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Effective Olark API Use: See visitor details in a live chat

Olark Essentials

Effective Olark API Use: See visitor details in a live chat

Matt Pizzimenti

If you're an advanced API user, you might want to skip straight to our full API section. If you're a new Olark API user, then you've come to the right place.

All sorts of visitors see your site each day. Some might check out your service, visit a few pages… and hopefully even sign up and become a customer. All of your favorite analytics software can show you these visitors with numbers and graphs, but what about the actual people behind those numbers?analytics-to-buddies.png

Getting a better perspective on visitors

We’ve mentioned in the past that Olark shows real-time context about your visitors, right from your buddy list. To cover some basics, we show you the approximate location where your visitor comes from:

…but location may not be the most important piece of context about your visitors. What are their names? Are they existing customers? Were they referred from an ad campaign? Did they land on your payment page previously? This is information that you might have access to, but you don’t have a way of viewing it easily in real-time. When you know this information during a chat, it will help you build rapport and even understand your customers’ needs better.

Bringing relevant customer information up front

Using our powerful Javascript Chat API, you can now display this information in real time as visitors land on your website. Here are some neat tricks you can use: Do you have the full name of your registered users? Show that customer name in your buddy list, and never forget who you’re talking to:

<script type="text/javascript">
olark('api.chat.updateVisitorNickname', {
    snippet: 'John Doe'
});
</script>

Do you collect email addresses on your website? Show that email address in your buddy list so that you can follow up over email after striking up a chat:

<script type="text/javascript">
olark('api.visitor.updateEmailAddress', {
    emailAddress: sally@example.com
});
</script>

…you get the idea.

Other ways to view visitor information

Sometimes you may have too much information for a nickname, or maybe you use a chat client that doesn’t display visitor information as well as the Olark web console. Don’t despair! We allow you to change the visitor status message as well:

<script type="text/javascript">
olark('api.chat.updateVisitorStatus', {
    snippet: "arrived from Adwords Campaign"
});
</script>

What if your users don’t log into your site or you’re not sure about where on your site that info feeds in from? Good news! You can still access a bunch of these features! For instance, in order to see your visitor’s name, email address, or even phone number, you can just choose what information you’d like to ask from your visitors here with the pre-chat survey.

What kind of per-visitor information do you find most valuable? And what other tools are you using to view that information?

Matt Pizzimenti

Matt Pizzimenti

Matt is a co-founder and Chief Technology Olarker at Olark live chat.