TL;DR: I’m looking at the pros and cons for using Slack, a Chat app, and Discord for client or visitor interaction and would love your help.
When I started this site way back when I was focused on all forms of communication and actively listening. I have always maintained that as a business, you cannot dictate how someone connects to you, that’s up to them. If someone has a question, problem or concern and they are fond of twitter, they’re going to tweet to you and not your crappy form on your Contact Page. I have a crappy form on my page too, but the point is that you have to be actively listening on Twitter, or Facebook, or whatever the new and latest technology throws out there. That’s part of your job as a business in today’s world.
There’s three newish technologies that kind of go together that I’ve been looking to incorporate into AWC. My reasons for implementation are going to be different than yours I’m sure. I’d like to use one or all of these for people that are…
- Having problems with WordPress, advertising, social media and so on. They just did a Google search, found an article I wrote and need just a little more help.
- Looking to hire me to build their website but have a question or two. There’s always a question or two!
- Existing clients who want a new shiny something added to their website, or have an issue with something, or just need a little coaching on how to do this or that.
You’ve used at least one of them if not all three. I’ll get the party started on what I see and you can comment, call, tweet, slack, chat or discord me any pros or cons for each and I’ll add that to the post, please!
Slack has been around for a while. I first started using it Slack shortly after I joined WordPress.org and the community voted to switch from IRC to using Slack as it’s main real-time communication channel. To this day, almost all of everything that happens inside WordPress (both .org and .com) happens on Slack! https://wordpress.slack.com/. I’m using the free version of Slack for my business.
- Open to everyone.
- Private or group chats and messages.
- Threads, DMs, Unread Messages – it’s easy to catch up in a conversation.
- Easy to create separate channels within the main.
- Easy uploads, downloads and linking to files and urls.
- Easy to add 3rd party apps (like Google Drive).
- Works well on desktop or tablet, mobile.
- Permission levels can be set individually.
- List of members is also nice.
- You can see what members are online at the time.
- New people need either a domain specific email address, an invite, or to be manually added via email address.
- Newbies have a Slack learning curve.
- Requires an App on your phone or Desktop to use.
Here’s my AWC Channel on Slack: https://join.slack.com/t/awc/signup You’ll need to have an @areweconnected.com email address or just ping me and I’ll add you with whatever email address you like!
This is something that everyone has used at one time or another. There’s quite a few chat apps out there and most all are very similar in what they do and how. I’m using a free version from Drift.
- Open to everyone.
- Always Private.
- Ask a question, get an answer!
- Chat prompt can start with a widget, a link, or a popup.
- Away times can be set. (I set mine to be on M-F 9-5 and off all other times).
- Alerts can be set, so that I’m alerted to new chat requests, or some have alerts for site visitors.
- Chat generally happens inside the website.
- Look and feel of the website can be maintained in chat.
- Chat widget will tell them if you are offline or online.
- Easy to incorporate a script into the website.
- Anonymous entries. I’m never sure who it is I’m talking to.
- Business side needs to be logged in. I always have to be logged in and ‘turned on’ for chat to work. (AI chatbots aside)
- Closing chat and you lose the details of what we discussed. (most chats have an transcription email service but only when the chat is active).
- Script does slow down the overall load speed of your website.
I’ve been playing with Drift chat for a while (free version), I have the popup version working on a website I have https://sitesforbiz.com/ for now but I can also just send anyone to https://drift.me/mikesitesforbiz. As for my side, I’m chatting from a desktop page or an App I’ve added to my MacBook Pro. On this site, I’ve added just a small “CHAT” link to the footer. Either way, let’s CHAT!
Discord is a relative newcomer to the block. It’s has many of the same capabilities but while Slack tends to be more built for business, Discord has a certain “video game” or Twitch feel about it. If I was to say anything it would be that Discord is more of a group chat, live stream, in the moment kind of thing. Servers (think channels in slack) can have their own members, their own rules, their own “channels”. Oh crap, that just got confusing, eh?
How about this…
At a basic level, Discord is built to allow members to message each other. Each community is called a “server.” If you’re familiar with Slack , you can think of it as a less formal version of that app. Servers are filled with text channels (where you can type to talk to other people) and voice channels (where you can voice-chat with others). You can also share videos, images, internet links, music, and more.https://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-discord
- Open to everyone.
- Text, Voice or even Video
- App based but can be used on a desktop.
- Can become very noisy.
- Pseudo names or screen names are the norm.
- Needs and app.
If you know me, you already know what I’m going to say. I’m always worried about signal to noise. Discords seem to be very noisy. I joined a WordPress based one and was swamped with incoming messages. It’s hard to have a quality conversation in a crowded noisy room. I don’t think Discord is going to be right for me. That said, it’s not me, it’s you. What is it that you use? I have a Discord Server for you to join here: https://discord.gg/86RDmtjfNN Let’s give that a try!
WHAT TO DO NEXT:
Let me know what you think of each of these. What is your preferred or favorite? What do you see as a Pro or a Con? Are there alternatives or options I missed? Answer me as a comment here, or there, or anywhere. I’m listening… 🙂