Support by Group Chat

One of the more interesting ideas I’ve seen kicking around the blogosphere is support by group chat.

We use Campfire here at Dovetail as a group chat application, and we love it. It allows all of us to share information, even when we may be in different cities, and working different schedules. The chat history is saved, so its easy to catch up on past conversations. Campfire also allows us to easily upload and share files and screen shots. Overall, its been a great addition to our team’s communication.


(On a related note – we’ve shown examples in the past about sending Rulemanager notifications to Campfire here and here.)

I like the idea of allowing customers to jump in and join the Campfire conversation. Probably have a room specific for this purpose. Not only would it allow interactions between agents and customers, but also customer-to-customer conversations.

I’ve seen a couple other companies doing this already.

Geezeo offers live support chat using Campfire. From their home page, scroll down, and click on the Chat Live icon. The 37signals blog has a post that details how Geezeo uses Campfire for live chat and customer support. Geezeo chat is available M-F 9-5 EST, sometimes more.

Zendesk offers live support chat using Campfire. Look for the Live Support Chat widget on the sidebar of their support page. They also have an example for their customers to offer live support chat using Campfire for Zendesk customers.  The 37signals blog has a few more details as well. Zendesk chat is available weekdays 11-12am CET and 3-4pm ET.

I think this is an interesting option for companies looking to not only connect with their customers, but allowing customers to connect with each other, and help each other out. Its no longer a one-to-one (customer-to-agent) support scenario, but a one-to-many (customer-to-many agents and many other customers).


What do you think? What if we opened up our Campfire room to customers? What if you opened up group chat to your customers? Anyone already doing it? How’s it working?