Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business.

A Live Chat With Royston Tay Of Zopim

Contributing writer Caroline Yeung sat down with Royston Tay, CEO and co-founder of Singapore startup Zopim, which developed a web-based chatbar application for online business owners to chat with visitors directly, to get to know more about the company.

What is Zopim about?

Zopim‘s all about helping business owners increase sales online. Our flagship product is a popular live chat solution that allows website owners to keep track of visitors on their sites and chat with them in real-time. This is available off Zopim’s website as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product.

How long has Zopim been around?

Zopim has been officially around since early 2008. The company started developing the prototype for Zopim even before the co-founders graduated in 2007.

What motivated you to start Zopim?

All the founders were on the NUS Overseas Colleges Program (NOC). This entrepreneurship program allowed us to intern in start-ups in Silicon Valley. It was during this one-year program that we were greatly inspired by those successful entrepreneurs that we had met. Even before returning, we were already working on several ideas and Zopim was one of them.

We were fortunate to be there during the Web 2.0 boom and we realized that despite the innovations in the web world, traditional live chat solutions (such as LivePerson & BoldChat) were slow to evolve. Many of them were still targeting large enterprises and ignoring the fast-growing market of web entrepreneurs who had totally different needs. We continued to develop the idea and prototype – eventually, we obtained our funding from MDA’s iJam initiative.

Who are your customers?

We are currently serving an estimate of ten thousand customers worldwide in more than 30 languages. Every month, thousands of new businesses sign up with us – most of them are from North America and Europe. Typically, our customers are medium-sized businesses ranging from web-hosting companies like to online retail stores like

Why should users look at Zopim?

Zopim is simple to deploy and use. Most of our customers are able to get started within 60 seconds from signing up. Once deployed, Zopim can be customized to fit every business owner’s needs – from widget designs to customized chat engagements. Our goal is to provide business owners with a unique blend of usability, ease-of-access and intelligent features.

Usability – Zopim‘s is the first live chat solution to offer a chat bar embedded within a webpage. This offers a more seamless chatting experience for visitors. Support representatives will also enjoy using our web-based dashboard which offers a wealth of information complemented by an attractive and intuitive interface.

Ease-of-access – Zopim frees support representatives from being stuck in front of a computer all day. Business owners have the choice of logging in to a web-based application; staying connected via instant messaging (MSN, Gtalk, Yahoo, AIM); asynchronously providing support via email; or being available on-the-go via their mobile IM client.

Intelligent features – Zopim Smart Responder interprets questions from visitors and suggests the best answer for the agent. The Intelligent Trigger System identifies high value leads/potential dropouts using predefined rules and automatically initiates chat engagement to save abandonment. The result is less typing, faster response time, and happier customers.

Caroline’s public relations background enables her to reach out to both seasoned and young entrepreneurs. Apart from helping industry organizations, and individual companies both in California and Singapore from 1994, Caroline also reaches out to the young, entrepreneurial community to guide them on marketing and public relations issues through her consultancy work. She is interested in mentorship, VC community, awards, and new ideas.

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