Trends come and go. But there’s one trend that never goes out of style, and that’s personalisation.
Customers demand it, so businesses need to offer it. And one of the best ways to create a personalised on-site experience is by engaging with individual visitors, when they’re ready to reach out. The secret to achieving this is by adding live chat functionality to your WordPress website.
Benefits of live chat
The ability to interact with website visitors – when they’re ready to talk – is becoming increasingly important. By adding live chat functionality to your site, you can see benefits such as:
- Improved relationship building. Drawing casual visitors into the sales funnel through proactive relationship building not only increases leads, but increases high quality leads. Asking, listening, and responding to individuals is an effective way of qualifying leads for the next stage.
- Higher conversion rates. With an ability to respond to enquiries and requests in real time, businesses can engage with audiences during their ‘micro moments’. Those are the windows of opportunity where audiences are ready and willing to take action. Response lag is a well known lead killer.
- An enhanced user experience. Engaging with audiences is a fantastic way to identify common trends among website users. Perhaps many are asking similar questions. Live chat is an opportunity to create tailored content that gives visitors what they need to take the next step.
How to integrate live chat with WordPress
The benefits of live chat are clear. But how can you integrate live chat functionality with your WordPress website? There are actually three different options to choose from, each offering something different:
Standard live chat
This is what probably comes to mind when you hear ‘live chat’. Using standard live chat plugins, your team can engage with website visitors through your WordPress website and answer questions.
Managed live chat
We’ve previously published a post that goes into much more detail about human managed live chat for WordPress. In a nutshell, these plugins delegate top funnel communications to an outsourced team.
Automated live chat
Unlike the other options which require human input, automated live chat – or ‘chatbots’ – rely on artificial intelligence. They use machine learning to recognise keywords and respond appropriately.
The best live chat plugins
At WPMaintain, we believe there’s something to be said for all three live chat options. There’s no one-size-fits-all. That’s why we’re sharing three different plugins that each have their own USP:
Great for: Businesses that want to engage directly with website visitors in real time.
Tawk is a standard live chat plugin that’s 100% free. But despite the zero cost, it really packs a punch. It boasts an integrated ticketing system, alongside a ‘tag and assign’ feature that makes it easy to direct the right queries to the right person. For example, if a visitor has asked about a specific product, the conversation can be sent to the team that manages and oversees that product. It also has the option to go for a managed live chat option, costing as little as $1/hr for 24/7 human-managed live chat via their add-on services.
Great for: Small businesses that lack the resources to guide users from attraction to conversion.
Melu is a human-managed live chat plugin. It delegates initial relationship building activities to an off-site team of professionally-trained experts. These experts ‘warm up’ leads so that your own team has more time and resources to drive into converting MQLs and SQLs at the later stages of the funnel. While there are set hours Melu agents are available, the plugin can be a game-changer for small organisations.
Great for: Utilising the benefits of automation without sacrificing the human touch.
LiveChat is a plugin that combines the efficiency of automated chatbots with the human aspect of live chat. It uses chatbots for forming initial connections, generating leads, and routing leads to the right teams. The system then allows your own team to jump in and add greater personalisation. LiveChat integrates with other WordPress plugins, and can send chatbot data directly to your CRM, for example.
Live chat plugins are a great way to add functionality and personalisation to your WordPress website. Check out any of the recommendations above and let us know what you think!