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Velaro live chat review

Velaro is a Maryland-based live chat provider that’s been on the market since 2001. With thousands of websites using their tech, they have a pretty big following. Let’s see what Velaro live chat has to offer and whether it’s worth the asking price.

Velaro live chat setup

Velaro live chat offers a free 14-day trial, which already makes them better than some companies in my book. Free trial should be a must, not an option.

After a quick sign up process, I get an email that leads me to the Velaro live chat code page. After copying the code and placing it on my test page, I was able to log in to the app.

Unfortunately, there’s not much in terms of onboarding in Velaro live chat. Apart from the initial email and the code page, you get no real indication on what’s what and what you should do next.

For example, you get an immediate access to the Dashboard section of the app after opening. The problem is, there’s no description of what’s included in this section or why you need it and you have to figure out everything yourself.

I think there should be some kind of tutorial that would show you around the app, show you all the key elements and give you a brief description on how to use them.

First chat on Velaro live chat

Moving past the set up, I was ready to start the first chat on Velaro live chat. The code worked without a hitch and the Velaro chat window quickly appeared on my test page.

Upon clicking the chat window, visitors are asked to fill out a short survey (can be customized) and they are then placed in a queue. Shortly after that, the automatic routing system kicks in and a chat is started.

So far, so good. After exchanging a couple messages in the test chat, I’ve noticed that visitors get the option to rate each individual message. On top of that, they also get the option to rate the entire conversation. This seems like it could provide a lot of extra data but also may be a bit confusing for visitors.

Another thing I noticed, or should I say I didn’t notice, was the complete lack of any notifications: both for website visitors and agents.

This is a huge problem. If I didn’t start the test chat myself, I would have no idea that there’s someone waiting for a reply. Unless the agent is constantly looking at the specific part of the app where chats are available, it’s really easy to miss a message from a potential customer.

Velaro live chat features

The feature range of the app seems pretty straightforward. You get most of the popular features available in other live chats.

You have things like chat or file transfer. Agents can also invite other agents to chat. There’s also an option to ‘push’ a page to the visitors. However, I’m not really sure why it can be done via a simple link in the chat window. The only upside here is opening the page in another tab but the chat window should follow the visitor anyway.

During a conversation, an agent has access to all basic visitor information like the location and the survey details. What’s interesting, agents also can access previous chats with a customer right from the chatting panel. This saves them a trip to the Archives section every time they want to check up on something.

Velaro live chat pricing

Velaro live chat comes in 4 different pricing plans:

  • Starter ($19.95/user)
  • Small Business ($64.95/user)
  • Professional ($149.95/user)
  • Enterprise (custom pricing)

All plans ‘gate’ features in some way. This means that the more expensive a plan is, the more features it will have. In addition to that, the Starter plan has an extra volume limitation: you can track only 500 visitors at a time. However, this shouldn’t be a problem for smaller businesses to which this plan is targeted. There are also a couple of smaller limitations like the allowed number of agent groups that can be created or how many proactive chat rules can be set up.

All in all, the pricing seems pretty steep for what’s offered. The ‘cheapest’ plan starts and $20, which is way more than what other providers are asking for their most basic plan. And considering that you can pretty often get it for free, the $20 looks like even more. However, it has to be said that you get quite a lot in terms of features. You definitely won’t feel limited if you’re just starting and your needs aren’t that big.

What I really don’t like about the pricing is putting a price tag on customer service. The smaller plans get very little in terms of support. For example, only the enterprise clients get ’24/7 emergency support’ as if emergencies like that happened only in big companies. To be honest, it’s the small companies that need the emergency support because a disruption in the chat service can break their business. A bigger decrease in the number of sold products and they can be done for. Bigger companies won’t die off because their chat didn’t work. Yes, they will lose more revenue but their livelihood won’t be at risk.

Velaro live chat verdict

All in all, Velaro seems to be a pretty decent option when you look at the feature set. It is a bit pricey, but you get most of what you need in the package.

The biggest downside it the unreliable support in the smaller plans. Putting a price tag on support is never a good sign and you should definitely consider it when looking at Velaro. There are alternatives that are way cheaper, or even free, that also don’t offer immediate support. You need to ask yourself is the feature set alone worth the bigger price.

Pros and Cons

  • Dashboard section with a snapshot of your chat activity
  • Rating individual messages can provide more data
  • Quick access to chat history when chatting with customers
  • No real onboarding or explanation on what to do
  • A complete lack of sound or visual notifications
  • You need to pay for a decent level of support
  • Quite expensive when looking at the competition

Author's Review Score Breakdown

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