
0 - acceptible experience
1 - slightly poor
2 - moderately poor
3 - aweful
UX Notes / opinionsImages
11-800 flowersnone / unknown / can't find--------
2Amazon.comUser typed "Contact Us" in the search box. Above the search results an alternately formatted section appeared containing a link to "Contact Us". Clicking the link ports user to a full screen contact deflection form. Upon entry, the chat is greyed out. Setting a couple of the listboxes enables Chat. Clicking Chat opens a popup window where the user can set their name and request to have the transcript emailed to them. Finally they can click Chat to chat with a live rep.00The "Chat" button is actually lower in screen position priority than Email and Phone (see image2).001002003
3American ExpressUser clicks "Contact Us" link in the header and footer. Clicking either opens a popup box. On the right side of the popup box is a list of faqs. The first faq reads "Why do I see a Chat Now button or popup?". Chat button is hidden or not present.33My hunch is that the chat feature was at one point up and running, or maybe it's in the works still. Either way, there isn't an entry point to the feature. Any user expecting to use this functionality is going to be ticked off when they actually try to find the button (see image1)001002
4Apple.comUpon clicking "Support" in the header, a user can find a section labeled "Contact Us" where they can click "Contact Support". On the next page a user clicks "Get Started" button to contact Apple support. They are then required to select one of their products. Upon selection, they are taken to an email deflection screen where they are presented with several self-help options. Finally they are ported to a screen where there are several methods that I can contact Apple. The contact method that has emphesis is "Send for service", but then next is chat. Upon opening chat, the user is presented with self-help deflection again, but then after a short wait the box refreshes into a chat session.02When a user wants help, they do not want to go through what appears to be 10+ steps just to get someone on chat.001002003004005006007008009010011012
5Athleta from GAPnone / unknown / can't find--------
6Barnes and NobleUser clicks "Help" in the top right. They can then select a reason for contact in the "Contact Us" section. Upon selecting that, they are asked to register. After they register, they are presented with the "Contact Us page that offers popular faqs, then chat, then email us, and finally call us.01Requiring users to register prior to contacting the company may be percieved as a slightly poor user experience.001002003004005006
7Best Buynone / unknown / can't find--------
8Beyond the Racknone / unknown / can't find--------
9Big Lots Incnone / unknown / can't find--------
10BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc.User clicks "Customer Care" in the header. User is taken to a screen where they can start an email contact. On the right side near the top is a link to enter "Live Chat". Clicking the link pops up a chat box where the user can enter first name, email address and question.00Would be better if chat was in a higher priority on the Customer Care screen than the email form.001002003004
11bluefly.comnone / unknown / can't find--------
12Boxed.comnone / unknown / can't find--------
13Burlington Stores Incnone / unknown / can't find--------
14CenturyLinkFrom the home screen user clicks "Support" just below the logo. On the Support page, the user can either click "Chat" at the top, or they can click "Click to Chat" at the bottom of the screen. User is then asked to enter their zip code, but then only given the "Continue" option. User then must click the category for chat that is appropriate for them. After selecting an option, users are taken to a page that appears to be a knowledge base where they can again choose chat, email, service, contact. Clicking chat lands on a "chat" specific page where there are far less options. User clicks on "Customer Service". User must then enter their name, and a centurlink phone number. finally they are placed in a chat session.23It seemed like I had to go through finding and entering chat two different times. the first time must have been just for deflection. What a pain!001002003004005006007008009
15Consumr.comnone / unknown / can't find--------
16Dollar Tree Stores Incnone / unknown / can't find--------
17eBaynone / unknown / can't find--------
18Facebooknone / unknown / can't find--------
19Family Dollar Stores Incnone / unknown / can't find--------
20Geek SquadImmediately upon entry, the user is given the option to "chat with an agent", which is located in the header. User is taken to a chat introductory page where they must click a big button in the center to enter chat. User is then asked to sign in or register. After registering or signing in, it comes up with "Establishing a connection". Finally they are placed into a session.00I think that it would have been nice to not have to log in or register to chat with a live person. The saving grace is that I didn't have to deal with chat deflection.001002003004005006
21Google Shoppingnone / unknown / can't find----Google doesn't have chat, but what it does have is a support blog. Allowing users to ask questions, then responding in a public way may be a good alternate approache to q/a.--
22Gymboreenone / unknown / can't find--------
23Home Shopping Networknone / unknown / can't find--------
24Ibottanone / unknown / can't find--------
25Krogernone / unknown / can't find--------
26Neweguser scrolls to the bottom of the screen and then clicks on Contact Us. On the contact us page, the "Chat with us" option is pre-selected. User is asked for their first, last, email, language and issue. User then enters chat.000It was nice having chat auto-selected upon entering contact us section.001002003004
27NordstromLive chat is an option in the footer. Upon clicking "Live Chat", the user is taken to a chat centric page where they are offered the option to chat with customer service, chat with a beauty stylist, chat with a wedding stylist, or chat with a designer.0000When users go looking for chat on this site, they are likely going to have a good experience. Getting to a page that offers them chating capability for help is good. Getting to chat for advice is just gravy.001002003004
28Overstock.comUser first goes to "Help" from "My Account" at the top, or from in the footer. The help page has an option promotes self-help, then way off to the right, they user can click "Click Here" to contact customer care. User is taken to a "Contact Us" page with different methods for contact customer service. First item is chat. Upon clicking chat, the user is asked to select a category. Finally the user is dropped into chat.00Nothing special here. If anything, during category selection, it would have been nice to offer the user a generic "other" option since the categories are pretty specific. It was nice not to have to deal with deflection a second time.001002003004005006
29Petconone / unknown / can't find--------
30PriceSmart Incnone / unknown / can't find----Costco copy-cat--
31QVCnone / unknown / can't find--------
32Safewaynone / unknown / can't find--------
33Sam's Clubnone / unknown / can't find--------
34Target CorporationUser clicks "Contact Us" from footer. User then sets the dropdown listbox to an option in the "What can we help you with" area on the "Contact Us" page. Upon setting that option, a slide-up appears near the bottom of the screen that offers chat feature. If they click somewhere else on the screen, the chat option minizes to the bottom of the screen. The user then only needs to click it again to bring it back. User enters their name, and then are ported right into a chat session.100If this chat was more visible immediately upon entering the "Contact Us" page, then this would be an excellent experience. If a user is seeking the term "Chat", they wouldn't have know that Target offers this functionality.001002003004005
35The Home Depotuser clicks "Help" near the top. On the customer service page, they are presented with the option to chat after below the self help section. Clicking "Chat" takes the user to "Contact Us". They must then find the chat section in the middle and type their name into the name field. After that, they click "Chat agents are busy". When the user clicks that button, nothing happens. After a page refresh, the button goes away all together and there is now no way to open a chat.33When the user sees "Chat" on the Customer service screen, all seems good. This is the point at which all went wrong. The chat feature is completely unusable for me.001002003004
36UPS My Choiceuser first sets their country. When the US site loads, the user clicks on "Live Chat". A new tab pops up where the user must select a help category. Chat deflection offers faq options, but then at the bottom the entry to chat can be found. As user hovers mouse cursor over options, the panels shift a tad to indicate that the user is over a button. Clicking the "Not finding what you need" option takes athe user to a form where they enter name, email, and question. It also provides real time availability of chat agents (as indicated by "OPEN")000Overall this was an easy to use, streamlined experience where the companies goals are being honored by promoting self help and where the users time is being respected. I bit more visibility of chat feature would have been nice. It wasn't immediately apparent. I first noticed it after going into the Customer Service page.001002003004005006
37Waitrosenone / unknown / can't find--------
38Walmartnone / unknown / can't find--------
39Yellow Pages Local (YP)none / unknown / can't find--------
40ZapposImmediately upon entry, the user is given the option to go into live chat by clicking "Live Help" which is located right at the top in the header. Users asked for their name, email and message. The live chat starts connecting. Finally they are in a session.0000Quick. Easy. Visible.001002003004
41Zazzlenone / unknown / can't find--------
42Zulilynone / unknown / can't find--------
Competitive Analysis