This article is intended to provide you with some up-front UX advice before you undergo a "Chat Support" integration AS WELL AS provide you with some time-saving Chat Implementation Competitive Analysis.
The first thing to consider when determining if chat is right for your side is whether or not it is going to solve your business problem. For example, if you are trying to cut call volume to your customer service site, then you may want to implement chat in such a way that users are more prone to see it rather than the phone number. On the other hand, let's say you are looking to simplify your business complexity due to man (or woman) power. Maybe adding chat is just going to muddy the mix... If that's the case, maybe it's just simply not right for you.
If after some thought you have set your mind on setting up chat, then it's time for Research. Researching how others are doing this is going to be key to coming up with a solution that works best for your website.
Lucky for you that I've already spent a day researching some of the more popular sites (as of 2015-01-26) and have jotted down a brief description of the implementation, provided a usability rating, experience rating and some ux notes... As well, I've provided links to screenshots...
Chat Competitive Analysis
I'd love to hear what you are trying to do. If you have further questions, concerns, or comments, please feel free to leave a comment.
My New blog is http://thelucashall.com. Come see my newer/more relevant content.