Chat functionality on a website seems like something that’s been around for a while now (I started seeing it was here to stay about 6-7 years ago) but seems to have taken off with many more options in the past few years. Facebook bots, website chats managed by third parties with a script, website chats managed by someone in-house, website chats initiated by a bot and then taken over are all commonplace. Even being able to interact with chat on mobile is more feasible than ever before. Since chat options seem like a good feature to have on a website, what do people really think about them? We’re going to break that down today after a survey we took of 250 participants who answered a few questions about chat features.

People Tolerate Website Chat Features

We started by picking the legal industry because of the competitiveness and amount of resources the typical law firm spends on their marketing efforts and tools. We have two chat arrangements here – the top being Ngage Live Chat, which is the most common chat functionality we see on legal websites. The second is ZyraTalk, a chat functionality that has succeeded in many B2C industries and has one of the most unique approaches to chat.






We asked the following questions:

  • Which chat arrangement do you prefer?
  • On a scale from 1-10, how intrusive/off-putting is chat one?
  • On a scale from 1-10, how intrusive/off-putting is chat two?
  • How likely are you to use chat when featured on a website?
  • How important is it to you knowing the chat has a live person speaking with you?

When comparing Zyra to Ngage, almost 70% of respondents approved of ZyraTalk’s approach while the remainder found the Ngage layout to be favorable.

On a scale from 1-10, respondents gave ZyraTalk a 4.86 when asked how intrusive/off-putting the chat layout was, with a mode of 5 and a median of 5.

On a scale from 1-10, respondents gave Ngage a 5.07 when asked how intrusive/off-putting the chat layout was, with a mode of 5 and a median of 6.

Frankly, I believe the reason for the slight uptick is simple – Ngage takes up a large portion of the page, nearly a third of every pixel of the page is occupied by the chat, and it stays there when scrolled as well. Zyra, which models itself after many other common chat options, is about 11.5% of the screen, which is a third of the third Ngage has. If you’re wondering why Ngage has an approach of taking its chat to such a forefront of the page, they have a pay per lead model for their chat. But what’s interesting is that even though Ngage is technically three times bigger than Zyra, its level of annoyance is practically negligible. The mode and median are the same, and quantifiably speaking, averages only 4% higher than that of Zyra. People perceive the chat functionality as a whole to either be annoying or not, regardless of its layout on the website.

Now enough of these two chats – the goal of comparing these isn’t so much to say if one is better than the other; rather, it is more about considering how much chat needs to be showcased, and in what format, for a consumer that may or may not care about it as much as we think they do.

Do online chats serve their purpose?

The question “How likely are you to use chat?” is obviously a very important one. On the 1-10 scale, the average response was 5.9 with a mode of 5 and a median of 6. Not exactly in huge demand, but worthy of consideration. One of the most important questions then when deciding if you are going to add a chat on your website is if you can find an arrangement where a live person will actually be managing the chat. This can either be a third party with a script or someone in-house that will be responsive enough to follow up with visitors engaging chat.

The average response for our 1-10 scale was 7.05 for how important it was to have a live agent to chat with, with a mode of 8 and a median of 7. There is no arguing here there is a preference, and the sophistication of bots probably isn’t quite there yet for most people.

Is it time to add a chat to your legal website?

ZyraTalk is a great chat option that, based on our data, browsers seem to prefer over Ngage. A chat function like ZyraTalk can help you avoid missing connections with potential clients who need more information about your service than your website can provide. By having a live person available to take over the chat, your odds are stronger that the person using the chat feature will choose your firm to fulfill their needs.

At Market My Market, our goal is to empower you to never skip a beat. We offer full-service digital marketing services to law firms and other businesses looking to generate leads. If you’re ready for an influx of new clients, find out how we can help. Complete our contact form for a free marketing consultation.