Integrating live chat support into your website can work wonders in increasing your conversion rates, and keeping existing customers happy, something that’s likely to ensure they stay with you, rather than flocking to one of your competitors.
Add to that the immediate nature of online chat -something which traditional customer support methods like phone and email just can’t offer- and it’s no wonder that we’re seeing an increasing number of both small and large businesses start to incorporate it into their websites.
Maybe you’re now thinking of doing the same, but are sure it’s going to cost you a small fortune in setting up some complicated back-end IT system. The good news for you, dear reader, is that that’s far from the case, especially if you’re running a hosted WordPress website.
Taking advantage of the platform’s flexibility, another of free and premium live chat support plugins can be installed on your site to offer instant customer support with very little technical know-how required.
Below, we’ll just look at just five of the best WordPress Live Chat plugins currently in use in 2016.
Live Chat from ClickDesk
Currently boasting over 9,000 active installs and counting, Live Chat from ClickDesk is a powerful help desk plugin for WordPress that has earned acclaim and applause for its vast array of features.
The plugin comes in both free and paid for versions, and though both are great at what they do in their own right, to really make the most of ClickDesk’s tool, it’s worth investing in one of their monthly plans, which currently range from $14.99 to $33.99 USD per month.
Personally, I’ve used the mid-level pro plan -set at $21.99 per month- on an number of websites, and can’t recommend it highly enough.
Along with unlimited chats and the ability to integrate Google’s GTalk Instant Messaging, the pro plan also offers video chat, conferencing, and the option to transfer chats if the agent on the call isn’t the most appropriate person to deal with a particular enquiry.
There’s some nifty post-chat features too, including customer feedback surveys and a platform for going back through your previous website chats. If you plan to use the free version of this, you’ll still enjoy a flexible, functional plugin that can handle 30 phone or instant messaging chats per month.
Zopim Live Chat
With over 70,000 active installs, the makers of this all-inclusive customer support tool must be doing something right. In fact, it’s fair to say they’re doing a lot right, and doing it better than many of the countless live chat tools out there at present.
Complete with a 100% free WordPress plugin plan (you’ll need to sign up for an account, but again, that’s free), Zopim Live Chat is optimised to work across all web browsers and smart devices, includes proactive chat support and -an especially useful feature- the ability to manage multiple chats simultaneously.
My LiveChat for WordPress
The MyLiveChat instant messaging plugin for WordPress may not boast the same wealth of tools as some of its premium rivals, but it is completely free to use and works right out of the box as a simple yet effective tool for communicating with your website visitors.
The tool can be customised to blend in with the look and feel of your WordPress theme, and even comes with its own customisable templates if you’re serious about making the application look as good as possible.
The main highlights though, are the ability to send graphics through the chat system, and to handle unlimited chats. One definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a simple, bare-bones live chat tool.
Formilla Live Chat Real-time Chat Plugin for WordPress
Another plugin I often recommend to clients with a limited budget that just won’t stretch to ClickDesk’s $20+ per month, Formilla Live Chat’s help desk plugin is free to use and comes complete with a wealth of awesome features for providing online chat support through your site.
Over 7,000 WordPress website owners have used Formilla, taking advantage of its instant set-up, and the fact that it works effortlessly across all devices, including smartphones and tablets.
One of my favourite features is the helpful Desktop Notification system, which works across multiple browsers and alerts you every time a user starts a chat session with you.
The option to initiate a chat session before your website visitors is another nice touch.
Indeed, the only thing that sours me on this one is that you need to upgrade to the plugin’s premium package to change colours, styles, and themes in order to make the interface blend in effortlessly with the rest of your website design.
Facebook Live Chat for WordPress
Though this one will set you back $16 USD initially, it’s certainly worth the investment for the ease of use that comes from integrating Facebook chat with your existing website.
With many web users making Facebook the heart of their online experience, this FacebBook live wordpress plugin works well for offering customers the easiest way to engage with your support team, meaning all they need to do is to be logged into their Facebook account to have instant access.
The plugin requires very little in terms of setting up, and starts working as soon as you install it and enter your Facebook page ID.
As with the better plugins on this list, you can customise colours and styles to match your website and manage unlimited chats at the same time.
One of my personal favourite features of this plugin is the ability to include a Facebook Like button, so that users can give your support team a big, blue thumbs up if they’re happy with the service you’ve provided.