Primarily, let me thank you for taking the time to learn about us, we are honored that you’re considering tawk.to.
I’m Robert, tawk.to’s founder, I’ll help to clarify the following:
When we first launched in October of 2013, tawk.to would most certainly have been considered a late entrant.
The incumbents that came before us paved the way – though that didn’t scare us, as what was available in the market, simply didn’t fit our use-case, and more importantly, truly didn’t solve the problem(s) that businesses were actually facing.
We started this journey as unsatisfied live chat software customers subscribed to vendors that wouldn’t listen to our feedback.
At the time, we figured that there were other companies out there that felt the same way we did :
According to Datanyze and BuiltWith, (the independent entities that track market share in the Live Chat market), there are currently 206 live chat competitors.
So how could we enter (late) in a market that is so crowded, and still compete?
Especially when :
As per the table above, tawk.to is now the #1 most widely used live chat application in the world, we’ve captured 20+% of the market, we’re the fastest growing company in the space and 1.7+ Billion people interact with a tawk.to widget each and every month — that’s 1 in every 3 people online.
Considering we have never done a single press interview, never published a press release, spend almost nothing on advertising and never speak at public events or conferences.. that’s not too bad, right?
So how did we achieve that you ask?
Very simple :
We made you, our customer, our partner – and we made it our mission and our purpose to bring you closer to your customers – to help you grow your business, and evolve with you on your entrepreneurial journey.
The thing is.. you made us who and what we are.
Your feedback, your ideas, your input, your patience and your loyalty — tawk.to has been molded and shaped, into what you wanted it to be. You are our maker.
When your customers message you, you are tawk.to.
And to tawk.to, you are everything.
As a result, millions of forward-thinking business users now use tawk.to to get closer to their customers.
There was no way we were going to enter an incredibly competitive and crowded space, and just try and build a better mousetrap. That’s entrepreneurial suicide.
So we ignored our competitors, and focused on our customers – a strategy many would consider as ‘putting the blinders on’ – we call it the secret to our success.
And believe me when I tell you, I know that sounds like hyperbole, though when simple things like just being available to help customers get the widget installed, became a massive differentiator we knew we were on to something.
As a result tawk.to offers 24×7–365 live support. We never close, you can always reach us.
Let me explain:
Just being free was never going to be enough – tawk.to had to be the best.
When first planning out our model, we figured that :
So now you’re asking yourself.. how do we manage to ship a feature packed product – in 27 different languages, to billions of consumers whilst providing 24×7–365 live support to millions of business users completely for free, and still manage to keep our lights on?
Now.. there are probably three things you’re thinking :
That is a very common misconception. Let’s do a quick exercise to illustrate:
If I asked you:
How tall is the empire state building in New York?
You most probably can’t answer that question from memory. Though in about 5 seconds, you could provide me with a very accurate answer via Google.
See what you did there?
See, by the sheer nature of our business we simply had to invest heavily in building a chat system that focuses on the Agent Experience – as our entire business depends on our agents answering on behalf of hundreds of different customer use-cases, from all over the world 24×7–365.
Which is why we truly believe, we have one of the best business messaging applications anywhere. In software development terms, that is called “eating your own dog food”.
By answering on behalf of different customers, of all shapes and sizes, we gain access and dive deep on many different use-cases that we really wouldn’t otherwise get exposure to. This has helped us to constantly iterate the software so that all of our free users benefit also. Which mind you, is 99% of all of our users.
We don’t sell chat software, we give the best, and most tried and tested software in a ‘real-world’, massive scale environment away completely free of charge.
The next question/comment/remark you may have is:
Many SaaS providers attempt to build ‘hands off’, scalable software – and then they all inevitably focus on “Churn” ( the term the SaaS world uses to describe the difference between the % of users signing up to your service, versus leaving your service )
They then compete on features, and compete on price, to a race to the bottom.
We compete on value. And only on value.
We also believe that many business owners don’t actually want live chat software. What they actually want is more leads, more sales and to ensure their customers have a great CX. We know that statement is an incredibly bizzare thing to say, from the producer of the world’s most widely used chat application.
Though that is the truth.
The world has changed, and consumer expectations have changed with it. We all expect businesses to respond to us as quickly as our friends and family do, and to be where we are, which is in messaging.
Most business owners simply don’t have the bandwidth to sit there answering chats all day, so for those that do; we offer completely free chat software. And for those that don’t, we solve that problem for $1/hr.
Compare the following :
A subscription driven traditional Live Chat SaaS company that sells software for $40/seat/month. They sell you a subscription to the software, and compete with other SaaS companies on features. The more often they communicate with you, and provide you support, the lower their margins.
If they manage to sell you 1 seat, and keep you subscribed for 12 months, the LVC (Lifetime Value of a Customer) is $480. So they can’t afford to spend too much time with you over a 12 month period, or their model is unprofitable.
You then need to staff the chat, which if you intend to run 24×7 and you pay say $15/hr for a decent agent, it is going to cost you : $131,400/year just to have 1 agent available.
A value-driven model like tawk.to where we give you our software away for free, and as a result have obtained mass adoption. Should you decide to subscribe to our hired chat agent service (zero pressure to do so), then we will train an agent for you on your business, and it will cost $1/hr.
So.. do you want to spend $131,400/year or $8736/year?
And do you want to deal with a software provider that loses money if they speak to you too often, or do you want to deal with tawk.to where delivering world-class customer support is the core of our business?
Every living organism on this planet exists to be in service to something else.
The sun gives light and heat. The bees pollinate flowers and give us honey. Some animals give their life so others can thrive. Our purpose here, just like every other living thing in this crazy world that we all coexist in, is to simply give as much as we can. Whether that be tools, jobs, time, money, care, opportunity, empathy, compassion, advice or forgiveness.
Our mission at tawk.to is simply to give:
Ultimately, we believe that you should never have to pay to communicate with your customers, they are your customers – and if you’re using tawk.to; you never will.
As a result we have now launched and are working on the following products and services:
That was a long read, but hopefully you now know us a little better.
Now, if you are thinking of building your own company, even in the live chat space, and you think that you can do a better job than what is available in the market, and have an idea of how to differentiate your service offering to gain (or grow) market share; then we say go for it!
Don’t listen to the naysayers, they don’t know any more than you do – and often less.
As one of our startup hero’s once said :
I’ll go as far as to say that I’m available to give you some advice on how to go about it, this pie is big enough for everyone to eat – connect with me, I’d be most happy to have a chat with you. Don’t let competitors in a market place scare you. I’m an open book, we can all share ideas – and I may learn something from you.
Many entrepreneurs fear that a crowded market place means there is no room for new entrants and that unscalable business models aren’t worth pursuing; though tawk.to has proven the opposite to be true.
If everyone else is telling you your idea will not work, it isn’t scalable, or the model simply isn’t sexy. Ignore them. With careful planning; a solid strategy for growth and a tight USP you can compete as well as anyone else – regardless of when you decide to enter.
You need only look as far as Nokia? Kodak? Blackberry? and Yahoo? to recognize that just because a brand was market leader at one point in time, it doesn’t mean 2 girls/guys in a garage can’t build, launch & compete.
Your customers have spoken loud and clear, messaging is their channel of choice – and you need to be where your customers are, when they need you the most.