Using a live chat widget to establish a direct method of connection between a site’s visitors and its owners or customer relations and sales staff is a great way to increase user engagement, deal immediately with queries from potential customers, and gather useful data.
Often, potential customers are ready to convert except for a simple blocker, like a query about price, support, or features. Most websites have contact pages that let allow users to send messages by email, but asynchronous communications — those without immediate two-way communication — run the risk of the visitor finding a solution to their query on a competitor’s site while they await a response. Live chat puts the user immediately in contact with a representative of the site, who can satisfy any questions and lead the user towards a conversion.
We’re going to have a look at services and extensions that allow live chat to be implemented on three of the most popular content management systems available: WordPress, the Magento eCommerce platform, and ExpressionEngine.
As is usual with WordPress, there are several great options for implementing live chat on a site.
A handy feature of both of these plugins is that the integrate with popular chat clients, so, if you are the owner of a small business or a freelancer, you aren’t going to be stuck at your desk all day, but will be able to respond via mobile devices..
The Zopim Live Chat extension adds a small bar to the bottom of each page of a site from which users can initiate a chat.
The site can respond to chat requests from within the WordPress dashboard or from a host of other chat clients, including Google Talk, and MSN, or a dedicated iPhone app. Zopim also integrates well with CRM applications like Salesforce and Highrise.
Take a look at the video below to see how Zopim can benefit your site.
ClickDesk allows sites to integrate both live chat and voice chat directly into a site. Chats are received via Google Talk or Skype. ClickDesk also has a built-in ticketing system to track emails and offline chat messages.
Zopim Live Chat
Zompim’s service is available for Magento with the same features as the WordPress plugin. Features that are going to be particularly useful for eCommerce include the ability to monitor a visitor’s history, current URL and whether they are a repeat visitor.
YALC -Yet Another Live Chat
YALC is a simpler and less feature-rich alternative to Zopim, but if all you need is a straightforward live chat widget that uses Google Talk on the back-end for managing messages, it’s a great solution.
CometChat is a very well-featured chat solution for ExpressionEngine that is aimed more towards implementing chat facilities between users than as a customer service tool, but it is highly configurable and versatile.
CometChat supports automatic integration with ExpressionEngine, text chat, peer-to-peer video chat (no excessive server load), and screen sharing.
Let us know in the comments about your experiences with this tool, and if you think we’ve missed one that should be included.