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Show HN: Chatlio – Live chat with your web visitors directly from Slack (chatlio.com)
136 points by johne20 on Jan 20, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 37 comments

I set up chatlio over 5 months ago for my business. I do not have enough positive things to say about it. We close over 20% of our Chatlio conversations. Here are other highlights:

- Took me under 5 mins to sign up and have this running on our entire site. They use a good CDN, because adding it to our site has had no noticeable increase in page load times.

- Highly accessible. Chatlio leverages all of the notification features built into slack. I couldn't ask for more. Our entire team had access when it was set up, without needing to create new accounts, or log into another site on yet another Chrome tab.

- Great customizations. Check their site for full details, but coloring, language, and contextual stuff (what to say when there is no attendant, etc) is super easy to work with.

- John (the lead at Chatlio, I believe) has been nothing but helpful. When I asked for help making the chat appear on a 10 second time delay, he had the code back to me in less than 20 mins. I was impressed.

- They are already making great updates. They recently launched a 'take screenshot' feature, message editing, and have reporting and operator rating features in the pipeline.

My company struggled with implementing and making a profit center out of live chat functionality. Chatlio has been fantastic. Its worth every penny.

If you want to see a live implementation, ours is here: http://sequoiawaste.com. I'll be hanging out chatting with people who are interested for the next hour or so.

Definitely a needed sort of product; my congratulations to the team.

A non-Slack alternative: I was looking for this feature, but wanted to move my company away from Slack to one of the free chat platforms like Rocket.Chat, Mattermost, Zulip, etc. So I researched, and found that only Rocket.Chat has its own version of this live-chat feature (though no doubt much less mature). I'm looking forward to switching over to Rocket.Chat soon (I have no affiliation with them).



Hope this helps folks out there looking for live-chat integration options. It's pretty cool to be able to chat with potential users directly from company chat!

Thank you for sharing this we are currently looking at alternatives to our current live chat. This could be a great choice.

I spent a bit of time talking to the Rocket.Chat peeps. Good stuff.

Any particular reason why you want to move away from Slack?

Cool. It's patio11's chat thing turned in to a product: https://twitter.com/patio11/status/682430323905282048

I don't mean this as a dismissal in any way--if this works as advertised I'd much rather show this product to a client than have them goad their developers into trying to build and maintain a feature spec'ed on a (to them) random person's tweet.

Thanks! We have iterated on this for over 1.5 years, and worked out a lot of kinks associated with these types of integrations.

Trendy kind of app. e.g. https://www.talkus.io :-)

Discover one more: https://slaask.com/

We (Chatlio) like to think we started the trend ;) But verify that with the wayback machine. :) And if imitation is a form of flattery, we are very "flattered" by these.

But in all seriousness, before you install a Slack App, make sure to verify how much permissions they request. We at Chatlio strive for asking for as little permission as possible. If some feature requires more, we ask for that on an as-needed basis after signup.

When a visitor messages us, does it start a new channel, or are they given a temporary user on Slack?

Good question. Each visitor gets a dedicated channel. It makes it easy to respond back to them. When conversation is ended, we archive the channel. If they ever come back we unarchive it and you have previous chat history.

So I love the idea and execution but have one major worry before signing up.

If you're creating an entirely new channel and archiving it every time, does that mean my archived channels list will be full of potentially thousands of channels? Ignoring that I'll struggle to find channels I may want to revive (we archive channels a lot here), will Slack cope well with this? (We've seen what happens if they have over a certain user count.. so I'd be worried what would happen here.) Is it possible to entirely wipe a channel after a certain period of time rather than archive?

Update: OK, I'm an idiot. I just realized I could spin up a second free Slack account just for this use..

It's nice to read about people using other apps as primary interface to their own. And all the quirks they are forced to do to make it work.

I run this small email-helpdesk<-->Trello app [1] and I thought I was the only one trying to come up with the best ways to map features from what Trello has builtin to what my app needs.

Users sometimes find it awkward, but in the end it works very well.

[1]: http://boardthreads.com/

Awesome. I wanted to build this for ourselves, but I'll just sign up and use your product. Great job.

How does it identify the user when they come back?

We store a UUID in their browser and send that along so if they chatted before we un-archive their previous channel to give the Slack operator all the context.

Is there any way to get/set this UUID so I can allow the user to use the same channel if I have my own way of identifying them?

This is in the works. We will provide a way for you to "sign" a request with a userId, so we can guarantee you set the id, and not someone else.

This is truly awesome and I'd love to become a user. How might you recommend integrating video calls? We do KYC checks of clients and sometimes need a brief face-to-face.

We'd love to look closer at that (and will). There are rumours about Slack itself working on something similar, and then there's the screenhero acquisition a year back, but nothing definitive yet.

DISCLOSURE: I work at Chatlio

EDIT Slack has some recommendations on this: https://get.slack.help/hc/en-us/articles/208492868-Making-vo...

We're currently using it on algolia.com; works like a charm!

Anyone made an open source version of this?

There's this... looks like a nice starter boilerplate..


not open source, but I pretty quickly built a version of this a few months ago.

The chat box submits to a lambda which puts the message on SQS. App consumes sqs and puts in DB (for durable storage) and posts to slack room. Responses are then sent via pusher back to the chat box (a react component)

I use this for one of my companies, and getting ready to roll it out on my second. It's worth every penny.

I really love the idea. Though we currently use Intercom and would be hard to move from it. I really want this integration in Intercom (and I am sure they will do this soon). So you might want to plan on how to tackle them.

This is very awesome!

Is anyone aware of something like this being available for commenting services like Disqus which are used on blogs? It would be nice to manage replies through Slack, as a lot of time is already spent there.

This reminds me a bit of Prudio http://www.prudio.com/ Saw that project on the old assembly site (was a cool idea).

Glad to see another competitor in this space! Looks to be a great product.

What are you using as your chat engine? Ejabberd or something else?

Our backend is written in golang and frontends React/Raw JS.

Any plans for something similar for hipchat?

We are constantly taking demand for other platforms. Hipchat being one of the most popular ones. Check my profile for my email to send us a message so we can get you on the list to be notified when we make changes.

Now let me embed the widget in my app?

awesome idea


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