Just a few minutes ago, I was on live chat getting all the help I could get about a technical problem I had with a withdrawal I made earlier. Luckily for yours truly, my service provider was live (online) meaning I resolved my problem and was back in business in less than 10 minutes. Now, I am one happier writer.
But what has this got to do with you? The first paragraph is an attempt to shine light on the immediate benefit you enjoy when you add live chat to your WordPress site. You provide better and faster support with live chat.
In this short tutorial, we cover:
- The pros and cons of WordPress live chat
- How to add live chat to your WordPress site
- A quick list of WordPress live chat plugins
In a single line, we aim at equipping you with the tips and tools you need to add functional live chat to your WordPress site in just a few minutes. If you have your dancing shoes on, let’s tango mi amigo.
Pros and Cons of WordPress Live Chat
Let’s keep this simple as it were.
Setting up WordPress live chat is easy and cheap (if not free). Secondly, you can match your chat app to your website. Did anybody mention convenience? Look at it this way, live chat is everywhere you go. Why? Faster support means the visitor won’t have to wait.
Saves you time too; fewer phone calls and emails. It’s the Internet, support is a lot easier with live chat. Think of zero service disruptions, meaning more chedda. And don’t forget, one chat operator can serve multiple customers.
You can outsource live chat as well. The talent pool is impressive. Meaning you can easily provide gold standard support to the entire globe 24/7.
Targeted Live Chat
You can gather analytics from your chat plugin; info that helps you to offer better support.
You can market your other products via live chat, again thanks to analytics. How about stopping the prospect on their way out with an interesting chat? You see, it means you can gather emails too, for an email campaign anyone?
You practically control the chat plugin, and can ban whomever doesn’t comply with your chat regulations. Plus it’s always fun to chat with your customers, because you collect a lot of feedback. You can bend WordPress chat whichever way you want, because it won’t break.
Bottom line is you can provide world-class support to the world from anywhere anytime.
If it has a pro, there must be a con. So, let’s gamble.
If you install live chat, and don’t let your customers know your availability, they will be very angry when you take a snooze. Since you can’t roll about forever without sleep, outsource or become available.
It also means clearly stating your hours of availability. Or use a plugin that changes the live chat into an email form for lead generation when you go offline.
And we have super abusive customers shutting down support, but then you can ban anyone who messes with the Zohan doesn’t obey rules.
That’s the best I came up with and I tried. Know any other cons? Let us know.
Since WordPress live chat is an obvious winner here today, we shall add a live chat plugin to your website so you can have a ride. You have nothing to lose compadre, it’s all gratis.
How to Add Live Chat to Your WordPress Site
Here, we shall use the WP Live Chat Support plugin by WP-LiveChat and company. We have so much confidence in this plugin, and you shall see why. This is gonna be fun.
Install and activate the WP Live Chat Support plugin:
Two buttons two tabs; Skip the Intro, Support, Welcome and Credits in that order. The welcome tab has some nice details if you care to read. The guys listed in the Credits tab make it clear they offer support, so don’t get stuck.
At the bottom of the welcome screen, click the “Ok! Let’s Start” button and Voila! – you have a live chat going on for you:
Just like that, people can chat with you live on your WordPress site. The WP Live Chat support plugin has some impressive features including notification rings, beeps and stuff.
Configure the Live Chat
As you most definitely see, the link to customize your plugin is right there in the foreground. How about we discover what lies behind that link. Click on modify your chat box settings:
Oh well, look at that. This looks like an extensive list of features and it’s only the free version. Of course, there’s a pro version, with even more features. Let’s see what we can do with the chat box. Click on the Chat Box menu item:
Well, well, well…what do we have here? Everything you need to chat with your prospects right away. More features are locked in the pro version. The pro plans cost between $39 and $100 bucks. It’s a once-off thing; no recurring payments unless you’re renewing your license, which you do manually. Back to features, there’s just so much to do.
Need to add some color or tune the chat box for your brand? It’s so easy, just head to the styling section and design to your heart’s content:
Did you know you can survey your audience with this plugin? Moreover, you can:
- Add agents
- Customize your offline message
- Install custom CSS or JS
- Use the REST API until you drop down
- Block visitors by IP address just because you can
- Redirect users to a specific page after chat ends
- Add links to your knowledgebase before chat session begins
- And so much more!
At the end of the setup process, you should have a live chat button such as this:
When a user clicks on the start button to initiate a chat session, you receive a notification (including push notifications, but you will need to add push notifications to your site first). Here’s how the chat admin dashboard looks like:
And the admin chat session looks like this:
As you can see, you can gather a lot of information about the user, and even see their pic if they use gravatar. You see the pages they are on, from where the chat was initiated, IP address and so much more depending on the custom fields you define.
Live chat session from a user’s perspective:
You can even activate the Node Server to take away the load of running multiple chats from your server. This means a speedy website, which is always a good thing.
For a free live chat plugin, WP Live Chat Support plugin wins in many areas even though the best of features are locked in the Pro version. Between you and me, I fell for this plugin and now use it. What about you?
Here is a list of other WordPress live chat plugins worth mentioning, chosen in random order:
Live chat helps you to boost user engagement on your website, which leads to better conversions down the line. There’s little maintenance involved since with a great team, tools and time, you can win big in the area of customer service.
Do you have live chat on your WordPress site? Which plugin do you use? If you don’t have live chat on your site, what excuse do you have for holding back? Let us know your thoughts. Thanks in advance!