Frequently Asked Questions
- How does your product differ from other similar live chat services?
- Please see our comparison chart for a side-by-side list of features. In addition, we are constantly adding new features requested by our customers, and our current customers receive all upgrades for free. We also provide friendly, personalized support. Please have a look at our Testimonials page to see what our clients think.
- What can you say about the stability of the company and service?
- Our service has been online since August 2003. We are a profitable company and are constantly improving our system. Our servers are housed in a $25 Million Data Center in New York, owned and operated by 1&1 Internet Inc. This is the one of the most stable and well-connected data centers in the world, with over 15,000 MBit of external connectivity and 99.9 % uptime guarantee. Please visit 1and1.com for more details.
- Please tell me about your technology.
- Do you provide customer support representatives along with the software?
- We do not provide customer support representatives, only the technical infrastructure for your operators. This includes server-side software running on our servers and operator consoles that can be downloaded and installed on operators' workstations.
- Can I download the software and install it on my server?
- No. At this time we offer this live help system only as a hosted solution running on our servers, as it requires a complex server-side infrastructure that needs to be maintained by our administrators. If you are a reseller of our service and expect large number of users, we can set up additional servers to handle the load.
- Can I use Provide Support chat on more than one website at the same time?
- Yes. Our service can be used on any number of web pages or sites. The subscription package defines only the number of operators.
- How do I sign up?
- To sign up please click Signup link on our home page http://www.providesupport.com then enter your preferred account name, email and password and press 'Sign Up' button.
- I forgot my password. How can I recover it?
- To recover your account Control Panel password, click the Forgot your password? link on our home page http://www.providesupport.com below the login form. The password will be sent to the e-mail, specified in your Account Settings / Account Profile page. If you get the following message: 'Your password has not been sent because email address was not entered in your account' please contact our support chat to recover your password.
To recover your operator password, please click the Forgot your password? link on the Operator Login Form. The password will be sent to the e-mail specified in your operator profile.
If you get the following message: 'Your password has not been sent because email address was not entered in your account' please contact your account administrator to recover your password.
If you don't remember your Account Name or your Operator Login for password recovery, please contact your account administrator. This information can be retrieved by the account administrator within the Control Panel on our website, on the Operators and Departments page.
- Can I remove the 'Powered by ProvideSupport.com' link in the bottom right corner of my chat messenger?
- "Powered by ProvideSupport.com" link can be removed for free on Active accounts on your demand. To request this please contact our support chat. Please note that the link contains your affiliate link and could bring you some referrals. This link cannot be removed if your account is in Trial or Expired Trial status.
- Can I have the chat system translated into my language?
- The Visitor Chat Messenger can be fully translated into any language. You can choose the language for all Messenger buttons, hints, titles in your account Control Panel, Account Settings / Regional Settings page. If the required language is not listed on the Regional Settings page, please call to our live support chat.
You can also translate System Messages, Start Chat Form Fields, Leave a Message Form Fields and operator Greeting Message from the account Control Panel.
The Operator Console and the account Control Panel are available in English only.
Free Trial and Live Demo
- Do you have a demo of your service?
- Yes. You can access it on the Live Demo page. To access this page, you need to sign up for free trial account using the Sign Up box on the left of our Home page.
- Are there any limitations in the Trial account or Live Demo?
- No. All features of our live chat service are fully functional in the Trial account and Live Demo.
- Do I need to enter my credit card info or make a pre-payment for the trial?
- No. To start using our service in trial mode you just need to enter your desired login name and password. When your trial expires (after 10 days) you will be able to choose a subscription package and submit payment.
- Can I keep my settings after my free trial expires?
- Yes. All of your settings will continue uninterrupted when you sign up for our paid subscription.
- Can I create more than 1 operator profile during the trial?
- Yes, you can create any number of operator profiles during the trial. To add an operator profile please open My Account / Operators and Departments page in your account Control Panel and click 'New Operator' link.
- Can I change the default operator name to my name during the trial?
- Yes, to change the operator name click 'Edit' next to the operator profile in your account Control Panel, My Account / Operators and Departments page.
- When I upgrade my account from Trial to Active, shall I setup everything anew?
- All your settings will be kept in our system, there is no need to setup anything anew. All your settings will be kept even if your account is expired, you can activate it at any moment.
- Can a non-technical person set this up?
- Absolutely. No advanced technical skills are required to work with our live chat software. You merely need to add a live chat button to your website pages and then access to your web server to upload (publish) the changes. If you need assistance, we can help.
- Is there any additional software that has to be installed on my system to use your live help software?
- No additional software is necessary if you are planning to use the browser-based version of the operator console. However, you can download and install the Standalone console for Windows, Mac OS or Linux, depending on your OS.
- How do I add the chat feature to my website?
- You simply paste a short snippet of chat button HTML script into your web page source code and upload the updated page to your web server. When your client clicks on the live chat button, this code will load the Visitor Popup Messenger from our servers.
- Can I use your system on a site built on Joomla or any other CMS?
- How do I add the live chat feature to my website?
- 1. Create an account in our system (see How do I sign up?)
2. Login to your account Control Panel using login and password defined by you during the registration.
3. Open My Account / Chat Button Codes page and choose a code version according to your needs. Graphics Chat Button Code is the most popular one.
4. Copy the live chat button code and paste it to your web-site source code. The chat button will appear on your page.
- How do I start chatting with my visitors?
- 1. Download the operator console from the Downloads page and install it on your computer or use the web-based operator console available at http://operator.providesupport.com
2. Login to the operator console using your Account name, Operator login and Operator password available in your account Control Panel, My Account / Operators and Departments page.
When you login to the operator console, the live chat button on your web-site will automatically switch to the Online state and you will be able to monitor your site and receive live chat calls from your visitors.
- What are hardware requirements for your system?
- The system is hosted on our servers, there is no need to install anything on your web-server. Thus your web-server could be of any configuration. The stand-alone operator console should be installed on operators' computers. Hardware requirements for the stand-alone console are not strict as the application doesn't require much resource. It will work well on any computer with at least 64 MB RAM and 20 MB of free disc space. Visitor Chat Messenger and Web-based Operator Console don't depend on hardware configuration, they work in a browser on Windows, Linux and MacOS operating systems.
- What operating systems do you support?
- The operator consoles (both the web-based and the downloadable versions) and the Visitor Chat Messenger work on Windows, Linux and Mac-OS. The stand-alone operator console supports any version of Windows starting from Windows 98 and MacOS starting from Mac-OS X 10.4. Native console installers are available for the following Linux platforms: Debian Etch, Ubuntu 7+, OpenSUSE 10+, Mandriva, Fedora. For all other Linux platforms you can download *.tgz file for manual installation. Web-based Operator Console and Visitor Chat Messenger support the following browsers:
|On Windows: || Internet Explorer starting from IE 5.0 and IE-based browsers e.g. Maxthon, Avant, Firefox, Netscape, Mozilla, Opera starting from 9.0, Safari, Google Chrome |
|On MacOS: ||Safari, Firefox, Netscape, Mozilla, Camino |
|On Linux: ||Firefox, Netscape, Mozilla |
- Is your system Mac-compatible?
- Yes, our system fully supports Mac-OS from both operator and visitor sides. For operators there is a stand-alone operator console application available for downloading at the Downloads page and the web-based console is available at http://operator.providesupport.com. The stand-alone operator console can be used on any version of Mac-OS starting from MacOS X 10.4. The Visitor Chat Messenger is fully compatible with Mac-OS.
- Will your system work on Linux?
- Yes, our system fully supports different versions of Linux from both operator and visitor sides. For operators there is a stand-alone operator console application available for downloading at the Downloads page and the web-based console is available at http://operator.providesupport.com. Native stand-alone operator console installers are available for the following Linux platforms: Debian Etch, Ubuntu 7+, OpenSUSE 10+, Mandriva, Fedora. For all other Linux platforms you can download *.tgz file for manual installation. The Visitor Chat Messenger is fully compatible with Linux.
- Will your system work on my Blackberry or any other smartphone or PDA?
- At this time we don't support mobile devices due to some major browsers incompatibilities.
- Can I have my customers include info like company, email, etc. when they're asking for support?
- Yes. You can define fields that your customers fill-in after they click on the live chat button. You can add simple text fields for short texts such as email addresses; text areas for longer messages, such as customer problem descriptions; fields allowing your customers to select a specific department or operator; and country and state drop-down selectors if you need to know your customer's location.
- Can we monitor the search engines and what keywords people use to find our site?
- Our operator interface allows you to see where your visitor came from (referrer address). If they enter your website from search engine page, you'd have search phrase included into the referrer address. This is the real-time monitoring of your website visitors. If you need aggregated statistics, including complete search keywords list, you could use a popular website statistic package, such as Webalizer, AWstats or Analog. Most host providers offer access to website statistics as a part of their service.
- Can I create predefined answers if I know I'm going to be asked the same questions by most visitors, so I don't have to repeatedly type in the same answers?
- Yes. You can create canned responses inside your account administration area. You can define answers on the company level - accessible to all operators, on the department level - accessible to operators associated with particular department, and for each operator individually. After you set up predefined answers, your operators will be able to choose them from a drop-down list in the operator console. Your operators may edit or customize these messages as necessary before they are sent to the visitor.
- Do you also have the possibility to push URL, so my customer can see it?
- Yes. Type "open: www.some-address.com" (without quotes) in your operator console. This will open the page on your customer's computer in a separate browser window, unless your customer is using a popup blocker. This address will also be highlighted and clickable in the live chat message area. To save typing, you can create canned messages with "open:" and "goto:" commands for web addresses used frequently.
- Does your live chat system have a co-browsing feature?
- Yes. Type "goto: www.some-address.com" (without quotes) and your customer's current browser window will be redirected to the specified address. This command is useful if you need to redirect user to the particular page on your or other website in his main window, without opening a new window. It will work even if your customer is using a popup blocker. The address will also be highlighted and clickable in the message area. To save typing, you can create canned messages with "open:" and "goto:" commands for web addresses used frequently.
- Is it possible to block IPs from my end?
- No, this is not possible in the current version of our system. We have had only a few cases during the last year of operation when this was really necessary. In most cases you can just ignore a troublesome user a couple of times (close his chat session without accepting the call), and this will look to him like there is no one on your side to answer. If you really need someone to be blocked we can do this in our system upon your request. Please contact the live customer support chat on our website for this.
- Can I monitor visitor traffic on my eBay auction page(s)?
- No, unfortunately. Java script would have to be added to the auction page. Current eBay rules prohibit the use of Java script in the auction page source code.
- Can I monitor my website visitors without putting a live chat button on the page?
- Yes. We have a special version of HTML code that can be added to your web page that prevents a live help chat button from showing. This code is available on the Chat Button Codes / Hidden Code for Visitor Monitoring page.
- Do you offer VoIP and/or video chat?
- Our system supports text messaging only. VoIP and video are not available at this time.
- What is the difference between the stand-alone and web-based operator consoles?
- The web-based console is accessible via browser, it doesn't require installation on operator's machine and can be easily used on any computer from any location.
The stand-alone console is an application, it requires installation.
The stand-alone console is more powerful than the web-based one, it supports more features and it is more convenient to use. The stand-alone console supports spell checker in several languages, file transfer, it can generate alerts on different events, it can sit in the system tray and raise only on certain events, there is also a geo location map included in the stand-alone console.
- Does your Operator Console support shortcuts?
- Yes, there are a number of shortcuts that can be used in the stand-alone Operator Console:
|Ctrl+Shift+S ||Console status switch (Online/Away) |
|Ctrl+Shift+L ||Console log in/log out |
|Ctrl+O ||Open console Options window |
|Сtrl+P ||Open console Profile Manager window |
|Ctrl+F ||Open Find dialog (works when Visitors tab is opened) |
|Ctrl+R ||Open Canned Responses window |
|Ctrl+G ||Paste selected canned response (works when Canned Responses window is opened) |
|Ctrl+D ||Send selected canned response (works when Canned Responses window is opened) |
|Ctrl+E ||Toggling between chat tabs (works when at least 2 chat rooms are opened) |
|Ctrl+T ||Toggling between tabs in the Info Pane |
|Ctrl+Shift+A ||Accept incoming chat (you need to toggle to the chat room first and then accept it) |
|Ctrl+Shift+D ||Deny incoming chat (you need to toggle to the chat room first and then deny it). No Available Operators system message will be displayed for the visitor |
|Ctrl+Shift+X ||Close current chat room |
|Ctrl+S ||Open Send File window (works when at least one chat room is opened) |
- Can we change the appearance of chat buttons to match our site better?
- Yes. You can choose button images from our gallery or upload your own images.
- Can I have different chat buttons on different pages of my site?
- Yes. This can be achieved by placing a slightly different version of our HTML code on each page of your site. This code would include the addresses of online and offline chat buttons you would like to have on each particular page of your website.
- Can I place live chat buttons on more than one site / domain?
- Yes. You can place chat buttons on any number of pages, sites, and domains. Your subscription package defines only the number of operator profiles within your company account.
- Can your system be used with dynamic and secure web pages? Does it work properly on Linux hosting?
- Yes. Our system works on both static and dynamic pages created with any technology (HTML, PHP, ASP, JSP, CGI and others), on any kind of hosting. We also have a version of chat button code that can be placed on secure pages without browser warnings. You can choose to run all your chat sessions over secure connections.
- Can I put a live chat button in my email messages?
- Yes. If you are using an email interface such as Microsoft Outlook that sends messages in HTML format, you would select the Source tab at the bottom of the message box and paste our auction HTML code into the source code of the message. When you select the Edit tab after inserting the code, you should see the live chat button. You can then drag and drop the button to the desired position. If you are sending text-based emails, simply paste this link into the email: http://messenger.providesupport.com/messenger/<your account name>.html
- Yes. You could use a direct link to your messenger. It has the following look http://messenger.providesupport.com/messenger/your-account-name.html, you'd only need to replace your-account-name with your real account name. This link will allow you to chat with your clients but some popular features won't be available, such as visitor monitoring and pro-active chat invitations. To fully benefit from the system we usually recommend using our standard codes provided on the Chat Button Codes page.
- Do I have to be running DSL or cable?
- Our service works fine on dial-up modem connections, but some kind of persistent connection is preferable for operators to be online most of the time.
- What about the security of our conversations?
- If your conversations contain sensitive information, you can choose to run all your chat sessions over a secure connection. Our live help system supports industry-strength, 256-bit secure SSL connections.
- Will your product still work if I'm on a corporate network? Will our firewall, proxy server, or antivirus software affect it?
- Our system works over standard HTTP or HTTPS (80 or 443 ports) and does not use any incoming connections. It should work without requiring port mapping / forwarding rules on any network where you can access web pages with browsers like Internet Explorer or Netscape. If you encounter any problems connecting to our service, let us know and we will find a solution.
- I can't log into my account.
- Make sure you have spelled everything correctly. Note that the account name and operator login are not case sensitive, but the password is. Be sure you are not swapping the account name and operator login. If you forget your login information, contact us and we will send it to you.
- I can't log into the standalone operator console.
- Try logging into the web-based console. If you are successful, it is likely that anti-virus software, Internet security software, or a firewall is blocking the operator console from accessing the Internet. If you are also unable to log into the web-based console, try logging into your demo account from the Live Demo page. If this doesn't work, contact us for assistance.
- Is there a setup fee? Monthly fee? Are there any additional payments?
- There are no setup fees, no contract and no additional payments. There is only a monthly service fee that can be paid each month, every three months, every six months, or annually. Three-, six-, and twelve-month subscription packages include discounts of 22%, 33% and 45%, respectively. For example, if you choose one operator package, paid annually at $99 per year, you would save 45%, compared to one operator account paid monthly at $15 per month ($15 x 12 = $180 per year).
- Will I be billed automatically each month?
- Yes. When you subscribe for our paid service our system sets up automatic recurring payments on your account. Your credit card will be charged automatically at the beginning of the next billing cycle, periodically each 1, 3, 6, or 12 months depending on the subscription package you selected. You can cancel your subscription at any time. There are no additional costs associated with the cancellation.
- Can I add more operators later after I subscribe?
- Yes, you can change your package at any time. This change is free.
- Are upgrades included? If I subscribe now, will I automatically get any new updates?
- Yes. All future updates are free. Browser-based operator interface updates will be downloaded automatically, because pages are loaded from our servers each time you log in. We will send you an email notification when a new version of the stand-alone operator console is released for download.
- Let's say my sales staff goes home but wants to continue monitoring in the evening. The license restricts the number of operators but not how many places they can log-in from, right?
- Yes. The subscription package defines only the total number of operator profiles within your account, not the locations they can monitor from. Operators can download and install the operator console, and log in from any number of places, and serve any number of web sites. An operator can even have the operator console opened on several computers simultaneously. Your operator can start a live chat with a customer on one computer, then walk to the another computer and continue the conversation from there.
- When does my billing cycle start?
- The billing cycle starts when you subscribe for one of our paid subscription packages. You can choose one, three, six month or annual billing period. Extended subscription gives you a significant discount, up to 45% for annual billing period.
- Is there a limit to the number of chats I can have each month?
- There is no limit. You may have an unlimited number of live chats with any number of unique visitors. Your subscription package defines only the number of operators within your company account.
- How do I upgrade/downgrade my account?
- You would need to cancel your current subscription and purchase a new one to upgrade/downgrade your account. All your account settings will be kept, the service won't be interrupted. Please login to your account Control Panel, go to Billing / Upgrade page, click Cancel for Upgrade and confirm the cancellation. Then choose a new package on the Purchase page. You would need to pay the difference between the new subscription price and your account balance available at the moment of upgrade. The new billing period will be calculated starting from the date of the upgrade.
- I want to suspend my account for some time. Is this possible?
- Yes, this is possible. To suspend your account please contact our support chat. We will cancel your current subscription and temporarily suspend your account. All your settings will be kept in the system and your remaining account balance will be kept as well. You'll be able to purchase a new subscription and reactivate your account at any moment.
- Do you charge per concurrent online operator profile or per operator profile in the account?
- We charge per operator profile in the account. This means that if you purchase a 3-opeartor subscription, you can create 3 operator profiles in your account with a set of customizations for each of them e.g. name, login, password, e-mail, picture, font etc. All of your operator profiles can be online concurrently.
- I received AUTH DECLINED error when submitting payment for your service. What is wrong?
- This message means that the transaction is refused by your bank. Possible reasons are (but not limited to): insufficient funds or daily limit reached. Please contact your bank for more details. Banks never provide this information to merchants, they will only provide it to the credit card owner.
- How can I pay for your service?
- We accept credit cards, PayPal payments and U.S. checks. You'll be able to submit payment after choosing a subscription from your account Control Panel on our site. We also accept Purchase Orders.
- Can I resell your system under my brand?
- There's no possibility to re-brand the system, it can be offered only under Provide Support brand through our Affiliate Program. Please read more about it on the Affiliate page.
- What is my affiliate link?
- Your affiliate link has the following look: http://www.providesupport.com/partner/your-account-name or http://www.providesupport.com/p/your-account-name, you'd only need to replace your-account-name with your real account name.
- Where can I track my referrals?
- You can see a list of your referrals in your account Control Panel, Affiliate / Referrals page.
- Your live chat button code generates security warning on my website, how do I fix this?
- Our live chat button code is designed to work on both secure and non-secure web pages. It was tested accurately and it works successfully on thousands of websites. Please try to comment out the chat button code, publish changes and reload the page. Most probably the warning will remain as it is generated by some other piece of code. Please follow the suggestions provided on the page http://friedcellcollective.net/outbreak/2006/06/09/this-page-contains-both-secure-and-nonsecure-items/ to get rid of warnings and then add the chat button code to the website again.
- Your live chat button code doesn't work on my website, what is wrong?
- Please check if the chat button code on your published page looks exactly the same as the code provided in your account Control Panel. Sometimes the code gets corrupted or modified by website building services or hosting providers. If the code is not modified, please check if it is inserted within the <body>...</body> tags of your page. The code should work well if it is not modified and inserted correctly. If it doesn't, the most probable reason of the issue is some incompatibility between your particular website and the code. Please contact our support chat to solve the problem in this case.
- I get several copies of the same transcript, how do I fix this?
- Our live customer support system can send transcripts on 3 levels: Company level, Department level, Operator level. The most probable reason of the issue is that transcripts sending is enabled on several levels in your account. Please check these settings on the Account Settings / Chat Transcripts page, in operators' profiles and in departments' profiles on the Operators and Departments page. If you wish to receive all transcripts to one e-mail, please keep the feature enabled only on the Company level. If you wish to receive transcripts to different e-mails depending on the operator/department, please keep the feature enabled on the operator/department level only.
- My chat invitation is not displayed properly, how do I fix this?
- Chat invitation is displayed in a layer and it can conflict with other layers of your web-site, it can get hidden or misplaced. To fix this please cut the first DIV from the chat button code (it looks like <div id="ciXXXX" style="z-index:100;position:absolute"></div> where ciXXXX is a random set of chars, unique per code) and paste it just after the opening BODY tag on your page. Then publish these changes to your web server and check the result. If this doesn't help, please contact our live support chat to solve the problem.
- Where do I find the post chat survey results?
- If the post chat survey was filled out by the visitor, the results would be attached to the chat transcript, at the very bottom of it, under the Visitor Details section. If the visitor didn't fill out the survey, the results wouldn't appear in the transcript.
- I don't receive either your e-mails or chat transcripts to my e-mail address, how to fix this?
There can be several reasons of this issue:
- Messages can be blocked by your spam-blocker or go to the Junk e-mail folder.
- Messages can be deferred by your mail service depending on its server load. This occurs often with free mail services such as Hotmail.
- Messages can be blocked or rejected by your mail service if your mail account is configured to accept messages only from certain domains or certain e-mail addresses. This can occur with services such as AOL.
- Your mail server can route messages incorrectly.
To solve the issue please do the following:
- Check your spam-blocker and mailbox preferences to allow messages from our domain providesupport.com. Please also check your Junk e-mail folder.
- Contact your mail administrator if you are using a corporate mail server to check if messages from our domain providesupport.com are accepted and routed correctly.
- Try to use another e-mail address provided by another service e.g. your gmail or yahoo mailbox. If you receive messages to this new e mail address successfully, then the issue seems to be related to your mail service.
If all of this doesn't help, please contact us in our support chat, we will check our mail logs and help you to locate the issue.
- The live chat history in the Operator Console scrolls up each time a message is sent or received. How do I fix this?
- This issue is usually related to some conflict between the Operator Console version 4.3.0 and Internet Explorer 8.0. To fix this please upgrade to the latest version of the Operator Console available on the Downloads page.
- Several visitors join the same chat session. How do I fix this?
- This issue is caused by using an incorrect chat button code on your website. The correct chat button code can be found in your account Control Panel, Chat Button Codes page.
- Thai characters are not displayed or displayed incorrectly in the text input area of the stand-alone Operator Console. How do I fix this?
- The problem occurs depending on fonts installed on your computer. To fix it please download and install Operator Console version 5.7.x and try to choose another font in Operator Console Tools / Options / Input Area / Font / Change.