This came up this morning while chatting with a content manager friend
of mine. She's installing one of those "virtual smart agent"
things on her customer's web site.
It's one of those little in-page chat windows that pops up and asks
if you'd like to talk to an agent and get help.
She says they "increase conversions 10%".
I think they're one of the more annoying, and misused bits of fluff
to appear in the past few years. Mostly because as soon as they
became available, they became WIDELY available and folks (maybe it's
just me) have become accustomed to closing those popups just to get
them out the way and move on with their business.
I searched the archives here, but I'm interested in any research
that shows that these smart agents really do increase conversions by
10%, what kind of conversions they are, and whether they negatively
impact other metrics severely enough to offset the 10%.