I happened to have try two of the currently popular live chat app out there recently for one of my product Bunker App. The first one was Olark and the second was SnapEngage. The experience I went thru while testing those two apps bring me to the conclusion that I’m not done yet with my open source live chat project LiveChat Starter Kit (LCSK). Here is what have been my experience.
Olark was having a major problem for me
They ended up telling me that their engineer told them that it is working / not possible (despite me having sent proofing screenshots). I ended up wasting time with them, and returned back with my original solution (my own project).
Note that Olark for standard website is working perfectly fine, and they have a great product and user interface, you just can’t told them that their widget is not refreshing correctly without a full refresh, because they will not accept that truth .
SnapEngage has the same problem but…
I was really impressed by their app and UI, I was sad that it did not work out straight out of the box.
LCSK is not that far compared to those established products
I then return to my good old project, the one with no designer, no sexy UI, but the one that is refreshing correctly and display the current state of the operators ;). I decided to improve the product and start the development of the version 2. I realized that LCSK could be a viable commercial product almost as is, with the help of a good web designer and some hard hours, I could easily turn this into a product and try to market this. But, I will not. I’m a huge fan of open source, this project exists since 2007, I’m just more motivated of getting a solid result.
The goal of this project was to get you started with a basic live chat app that give you real-time visitor details, chat from visitors and engaging visitors to chat. I have interesting plan for the next version.