Live chat is a really great way to engage with your audience. This is very important when you are running your own website whether its an informational site, an eCommerce site or even just a promotional tool for your offline business.
There are some really great advantages to using a live chat system on your site:
- Getting to know your audience – Using Live Chat is like having visitor tracking on your website but its in real time and its something that you will interact with – as a visitor lands on your site you get a notification and you can see in real time what that visitor is doing, where they came from and what page or pages they are visiting.
- Be responsive – With a Live Chat app you can be very responsive to your visitors, clients and potential customers because you are there for them straight away to answer any questions they may have. This is very important because when people are looking for products and services online they don’t want to wait a long time for a response – there is so much information and access to so many businesses online that they can simply go somewhere else if you are not there to help them.
- Get alerts based on certain actions – If you have sales page or even just a contact form on your website a live chat plugin can give you an alert when a visitor lands on that page so that you can be ready to help them or even to prompt them if they appear to be stuck.
How to set up Live Chat
The Live Chat tool that I would recommend is called Zopim. You can visit their website and sign up with a basic account for free. The basic account has a few restrictions – for example you can only have 1 active chat session at a time – but it is sufficient for getting started.
You have several options for integrating the live chat plugin with your existing website. If you are using WordPress then you can simply install the Zopim / Zendesk chat plugin and log in to it via your WordPress dashboard. Once you have done that, the chat widget will appear on your website automatically. If you are using another CMS provider or you have a static HTML site then you can use the HTML code available within your Zopim account after you have signed up.
After you have installed the widget you can either log in to your Zopim web account to monitor visitors and chat requests or you can even download the app which is available for iPhone so that you can get alerts on your mobile when someone wants to chat or simply when someone visits your website.