Charge Extra for Live Chat?

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Charge Extra for Live Chat?

We recently talked about "prioritized support" and if it's fair to charge extra to provide that. This time, I want to talk about something similar.

  • Live Chat.

I obviously understand that you won't be able to offer a live chat support, or at least that it would be stupid to offer it if you were selling ebooks or some sort of social media service.

But what if you sold some sort of software or had a marketplace like SEOClerks for instance.. Would it be a good thing to have and would you as a customer or client be willing to pay extra for a Live Chat?

A Live Chat would obviously cost you money in one way or another. If you hired someone or if you had to work in the Live chat yourself, as you would most likely end up pausing other tasks or incoming orders.. So you would need to cover the loss in some way.

One way to cover it would be by charging extra for a live chat.

What do you think? - Would it be fair for the owner to charge extra for the live chat and would you as a client or customer be willing to pay the extra cost for that kind of support?

Best Regards,


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Well it all really depends on what it is in question they are seeking live chat support over. Some places provide it as a free service. But only if they have the man power. Take NameCheap for example, I've popped into their live chat so many times for even small trivial things that I want an answer for that I don't want to open a support ticket for. And have never had to pay for the time they've given me via that. But it would depend on just how long this "live chat" was going to take place. If it was just a couple mins (5-15 mins) then I probably wouldn't charge for that. But if it was going to go on for longer, like 1-2 hours or more. Then I would probably charge for that as that goes beyond instant chat into the mentoring zone. And if I found that I was going to be doing that a lot. And that it was going to take up a lot of my time. Then I would charge extra for it without any qualms what so ever. Especially if I was going to provide excellent customer service and support via it. And I think anyone that was going to use it for that reason and take a lot of time up asking a lot of questions should come to expect it as well. Unless of course they purchased a product or service that was a big ticket item like $1000+ or something but even then, I would charge for it and they should understand that they should be charged for that as well regardless and I think most people would be okay with that. Otherwise they can just use the Knowledge Base (if there is one) or the support forum (if there is one).

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Yeah, I agree with you Mike. A live chat should be available when we're talking about those $1000+ products and in my opinion, a live chat could be included when it comes to such high end products, and I actually think it is, in most cases. As I've actually never seen adobe or namecheap or any of those companies charge extra for a live chat. However, I've seen a bunch of product creators. People who're writing their own money making ebooks and stuff like that, charge an extra fee for it, just like they do with their "prioritized" support over email. I honestly think it's a bit crazy and an act of greed, but sure, I've never offered live chats before, so I can't really say how I would do it if I offered one at some point.

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I really enjoy getting support through live chat. I prefer to use it rather than calling as it is generally quicker. Besides I would be able to have a written summary of what was said as generally you can opt for a transcript to be sent by email after the session is completed. If I were to pay for the service though I would be a bit reluctant if the fee is a bit high. Most sites do not charge anything, and so as a client I would expect it to be a free service. It depends on how long the chat session takes though as it may not be cost effective for the company and that is understandable.

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I totally agree with you EliteWriter, I prefer to contact the support using their live chats. It's way easier, and I have usually already stated a few things in a .txt document so I know exactly what I'll say as soon as it's my turn, and when it is, I basically just copy / paste the things I wrote beforehand. I do think it's easier for them too actually, in one way, as they would decrease their "chat time" and everything like that too, and I know that most of the people working in help desks are working against time each and every time they're talking with a customer or a potential client. I've worked in call centers myself, with similar tasks and I always worked against time.

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I love live chat when I need to ask a question. It sure beats having to email or submit a ticket and then wait for a response. Some customer services are so fast that when you email it is as fast as live chat, but live chat just adds an element of efficiency that email doesn't have.

Having 24 hour live chat means you will have to have staff to man it all the time, possibly a few people depending on how busy your website is. I wouldn't want to ask a question in live chat and wait 10 minutes for someone to attend to me.

Yes we spoke about paying extra for prioritized support, which I disagreed with. However having a premium feature like Live Chat I think is different so I would personally pay for this.

Here's something else to think about Andre. At Wealthy Affiliate I am a premium (paying) member and I get live chat but it is members that chat. Yes sometimes the owners are in there too and we can chat to them but the beauty of how Wealthy Affiliate is set up is that members help and support each other.

I'm not sure what type of plan you are hatching but this type of member live chat for Wealthy Affiliate works wonders. The members help each other out! I thought I would share that with you just in case it helps you with whatever you are up to.

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There are a lot of plugins out there, free plugins for WordPress for implementing a live chat. I'm actually doing this for some of my clients, even for Magento online store you can find free live chat extensions.

Live chat can increase sales and conversions as long as you have someone online to guide the clients into the right direction. I couldn't believe how many users will actually use the live chat, some are very confused about navigating the website (great way to improve user experience), others want certain additional information about certain products and some are just lazy, either way, if you don't have a live chat you will lose those clients.

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