WordPress Live Chat – The Essential Guide
What is Live Chat Support and why does it matter?
According to a survey of American online consumers, 68% engage in live chat and 63% prefer going back to a website with live chat for a repeat purchase.
Should you consider WordPress Live Chat for your business?
If you’re running a customer-facing business on WordPress, you can now turn a static webpage into a dynamic sales and support messaging channel. Regardless of how strong your product or service is, your customers will inevitably need a bit of help from time to time. WordPress Live Chat enables you to provide a better level of customer support. What’s more important, it can also help your visitors to feel more engaged knowing you’re just a click away. Everyone appreciates being noticed as an individual. As a marketing tool, WordPress live chat offers new opportunities to push out targeted incentives and offers. Why should you consider WordPress Live Chat for your business?
Live Chat is Convenient
Your customers need immediate help? Live chat can help your customers and resolve their issues instantly. Customers can either initiate the chat session on their own or be prompted by a pop-up from an agent. According to Acquire.io:
60% of customers said that they hated waiting longer than a minute for a reply. It takes on an average only 23 seconds for a live chat rep to respond and only 46 seconds to solve a customer’s problems.
Nobody likes waiting in line. Live chat helps website visitors skip “on-hold” music for good and take back their valuable time.
Live Chat is Cost-Effective
Efficiency is another reason to use live chat. Phone calls require one-on-one attention and take time. Live chat software enables agents to handle more conversations and resolve more issues per session than phone support.
Live Chat is User-Friendly
Another great reason to use live chat is to personalize interactions. Live chat is like texting with a friend. As such, it encourages casual dialogue. It makes a visitor is inclined to share exactly what they are looking for or what questions they have! A chat session feels less scripted than most automated support systems. Offering a more transparent communication, support agents can better assist visitors and represent your business in the best light.
Gain Valuable Insights
Engaging in live chat with your website visitors will help you identify and understand their pressure points. Such insights are invaluable when it comes to continually improving your products or service offerings. More importantly, you can also view the scripts from prior conversations, which makes a great training tool.
Having an agent ready to personally respond to concerns will help to keep your visitors moving through the decision-making process. Prospects may no longer feel the need to do additional research. Responding immediately to questions or concerns while some prospects are in a buying frame of mind can shorten your sales cycle. Agents can also be trained to see opportunities to cross-sell customers or make other suggestions in a no-pressure manner.
Become the Go-To for Your Audience
The average question on live chat can be answered in 48 seconds. Customers can get their questions and concerns addressed without long hold times, transfers or escalations. In the future, customers know that instead of “googling’ for an answer, they can come back to you and get the information they need straight from the source. This creates a more integrated and complete customer experience. Moreover, it also drives more traffic to your website, which can help with SEO efforts and site ranking.
Get That Competitive Edge
In one study, 38% of customers who bought products from e-commerce sites that utilize live chat did so because of the additional information or confidence they gained during the interaction. Overall, chat respondents spend more while shopping online as well!
Is your business considering using WordPress Live Chat? Other than using live chat as customer service tool, you can find how to boost customer service to the next level.
7 features to Look for in a WordPress Live Chat software?
Essential features depend primarily on the needs of your business. To begin with, first define your objectives: Need to track and monitor your website visitors in real time?
Do you want to:
- Maximize customer delight and satisfaction?
- Generate more leads and increase sales?
- Reduce support costs?
- Customize your live chat widget to match the look and feel of your website?
As there’s no “one size fits all” live chat solution for everyone, answers to the above questions can ease your selection process. Let’s have a look at the checklist of additional “must-have” features, based on our experience using multiple providers.
1. Cloud-Based Platform or Solution On-Premise
First, you need to decide whether the live chat software will be cloud hosted or installed on-premise. Self-hosted (or on-premise) services, the applications are hosted using your own technical infrastructure. Cloud-hosted software resides on a third-party server and is facilitated by the Internet. There are pros and cons to using either approach, but there are some clear advantages to using a cloud-hosted application:
- Constant upgrades and scalability
- Cost effective – pay only for what you use
- No need to invest in IT infrastructure (e.g. servers)
- Ensures anywhere, anytime access
- Quicker bug resolutions
We prefer the cloud-hosted option as its more user-friendly, but it’s up to you to decide what you actually need.
2. Live Chat or OmniChannel Communication
Will you add and manage live chat as an additional, bolt-on communication channel to your customers? You might want to integrate live chat within your overall OmniChannel communication approach. Think about it, your customers now reach out via email, phone calls, mobile app messages, Facebook or Twitter.
Do you want to add live chat as a separately managed channel, with its own login & dashboard? Would you prefer a service that can aggregate all of these channels and provide a one-stop solution for your agents to manage all your communications? This is called OmniChannel communication. The reality is that customers often reach out using multiple channels. They will expect you to identify their accounts, historical interaction with you and resolve their current need. Therefore, we recommend a solution that unifies a customer record across channels.
3. Mobile Optimized
This is an era of mobile communication. Today’s live chat software has to be where the customer is. Since that means being available on today’s most used mobile devices, it’s important that your live chat software is mobile ready. Additionally, it’s important for your agents to be able to offer support while they are on the go. Especially if you are a startup or have a small team. Choose a service that has a mobile app for agents, or which integrates with robust mobile messaging apps like Slack.
4. Branding and Customization
Can you change the chat’s color, texts, logo, agent avatars? Can you customize the look and feel of the chat widget (icon, tab, button)? Do you like the interface yourself? Ideally, you should be able to control every little aspect of the chat window. This includes:
- messages to be displayed in pre-chat and post-chat windows
- survey and rating windows and dialogs
- the offline message form
- the ability to add or edit fields as per your business needs.
Many live chat software providers are more focused on promoting their own business than helping yours. Look for WordPress live chat software that lets you easily customize branding to match your site’s look and feel.
5. Must-Have Key Features
- Chat Monitoring: Monitor how your agents are performing. Check detailed chat conversations between website visitors and agents in real-time.
- Chat Routing: Route an incoming chat request to the right agent. This saves the time of transferring a chat and improves customers’ chat experience.
- Offline messages: This feature will let your customers contact you even when your support team isn’t available to chat.
- File transfers: transferring of files between operators and visitors with controls on allowed file types and file sizes.
- Ratings & Surveys: Track satisfaction with your handling of support issues. Add tags to measure and improve.
- Proactive Chat: Reach out to website visitors and offer instant help even before they ask a question.
- Canned Responses: type a reply once, save it and then reuse it with just a few keystrokes.
6. Third Party Integrations
Make sure that your live chat application of choice integrates seamlessly with current business tools, e.g. Slack. It should also be compatible with popular CMS and e-commerce website platforms like WordPress and Woo Commerce. Having data flow easily and seamlessly between your toolset will not only save you a lot of hassle but time as well.
When selecting any live chat solution, look at the value you are getting in exchange for the price you are going to pay. Many chat providers offer a free basic solution that can quickly escalate in price. A few common upcharges to look out for:
- number of chats you can have per month
- the number of users in your database
- how many websites you can integrate with
- restricted “premium” features that are actually essential to provide support
All of these needs to be kept in mind.
There are many great options for WordPress Live Chat software. It’s important you choose the right one for your business needs. We suggest you try Paldesk for free, as it offers easy setup, customization, mobile options and simple pricing.