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The Short Version: In the vastness of the Internet, a single business can sometimes be overlooked in a niche market. You often need to connect with your audience on a personal level to get people clamoring over your website. Olark’s live chat lets you easily engage with users. With the help of a one-on-one chat platform, dating experts can reactively address user concerns and proactively interact with singles by offering free advice. Olark supports over 12,000 businesses that use live chat to increase their online traffic and sales. Frequent chat reports provide dating brands with qualitative information that can be used to cater services to customers and better attract a particular audience. From the platform’s simple setup to the automated support features, Olark offers an ideal tool for non-techy entrepreneurs on the web.
Dating websites have no shortage of competition these days, with thousands of niche communities jockeying for position and attention. As more people become online daters (15% of U.S. adults in 2015), professionals in the dating industry vie to grow their membership bases. For these businesses, the question arises: How do we keep singles satisfied and coming back for more?
Olark, a startup founded in 2009, answers: by being responsive to consumer needs.
Revolutionizing customer service, Olark offers businesses a way to stand out and draw in a loyal user base. Through Olark’s live-chat platform, you can give your company a human face and connect with the people who come to your site for dating help.
For dating websites, matchmakers, relationship experts, and basically any business with a domain, Olark’s low-cost monthly plans provide a way to increase user retention and answer any visitor’s question posthaste. The live chat makes customer support easier to manage for large businesses as well as small startups. You can customize your one-on-one chat platform to have the look, wording, and automation to fit your business model.
Karl Pawlewicz, the Voice of Olark, told us some brands use the customer-first solution proactively to engage with people on the web. “Live chat is a sales tool,” he said, “especially for small businesses. It’s a way of putting the face of your business online.”
Depending on the needs of your business, Olark’s chat functionality can be as simple or as sophisticated as you want. Easy-to-use customization tools can change the color, wording, or automated responses to your liking. For a low monthly fee, Olark will equip your site with a reliable way to reach out to users and respond to those who reach out to you. That way, you can guide them to your dating services with personalized care.
“We make it really easy for you,” Karl said. “You copy the code we give you, paste it on your website, and start chatting.”
The good news for small businesses is that you don’t even need to staff the chat 24/7 to increase your revenue. You can save the manpower for coaching or matchmaking and still see an uptick in business just by having a chat widget on your site. Karl told us some of their clients have seen a 12% bump in business sales without anyone having to be live. If no one is logged in, Olark will automatically send customer questions to a help email, saving your staff time.
The four Co-Founders of Olark started the company from scratch while they were in college, and so the current team remains sympathetic and attentive to the needs of small businesses. For matchmakers, dating coaches, or dating websites running lean with just a few people on staff, Olark saves you time and money with adaptable and automated features.
The bootstraped company has steadily grown and perfected a platform ideally suited for online customer support. Today, Olark has over 12,000 paying customers seeking to expand their brand by connecting with customers.
“We are a strictly a business-to-consumer chat service,” Karl said. “We give you the tools and the best practices you need to be successful with the platform.”
Dating is a social construct, which means it’s constantly changing. One minute, singles are asking if you have a “bf/gf” on AIM and the next they’re calling each other “bae” on Twitter. To learn what’s on the minds of today’s dating community, businesses can extract valuable information from Olark’s chat reports.
These analytics break down how many chats took place during which days and times and can even assess the terminology most commonly used. If many people are confused by a certain page or particular service, for example, it’s best that businesses know about the issue so they can effectively address it.
“We created Olark to humanize the web and bring back relationships between businesses and their customers.” — Ben Congleton, Co-Founder of Olark
To glean even more insights, you can add Chat Ratings to the experience, asking customers to give feedback after their interaction is over. That way, you’ll know if the live chat is working as it should be and satisfying users.
The live chat is an information-rich resource to help companies stay actively engaged with online customers. Dating websites can even make the live chat a members-only tool to hear the concerns, comments, and success stories of their own user base. As a direct line to people on your site, Olark’s tools make it easier for you to talk to your audience and help them find what they’re looking for.
In recent years, the dating industry has had to adapt the technology available to singles who crave instant gratification. The rise of mobile usage has affected every mover and shaker on the Internet, including Olark.
“We believe the future is in mobile-friendly mediums,” Karl said. Olark’s current project is to become integrated with as many platforms as possible.
With Hummingbird, a completely mobile-friendly chat experience, customers can benefit from personalized service no matter what device they happen to be using.
As an independent company competing against large corporations, Olark distinguishes themselves by building a large stable of integrations across multiple platforms. They work hard to serve their clients with the sleekest and simplest designs in keeping with customer demand.
“We want to give customers as many options as they need to run their businesses successfully,” he said. “Chat can be used for so much more than reactive support.”
Because Olark is an international company, with over 40 team members spanning the globe from the U.S. to Brazil, a strong company culture is important to keep everyone motivated and satisfied. Olark’s company values are summed up by the abbreviation CHAMPS, which stands for Chill out, Help each other, Assume good faith, Make it happen, Practice empathy, and Speak your mind. This mantra empowers individual team members to excel at their jobs.
Olark understands play is just as important as work and rewards workers who use their vacation time to unplug and recharge. If an employee takes a weeklong vacation and successfully ignores all work-related emails and obligations, the company gives that person a $1,000 bonus. Talk about a nice perk!
Employees also enjoy a 12-week parental leave upon having or adopting a child. It’s no wonder Karl told us, “Some of the benefits we’re afforded are second to none, in my opinion.”
To stay in tune with what their customers like and don’t like, every employee puts in a five-hour shift on the customer service lines every month. Customer service is an all-hands responsibility, meaning everyone plays a part in it. “Staying in touch with our customers keeps us humble,” Karl explained. “If you have to talk to your customers on a daily basis, it keeps you wanting to improve the product to meet their needs.”
Even though they work remotely, the team is thick as thieves. These customer service gurus travel across oceans to gather once a year for Olark’s annual company retreat where “fun is mandatory.”
“What we do at Olark is write great software for people, and great people are what makes that possible,” said Co-Founder and Chief Executive Olarker Ben Congleton.
As a bootstraped company, Olark has grown through the loyalty of their subscribers and commitment to customer service. When asked what’s next, Karl chuckled and said, “World domination would be nice.”
Since their early days, Olark has championed top-notch customer service by engineering a user-friendly platform for websites the world over. Whether you’re looking for sophisticated analysis about your website or a simple widget to give your traffic numbers a boost, hosting a one-on-one live chat fosters closer relationships with your customers.
The company’s tech support can help you understand the needs of daters so you can tailor your services to your market. Olark’s subscribers often see greater customer retention and engagement across all devices because people like it when businesses care about them.
“If you’re not there for them with answers, it increases the likelihood they’ll go somewhere else,” Karl said. “We make it easy to get live chat up and running on your site so you can make those connections online.”
People, especially singles, need someone to have their backs. If you do, your dating brand will surely outshine the impersonal competition on the web.