I have a love/hate relationship with chat. Mostly I hate chat. Or at least the ham handed implementations that are either a)horrendously intrusive or b)intentionally horrendously intrusive.
Look at this particularly obnoxious chat window that completely covers up the primary navigation. I can no longer learn anything about what the firm does, or who works there. Not to mention the poor metaphorical visual of cutting off Ms. Justice’s head and obscuring half of the firm’s logo.
Use chat. It works. But use it like Sriracha…carefully and sparingly so it compliments your overall marketing instead of forcing itself into the experience and ruining the meal for everyone.
(On the few cases in which I love chat…it is with chat vendors that allow you to customize the implementation to suit your best interest, instead of rigidly configuring it to maximize the financial gain of the chat vendor.)