Ever get so frustrated with customer support that you just want to tell them how you actually feel? We all have that moment, especially when it is with the LiveChat support feature of company websites.

You might want to think twice now before typing something awkward or sensitive as most people are unaware of the fact that these LiveChat features allow the agent on the backend to see what you are typing in real-time!

Companies who sell their LiveChat services and software to organizations for use on their websites have this feature termed as “Sneak Peek”. And it means exactly what you would imagine it to be.

Don’t believe us? Here’s a description of the ‘Sneak Peek’ feature which ChatPirate has mentioned on its website of their LiveChat software:

“See what people type on chat before they send it. Prepare your responses beforehand.”

All other features are pretty much standard for these LiveChat software companies. It’s the ability to read our messages before we actually send them which has given us the chills. Who would have imagined that the other person chatting with us would be expecting to respond to something we might not have even sent yet?

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Do Users Have the Right to Be Informed?

This does raise some privacy concerns/issues and should be brought to people’s attention. Even if what they are doing is not against the law, there should be a notice at the start of the chat which advises users of this policy and feature.

Websites are now required to inform their visitors of using cookies and ask permission for sending push notifications. Why is this any different? Maybe because not a lot of people are aware that their messages in LiveChat software are being read and maybe even recorded on the backend before being sent out.

These website greeters seem pretty spooky at times because most of us are not expecting a random chat to appear out of no where when we are browsing the web. Usually, the picture and details of the agent are also disguised into someone of a different cultural background for a more “acceptable” approach.

It should be known that these website greeters have staff members based around different countries where outsourcing from the United States saves them a whole lot of money. Some of these countries are the usually outsourced ones like India, Pakistan, Philippines and Thailand.

It is hard to confirm, since that information is also kept private and not provided to the user.

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Which LiveChat Companies Provide the Sneak Peek Feature?

Some of the LiveChat companies which are openly providing the Sneak Peek feature are:

It seems like this feature is highly sought after and a common one for LiveChat software. While most of the features which these companies provide are logical, sneak peek is one which feels like a clear invasion of privacy.

Here are some of the other common features if LiveChat websites, which are quite harmless to users:

  • Ready made responses for common questions
  • Information about the user who is enquiring
  • File sharing abilities
  • Archiving chats for future use
  • Delivery status of messages sent to user
  • Sending ability of chat transcripts
  • Banning unwanted visitors
  • Tracking Visitors on the website

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What Do Call Centers and LiveChat Software Have in Common?

If you already didn’t know it, customer support and sales call centers also have a very similar way of dealing with customers. It is not as much of a feature as it is tactic, but the call center agent on the other line is usually able to hear what you are saying when you’re put on hold from time-to-time again.

Most people believe that when the line is on hold, they are not being listened to. Unfortunately, this is quite a common misconception. Not only are you on hold, the music or hold tone is only being played on your end and not audible by the agent. What is audible to the agent is what you are saying or even doing at that time.

There isn’t much regulation on text as there is for voice recording between two parties. Which is why you should be cautious in what you type on the LiveChat website greeter until there are laws made to focus on this issue. Even so, it is always recommended to steer clear of sharing any private information regardless of how secure you believe the line is.

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What do you think about LiveChat website greeters being able to see what you’re typing before actually sending it? Let us know in the comments section below or on the Official Facebook page!