When life gives you lemons, you sell lemonade over live chat.
But seriously, you can sell anything over live chat, including the technology that runs live chat!
This article is a step-by-step guide from idea to launch of your new live chat offering!
A little background. I built ChipBot, a video and live chat plugin for websites, starting back in 2018. I built a mobile app for iOS and Android. I acquired over 4,000 customers through marketing and sales. My now company offers a white label SaaS program that helps entrepreneurs run through the same playbook as I did.
I’ve help others launch their live chat offering. 100s of them. And so can you!
I don’t expect you to read this guide through the first run-through. Focus on the steps that matter to you and return to the article later.
This is an opinionated fail-fast-and-break-everything, step-by-step guide.
And if you think ChatGPT will figure this out for you, good luck. Trust me, I’ve tried.
Before going two feet into starting a white label live chat brand, shop around.
Get to know potential partners and only buy from ones that can help you along the whole way.
Pick ones that offer low monthly costs instead of upfront costs.
There are some bad actors out there that prey on the fact there’s a low success rate. So they try to take as much money as possible up front.
Customer niches, also known as target or niche markets, refer to specific segments within a larger market that have distinct needs, preferences, and characteristics.
A product like live chat is extremely saturated in the market. So, it’s critical to drill down as far as possible.
One might ask… how far?
Here are a few examples:
Why so specific?
Because you can tailor the brand specifically to the needs of a typically underserved market.
Bigger companies don’t bother with specific personalization because it requires a lot more engagement that’s specific. ChatGPT generated content only gets you so far with personalization. They want someone to jump on a call with, someone they want to see on a video tutorial, or and something they can trust.
Only a hyper-targeted brand can achieve that.
And once you dominate one market, you move on to the next.
Solve this before buying anything! For some they can see the path on day one, others will take longer.
So, let’s go through the sub-steps quickly for establishing a brand.
1. Market research. It is covered mainly by Step 2 of this tutorial. You can validate further by talking to a few prospects before establishing things. The research you obtain drives the look and feel of the brand creation. Example: you sell to realtors and brokerages so you call your live chat Real Estate Bot.
2. Value prop. Copy marketing from the white label company you’re getting your software from. Add in the niche value prop to enhance what’s existing. Don’t reinvent the wheel. One more time here. Do not reinvent the wheel.
3. Identity. This is a very opinionated video that covers it below. You’ll either love it or hate it. Regardless it covers the line of thinking, and if you hate it, the inverse creates something successful too.
4. Determine website name and social handles. Self explanatory. Don’t make the mistake I did in my previous companies which is purposely misspelling a word and hoping they find you on Google.
5. Communication style. How will you drive your brand into the heads of future buyers? Lot of content around this, my advice is just copy another successful B2B company. You most likely won’t find a good one within the live chat arena, so think outside the box here when researching.
One more thing.
This guide does not provide legal advice around this, but my opinion is to operate under an existing entity.
If none exist, temporarily operate as a sole proprietor/partnership.
After you get your first 10 customers, form the proper legal structure if non exists. Prove the idea before committing more time to it.
Self explanatory. Here are a few spots our white label customers pick domains from:
Now, it’s time to build out the website. But you might be asking yourself:
If you build the low-hanging and cheaper tasks first, then expand outwards, it’s much easier to build momentum in doing the hard work later on.
Don’t worry too much about getting a website perfect. Value proposition trumps presentation for the first 10 customers.
You get past this step, you already beat 30% of what our signups do. Execution is hard.
Here are a few I can recommend that are fast to get started:
Once you choose one. Please do not try to get complicated with this.
Set up plans and use payment links instead of direct interactions. A payment link is a page provided by the payment processor that you can use to collect payment for a specific plans.
If you have 3 plans, you have 3 payment links. If you have annual options with those 3 plans, you have 6 payment links.
Here’s the customer journey flow:
Cancellation flow, upsell/downsell flow, and other tactics do not matter that much. Handle it all through support. Get up and running first and worry about the late-stage scenarios another time.
Here’s an example of how it works (using ChipBot as an example):
Self explanatory. Obtain details from Step 3.
There are a few tips around social accounts.
Timebox this to one-day only. If you can’t do this, skip it.
I’ve seen it consume much time from highly ambitious white label customers. It’s great if you have it, but it’s not a critical component for success.
Use Zapier to integrate everything.
For example, ChipBot’s white label program has several automation actions and triggers to connect to thousands of other apps.
Here’s what to automate as a first attempt.
If you’re here for a live chat white label partner, there is only one we will recommend: ChipBot (that’s us).
Our solution enables you to:
Learn more about ChipBot’s white label SaaS live chat solution here.
This step is to have a location your customers of the white label can login and actually chat with their website visitors. This has various names that people use:
Using a subdomain instead of a domain helps you keep your marketing website on the primary domain while things related to the brand live on subdomains. This also allows you to expand to other white label programs, not just chat, without creating a new brand around it.
All white label products have a custom branding section.
Make sure to fill out all the specifics like:
On Stripe, your payment links can be swapped out with the test versions. The other providers can do the same or offer test-specific cards.
This is a commonly overlooked step.
Ensure you can collect payments before you start promoting your offering to potential customers.
Based step 6, here are some test guides for the mentioned payment processors:
This is a catch all for everything.
Part of that 80% failure rate I mentioned above is also due to a lack of adaptability. We are all human and get things wrong. Naturally, the research will often not match the expectations.
Use your launch period to talk to users and determine what needs adjustment. Sometimes patience is needed too.
Talking to customers will lead to sales and tell you who the next batch of customers are.
I think it’s fine to say: “I know tons of businesses that could use this. I could get my first 100 on my own.”
However, setting up a plan and understanding the beginning is hard because you have no prior momentum. Here’s a plan that I recommend for our white label customers:
It’s perfectly reasonable to get feedback and work with your white label partner within the first 60 days. After that, your full attention should be on growth.
The path kinda looks something like this:
80% of white label users fail. This is across any industry.
Starting a new brand is death-by-default.
Now, with pessimism out of the way, how do you get to survive-by-default?
There are 1,000s business tips specific to white labeling or broad to businesses in general. But here’s what I generally follow.
🍀 Good luck in your journey.
If you like this article and want to start creating your white label live chat with a proven solution partner, check out ChipBot’s white label.
Matt is a Houston-based entrepreneur with over a decade of experience building highly scalable web-based technology solutions. Knowledgeable in 12 different programming languages and experienced startup veteran; having worked on 6 others. He's currently the founder and CEO of ChipBot. You can reach Matt on Twitter, LinkedIn, or StackOverflow.