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Live chat is hot. In the world of marketing, it’s spicier than a scotch bonnet caramelized in vindaloo and dipped in jalapeño sauce.
It’s hot because it accomplishes the two most important objectives in business. Live chat:
Live chat also inserts a human presence where a digital interaction would otherwise be. If you’re lazy and don’t want to sit around waiting for people to talk, some live chat software even come with built-in artificial intelligences that will do it for you.
But you already all know that, right? So let’s talk about the how. How do you get this awesome feature putting money in your company’s bank account?
Truth is, setting up live chat for WordPress is as simple as installing a plugin. The difficult bit is choosing the right one.
Every live chat plugin comes with three basic features:
These features are but the tip of the iceberg. Sifting between the millions of live chat providers’ different offerings is enough to make you want to sink the ship before it sails. Luckily for you, we’ve done all the hard work already.
When used properly [link to how to… blog], all of the live chat plugins below deliver high returns on investment. That being said, none are perfect — and every business is different. So focus on finding the one that’s best for you.
If all you want is free, easy-to-use, no-frills chat functionality, look no further than WP Live Chat Support. It comes with all the features you need; from unlimited simultaneous live chats through an easy-to-use interface and a responsive chat dashboard that controls the entire operation.
It is completely free, so don’t be surprised that the design is whack. You get what you don’t pay for.
Upgrades begin at $11.20 per month.
With 150,000 business customers, Zopim is The Daddy of live chat software. Its most potent weapons are its cool, seamless graphics and super-slick design, which can be customised to your business and brand.
But Zopim is pretty cool in other ways too — like by allowing you to chat on the go via iOS and Android apps. That’s pretty vital if you want to respond in optimal time, before your customers get bored of waiting (well under one minute).
The free subscription lets one chat agent handle unlimited chats — so if you’re small and don’t expect too many customers, Zopim is what you need.
30 day free trial, after which monthly subscriptions start at 16 bucks.
Face it: People are complicated. Every customer is different. No matter how well you think you know your audience, there’s always more to learn.
If you want to build your marketing strategy around the things to which your customers really respond, Live Chat is a great option. Not content with collecting feedback about your product, Live Chat gives you a way to get feedback on your feedback too.
At the end of each chat, customers are given the opportunity to rate each conversation they have with your team — allowing you to get better at talking each time.
$110 per month.
If you want live chat to be part of a wider integrated CRM strategy, take a look at Intercom.
Optimising for simplicity and collaboration, they offer a suite of products that do pretty much everything sales and marketing teams require. At its core Intercom gives you the lowdown on your users, helping you reach out, get instant feedback, and track your relationship with them over time.
While their ‘platform’ is free, the products don’t come cheap — but if your business is on the verge of making it big, Intercom would be a wise investment.
Free, or $50 per month
If you’re one of those entrepreneurs who is savvier than most, check out Drift. Their freemium offer is the best in the market, getting you everything from 100 active contacts and offline chat to email fallback, a mobile app, and user profiles.
Real-time notifications. Does your team use Slack? Drift lets you integrate, meaning your people can respond lightening-fast.
Offline mode. This option is a godsend if your team isn’t big enough to support 24×7 chat.
Browser targeting. This is smart. It allows you to automatically contact customers as soon as they take meaningful actions like visiting your pricing page repeatedly. With little effort — but a little imagination too — you can set up any rules you want, and customise chat pop-ups to the customer/prospect behaviours unique to your business.
AI Bot. You’re busy, got better things to do — we get it. That doesn’t mean live chat is too time intensive. Bring the power of Artificial Intelligence to your chats instead.
App integration. If your business has its own mobile app, Drift will integrate right in, giving you an easy way to communicate everything from just-released app features to product launches.
Funnily enough, live chats at WhatArmy are powered by Drift. For tailored-to-your-business live chat advice, click the chat icon to the right of this text and one of our team will personally walk you through your options.
We’re all WordPress experts here — so while you’re chatting, feel free to tap our brains on other website topics too. Maybe you want info on live chat options not listed above? Help with coding? Site security?
Don’t sweat it. Whether your query concerns maintaining, protecting or improving your website, we’re the guys you want to talk to.