By: Roger Wilco LLC
Chatra is a live chat software owned by the company, Roger Wilco LLC. The company was started with the motive to help the businesses grow by reducing the communication gap between a business and its potential user.
Sign up the process in Chatra is somewhat different from the other live chat programs which we have reviewed. While creating an account on Chatra, in addition to email address and username, you need to add much more information. However, it is not compulsory but beneficial.
The information that you provide here helps in better functioning of the application. Before you reach to the dashboard of the application, the “Your Account” window appears.
It gives an option where you can add the company logo for making the chat box look more engaging.
It is also important to select the time zone before you get started. Depending on the time zone selected, availability of the live chat will be determined. For instance, you select operating hours from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and the time zone selected is Central Time (US and Canada). This will make the chat available for the selected hours of that time zone.
You have a few advanced options also that you can alter before getting started such as you can opt out from getting a notification when the operating hours start/end.
You can even set a timer after which an agent’s status will become “Offline” if he does not react to a new message.
Getting notification could be annoying sometimes, but it also helps you to detect emergencies. There can be instances when online agents provide delayed responses to their user. For this situation, you can choose to get informed through notifications.
After setting all the information, you are ready to visit the other tabs of the application.
User interface governs the handling of the visitors. An acceptable user interface must always have appropriate segmentation of features. Proper paths for various elements of an application are always required to deliver ease and efficiency.
When it comes to the user interface, Chatra gives a good competition to Jivochat as both deliver a simplistic user interface. However, the difference lies in the placement of settings.
In JivoChat, all the settings are provided under one tab whereas, in case of Chatra, the settings are considered as independent attributes, and thus, placed on the left panel under multiple sections.
All the menu options on the left panel are divided under four sections: Conversations, General, Personal, and Team.
Such division helps to easily locate the required feature. Also, as all the features are present on the surface of the application, you won’t need to dig deep every time to reach them.
The application doesn’t offer a tab with the dashboard title but according to the email which we have received from the company, the Set up & customization tab is considered similar to the dashboard.
The dashboard is considered as the main screen. In the case of Chatra, the dashboard contains the prewritten HTML code of the chat box. You need to copy this code and paste it on your website editor to embed the messenger on the required website.
The set up window also contains the link of self-help option for installing the desktop console. You can also talk to their customer executive by clicking on the “Chat with us” option. These are very common features available on most of the live chat applications. Thus, their dashboard or set up window can’t be considered exclusive.
However, the same can’t be stated for the customization features. Chatra makes the messenger available in eight different languages. All of these languages are mostly spoken in European countries expect Russian.
Languages such as Japanese, Chinese, and many other widely spoken Asian languages were not provided in the list. Perhaps, the company is directed towards a specific market.
There is one appreciable characteristic of the language selection feature which we would like to bring forward. You don’t need to select only one language here; you can choose as many as you like. The language which appears on the visitor’s side will depend upon his browser settings. For instance, when a person is browsing in the Spanish language, then the messenger will appear in Spanish.
However, what if the language in which the person is surfing is not check marked or present in Chatra’s list? Perhaps, in that case, English will act as the default language. This is confirmed by conversing with their live chat executives.
There are a few chat buttons of different style available. You can either choose to set the tab chat button or round chat button. Only one option is offered for the tab style whereas for round shape, three are provided. These options are not many when you compare it to Provide Support.
Provide Support allows you to upload a file by browsing it from the local drive which you can use as a chat icon. It even provides a choice to use different images of online and offline chat support.
Now, comes the chat button positioning features. There are total nine options which may look similar to some users. However, you must know that you can only place the chat box in the bottom corners or the middle of all sides of the screen excluding the top side.
It would be better if the application allows a user to set an offset for the chat box. Provision of the positioning of a chat box manually will give the flexibility to the user to place it according to the website. Currently, such a possibility is not present in the case of Chatra.
At least you can change the shade of the button by choosing one amongst the thirty different shapes. Another option is to make the changes in the code. You can add the code by adding a specific color, and Chatra will change the chat palette accordingly.
You can also adjust the height, width, hide the chat for certain pages, change button size, etc., by making changes in the widget’s code.
The list of customization options doesn’t end here. You can even edit the chat box text by adding a header and welcome message of your choice for both online and offline statuses.
They have added as many features as possible, but most of the features can be improved. You can add the content about which we described about. However, there are many instances when editing a system message will not be possible.
For instance, you can’t edit the system message which appears after the visitor ends the chat, the welcome message by a specific department, etc. These options can be added but not necessarily.
A few assorted options are also provided in this window. You can hide the widget when all the agents are offline. The provision of rating the chat is also offered. However, you can choose to turn off this option at any time.
Some other options are also available such as show visitors’ IP, allow the visitors to chat through the mobile devices, and enable notification sound on the visitor’s side.
These all seem to be very basic features as we have found them in most of the application. But the next one which we are going to mention is a not-so-useful, but an exclusive feature.
The Typing Insight option allows an agent to look at the text visitor is typing even before he sends it.
This doesn’t affect the usability much, but you can save time as you can read the text even before it reaches you. If the visitor types its honest opinion but doesn’t send it, then also the customer executive will know about it.
However, we don’t think that the messages which they type but not send will appear in the transcript.
The same window offers email forwarding feature too. The application allows you to add an email address where the missed or the offline messages will be forwarded.
At last, there are security features left for discussion. You can generate a secret key which is required to access the Chatra’s Rest API.
The secret key provides the security to the data stored in the servers. Without the secret key, no one will be able to make any manipulations in the data stored on the servers.
These are all the customization options which you will find in Chatra. Hope you would have got an idea about all the features which are present and the ones which are missing.
Bots are usually avoided by users as they provide annoying response and system generated messages. The messages are many times irrelevant and provide no solution to issues. Thus, we do not prefer using this feature.
However, the good thing about the feature is, it can be at least used for collecting the information about the visitor and get back to them whenever possible.
You can choose to immediately send a message to a visitor just after he sends you a message. However, we don’t think it is a good idea, and even Chatra doesn’t suggest using it. You can use it when the chat is offline.
When the chat is online, but the agents are busy, you can set a time after which the bot will send a message. For instance, if the agent doesn’t entertain the visitor’s message until 30 seconds, then the only bot will make a move.
This is helpful to keep the consumer busy with the bot while the operators get done with other chats.
As we have already mentioned, the application has included many features, but many of them need to widen their functionality, the same is applicable in case of Chatra’s Bot also.
The text messages which the bot sends to the visitors: “Thanks for your message! The team will reply as soon as possible.”
After that, the bot asks the visitor to provide the name and email address. Taking the chat forward, the bot requests to provide the details about the issue.
However, after the visitor message the details, bot stops replying. This can be considered rude by some of the visitors as there must be a closure message present in the end. The only benefit is, you get the way to reach the consumer and the details about the issue.
There is an irritating facet too. When you have added a pre-chat form already which asks about the visitor’s details, why would you ask for that information again? It may annoy the user even before sharing the issue. The idea of adding the bot is perfect, but the bot isn’t.
If you move down, you will find “Bot phrases” features. Expanding it will show the by default messages that the bot is going to use.
You can type system messages as per your benefit, but the way how messages will follow remains the same. Initially, you can send one message to the visitor. After the person replies, you get the provision of sending three messages together.
Whatever the reply comes, the next message that you send will contain a contact form irrespective of the text which you have added.
We think this much elaboration would have provided you with the idea about the limitations of the bot. One special thing about the bot is that these prewritten messages are available in two different languages.
In case, you want to use the bot and enter the messages for a different language, you can simply copy paste them.
We have already told you the option of adding a form field. By default, you get three fields which are name, email, and number.
You can choose to mark these fields required or optional. There is a custom field option which takes care of the other form field requirements. You can add up to five fields including the name and email ID and provide a label to them.
There are a few extra options also which are- request the visitor for consent and using the email ID for marketing.
All the team related features, additions, and changes are done by going through the “Team” section present on the left panel.
Let’s start with discussing the ease of adding an agent or admin. You just need to put the email account of the person and invite will be delivered to him. After that, it is the agent’s responsibility to add information.
After accepting the invite, he needs to input a password and a name. The same account options will open for him which we discussed in “creating an account” section.
The agent will not have complete access to the account. It is impossible for him to add other agents or groups (Departments).
He can’t even go through the list of operators. However, these limitations are not placed on the admin. Admin has the same access level as the “Owner.” Owner is denoted for the person who first creates the account.
Admin is allowed to add other users and go through the list and rating of all the agents.
Like most of the live chat apps, Chatra doesn’t allow selective sharing. This means that the person whom the owner is adding will either have the complete access or else very limited access.
You can’t restrict a user from visiting particular sections. For instance, in case you don’t want a user to know about the billing information, it will not be possible. You can’t restrict him to view particular sections.
Similarly, if you wish to allow an agent to add other agents, but doesn’t want him to view reports, it will not be feasible due to the rigid access levels. This shortcoming is common, and many applications don’t offer multiple access levels.
After you add customer executives, the upcoming task is to add the departments. Here, departments are named as groups. Simply assign a name and assign the agents to create the group.
You can choose to direct the visitors directly to a particular group when they open the chat. For instance, when a visitor opens the chat box, the sales group opens first.
Instead of this, you can also request the visitor to first select a group before the chat starts. In that case, it will only allow the agents of the selected group to communicate with the person. You can also add a “not sure” option for visitors. This option permits all the online agents to communicate with the consumer.
There is no issue when the customer selects a wrong group. Whenever such an instance occurs, the agent can direct the visitor to another group.
Thus, in case of adding and utilization of groups or departments, Chatra has proficient features.
What we like the most about Chatra’s team management features is its report section which delivers data in an unambiguous way. Still, there are some features which we found missing.
As you open the Reports tab, you will find the details about a total number of customers served, total satisfied customers, good and bad rated conversations, and average response time given by the agents. This data is provided for the total number of chats done till the time when you are viewing it.
You can check the performance for a particular day, last week, or last month. But you can’t analyze the data by selecting a custom period.
You can filter it for particular operators as well as for the particular group. You just need to click on the agent’s name under the Agents tab and the details mentioned above will be delivered for the selected agents. In case of getting details about a particular group, you need to click on the particular group under the Groups tab.
There is a third tab too known as Conversation tab under which a few more filters were present to filter out the required conversations. This section acts similar to the archive section of JivoChat. But here we get better filters.
You can shortlist all the chats which are rated, chats which are rated good, and chats which are rated bad. This is surely a helpful tool to judge the performance of customer executives.
You can also filter them according to the status of the chat: online or offline.
Looking at various features, we found a few places where improvement is required. There report section comes along with immense filters which allow finding the required chats easily.
Now, we will talk about the rooms where improvement is required. First comes the sorting options. Though we have seen several filters, sometimes sorting can be more useful. For instance, you need to find out about the longest chats so you can sort them according to the time.
Not only for chats but sorting options can also be added for the agents. Here, for giving an example, we have only added three agents, but what if the number goes above fifty.
In that case, if the application allows a user to sort the customer executives according to the highest number of positive or negative rating, it would work to find the best and worst agents respectively. Sorting according to for the response time is also missing which would identify the fastest operator.
Thus, these options will make the learning easier, and decisions made using the generated data would be more credible.
The second missing feature is a time sheet. You can find the number of conversations performed by an executive, but you can’t find the total time spent by an executive on these conversations. Thus, this should be added to identify the total online time.
There is an idle policy feature in MyLiveChat. This feature blocks the console for an operator if he remains offline more than a specified time. Such a feature can also be helpful in case when there is no time sheet.
Thus, these are the two major absent attributes which we would like Chatra to add. Other than that, they can also provide a star rating option instead of a good or bad rating. In our opinion, that would be more helpful in ranking the agents.
We have gone through most of the features till now. However, the most important is still left for discussion- the conversation section.
As the name implies, this section provides an interface for the communication between the executive and visitor.
We have added desktop console in the same section as we wanted you to know about the difference between conversations section of the web account and desktop console. Most of the features which are provided on the web account are available on the console as well. Also, it also a menu bar that governs the behavior of the application.
Before going to the console and its menu, let’s first discuss about the conversation window present on the web account. And by comparing it with the console, we will find out about the differences.
On the left panel, you can view that there are three options under conversations: My, New, and All. The My tab shows the conversation between you and visitors, New shows all the recent chats, and All shows all the conversation which have taken place until now.
When you open the “My” tab, list of conversations will appear on the left panel. Clicking on a particular chat will open complete chat. The details about the visitor appear on the right side of the screen.
You will also find a few related actions on the right side. Even an agent or admin, anyone can take those actions.
You can add another agent to the chat by sending him an invite. Changing the department or group is also possible by just clicking on the change button and selecting a suitable group. You can also choose to ban a user whenever required even while the chat is going on.
However, the information such as referrer, visitor’s total time on site, operating system, browser, and other analytical data was not found. We even checked for the details in the reports section but were disappointed.
Even though details are absent in the web account, they can be found on through the desktop console, and it is a major difference we discovered during the review process.
Now as you already know what web account offers, we would move to the downloaded console. The console is provided for all the major platforms: Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. We have chosen the Windows for this review.
We do not need to go through every discussed feature again as they are the same what we found on the web account. The only attribute worth discussing here is the menu bar present on the top.
Under the App tab, you will find some behavioral options such as float on top, show on a tray, and launch on startup. The basic ones who are always expected. There is a spell checker too, but they have not defined what kind of spelling mistakes it catches. For instance, we can not say how it will react to case sensitivity, names, etc.
Other than these features, you get zooming options. All these features can be utilized through hotkeys which are provided next to the name of a feature. That will make it easier to use the app.
One thing which we found missing in both, web account and desktop console, is the direct use of canned messages in the chat. There was no option visible to choose a response amongst all the prewritten responses. They must add this feature to increase the efficiency of the conversation.
There are a few more features for which dedicating separate sections was not required. Thus, we have placed them under one single section. Some of these attributes don’t affect the functionality of the application much. We wanted to brief you about each aspect, and therefore, we are giving you information about them.
You can create multiple target chats & triggers, similar to the ones which you can view in the added screenshot. When you click on any of these triggers, different settings will become visible.
You can permit the trigger to act according to the status of agents, time visitor has spent online, and for certain pages.
You can enter the message, whatever you find suitable and even select a specific group from which this message will be sent.
The other options available on the application are the option to save a reply and notification settings. Saved replies act as canned messaged which you can use while conversing with a customer.
As we have already told you, there is no choice of selecting them directly from the conversation window. While having a conversation, you will need to visit saved replies section to copy a message. Thus, its usability of this feature is questionable.
The application has provided a sufficient number of team management features and customization options.
Still, the features provided can be improved further. We have mentioned the suggestions of adding sorting options, more chat buttons, color shades, etc.
The application can easily handle multiple conversations, but for knowing a visitor’s information, you need to use the desktop console. The console has a menu bar addition which guides its behavior.
If you wish to try it yourself, you can go for the free plan before purchasing the product which doesn’t even require your credit card details.