How we worked out we needed to pivot from software to service – StartupSmart

LiveChatMonitoring has been growing rapidly, 25% month on month off a strong base, since pivoting and relaunching their business in 2013.


Originally launched in 2011, live-chat software cofounder Gavin Sloan thought it would be a customer service and sales breakthrough for his small business clients.


But after a few months, all began to struggle to resource the software well. Live-chat requires staff to be on call effectively 24 hours a day and many companies just couldn’t keep up.


“We knew live chat was an incredible tool for converting passive visitors into active leads and enquiries, but often the biggest challenge is being able to resource it,” Sloan says.


“Ultimately clients would love it but struggle. Even if they can resource the software, staff leave for lunch or forget to check the system and no one wanted to be on it after hours, overnight or on the weekends.”


After offering the managed service for a couple of clients as an add-on, with his own team manning the conversations, Sloan realised every single client was struggling with the same issue.


Switching the branding and focus of the service in December last year, the company has taken off.


“About 70% of our new clients come to us through referrals and the rest come through a couple of really proactive resellers we have out there in the marketplace,” Sloan says.


He says the management team of four are flat out in recruitment projects as they plan to grow the team from 19 to 25 team members within the fortnight.


“Everyone does whatever we need to as we’re growing quite rapidly,” Sloan says. “We’ve a couple of major partnerships with guys with very large databases in the works, so the next year is going to be busy.”


He adds the 24/7 nature of their service means they’ll soon start exploring setting up centres in other countries.

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