Founded in 2002, LiveChat provides a fast, cost-effective alternative. The company’s real-time chat software facilitates immediate and simple communication between businesses and their online visitors, helping boost customer satisfaction and sales.
While the company’s chat software has always been easy to use, its billing process has not. In the early years, LiveChat relied on manual invoicing for customer billing. The company eventually built its own online store and integrated it with PayPal and Skrill payment services. But problems remained.
“The services weren’t designed for subscription businesses or recurring payments,” says Bartosz Olchowka, Head of Development for LiveChat. “It was difficult to integrate them with our backend systems. It was a pain to manage our customer accounts and billing. And there wasn’t any tracking or reporting functionality.”
The process wasn’t very friendly to LiveChat customers either. When making payments, they were redirected to the PayPal or Skrill website, creating a disjointed—and often confusing—process.
“We would lose our immediate connection to the customer whenever they made a payment,” Olchowka explains. “And their billing statement would say PayPal instead of LiveChat, which led to questions and confusion about where their money went.”
To alleviate these issues, LiveChat began using Recurly payment software in early 2012. And business has been booming ever since.
“We investigated several billing options, but Recurly clearly stood out from the rest,” says Olchowka. “They have a simple, intuitive product, a friendly approach and reasonable pricing. And most importantly, Recurly was designed for subscription businesses like ours.”
Recurly has been a key advantage for us and an important contributor to our recent success.
LiveChat’s motto is “keep it simple.” With easy setup, integration and administration, Recurly software is perfectly aligned with the company’s sensibilities and priorities.
“Recurly is very easy to install and merge with backend systems,” says Olchowka. “It took us less than three weeks from the time we decided to use Recurly to having it fully integrated and in production.”
LiveChat is using two application programming interfaces (APIs), Recurly.js and REST API, to seamlessly incorporate credit card information and payment options into its product. Customers sign up once for the LiveChat service, and monthly billing is automatically handled thereafter.
“In the past, some of our customers had to re-enter their credit card number every month,” Olchowka explains. “Recurly is so much better. It’s tightly integrated with our product and stays in the background, so it’s invisible to our customers.”
The flexibility of the software, Olchowka adds, allows LiveChat to offer its customers a variety of choices, including one-, three- and twelve-month subscription options.
Recurly automates billing notifications accordingly, sending emails to subscribers when payments are due or past due, when payments have been made and in the event of payment failure.
“With Recurly, we don’t need to worry about payment notices or confirmations, or our customers’ understanding of their subscription status,” says Olchowka. “And we take advantage of Recurly’s data analytics and reporting capabilities.”
Using the REST API, the LiveChat team is able to pull and analyze billing and payment data to monitor revenue and growth, and make informed business decisions. But advanced data analytics have not been necessary to track the recent surge in customers. Within 18 months of installing Recurly payment software, LiveChat more than doubled its subscribers.
“Recurly has been a key advantage for us and an important contributor to our recent success,” Olchowka claims. “Our business growth speaks for itself.”