Aestiva LiveHelp, a software product for providing sales and customer support over the Web, is now available for Mac OS X.
LiveHelp is a pop-up chat window that’s added to a Web site to provide live technical support and/or sales support services. HelpMate “supercharges” a Web site with “popup help” windows. It allows a client to give live support online or embedded in e-mail messages through hyperlinks that launch a customer chat window. From the chat screen, staff can help customers by answering questions, providing product information or “pushing” specific Web pages.
“We want to bring human beings back into the process,” said D.M. Silverberg, Aestiva director of technology, in a press announcement. “There’s nothing more supportive or more human than the ability to interact with a customer representative while visiting a Web site or responding to an e-mail communication. Aestiva LiveHelp was engineered to be easy to use but deliver enterprise-level functionality,” said Silverberg.
Most live help today is rented to Web sites by third-party “Application Service Providers,” or ASPs, who maintain the software and data on their own computers, he said. ASPs charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month to rent these services, Silverberg added.
“Aestiva has broken the ASP barrier by offering Aestiva LiveHelp as a software product, not a service,” Silverberg said. “Users can have it installed on their own Mac OS X server or in their own shared hosting account. Customer information stays under the user’s control, and there are no monthly fees.”
Like all Aestiva software, Aestiva LiveHelp is completely Web-centric; it’s run entirely through a browser. This enables staff to run and maintain it from anywhere on the Web — whether at the office, home or on the road, Silverberg said.
Two versions of Aestiva LiveHelp are being released. A small-business version for companies with a part-time support person is now available and shipping for Mac OS X. A corporate product for businesses with more than one CSR (Customer Support Representative) will be available in April. It will be released first on Mac OS X and later be available for other server platforms.
The Aestiva LiveHelp single-staff version retails for under US$800. For more info, go to the Aestiva Web site.
LiveHelp is one of four Web site applications that Aestiva announced in January in tandem with Tenon Intersystems. The new applications are an outgrowth of Aestiva’s “NET-anywhere” initiative. Launched late last year, NET-anywhere is a campaign dedicated to the principle that software applications can be hosted on any Internet Hosting Provider and with any kind of Web server.