Adding Live Chat Support to Your WordPress Website: Pros and Cons-ThemesReviewCentral

Let’s start with the chat app wins.

Most other types of business communications require a lengthy and/or costly visit from the cable or telecom company to equip the premises with hardware, wiring, and activation. But this is WordPress we’re talking about. No third parties are needed. Find the chat app you want, and set it up right then and there.

It costs visitors absolutely nothing to use live chat, except maybe an email address. And it costs you practically nothing to get the app.

Do you know why millennials prefer live chat over other modes of communication? Because it’s fast and convenient. Faster support for visitors means less time they have to wait on hold for an operator and wonder if their time would be better spent going to your competitor’s site. Faster support also means quicker service turnarounds for your team and greater efficiency. Faster and nearly instantaneous support also means less time both parties have to spend playing phone tag or writing email responses.

When customers or prospects have questions that support or sales reps don’t know how to answer, they typically have to turn to a colleague or ask a manager for help. But that disruption in service can be jarring for customers. Live chat support representatives have the Internet, instant messaging, and the mute button at their fingertips. For online visitors who already have shorter patience thresholds, live chat is the perfect way to remove those service disruptions.

Multitasking isn’t always a good thing, especially when trying to attend to a visitor’s question or problem. But if that visitor delays in responding to a question or goes MIA, who’s to say live chat reps need to get stuck waiting on hold for them, losing precious minutes they could spend on other work or helping other customers?

The best part about relying on a website to share information about a business is the consistency factor. The content’s written, the design’s created, and it’s all compiled into one cohesive and consistent story. The same goes for the other elements that go into a website—including a live chat app. You can match the app to your branding. You can also provide support reps with scripts in order to ensure consistent responses to customer questions.

Thanks to cloud-based systems like WordPress, we can now hire the most qualified and talented individuals regardless of where they’re located around the globe. Phone and in-person support generally relies on individuals who speak the native language of your company—and to do so fluently. Live chat apps mean that you don’t have to weed out the most qualified talent due to deficiencies in fluency, heavy accents, or even shyness.

For businesses looking to reach visitors worldwide, it can be difficult and expensive to provide live support if you don’t have someone manning the phones 24/7. With live chat, however, you can provide that round-the-clock support much more easily (if you want to).

If you use a chat app like WPMU DEV’s WordPress Chat plugin that includes real-time analytics, anyone monitoring and managing the app can see what action visitors took on the site before engaging them in support. A personalized service experience isn’t just good for improving the relationship with the visitor, it also helps cut down on time the visitor has to spend explaining what they were doing, where the problem was, etc.

As with other forms of live customer engagement, chat apps offer businesses the opportunity to actively upsell or cross-sell customers. The best part about this is that, because you have insights into what they’ve been doing on the site, there’s no need to wait until the purchase goes through and a follow-up email is sent. You can offer a relevant upsell opportunity right then and there.

While live chat isn’t the technology you typically think about when talking about exit-intent, it can be used for that very purpose. By being proactive and stepping in to help customers who are lost, confused, or in need of extra encouragement, live chat can help your website boost conversions by being more proactively attentive.

Sometimes you just won’t be able to convert a visitor. They might not be ready to purchase, they might be doing research for an in-person shopping trip, or they might change their mind. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still turn them into a future lead by asking for an email address or social media login before they access the chat app.

Chat apps come with built-in analytics so you can record and report on a number of things. I’ve already mentioned the visitor activity tracking above, but did you know you can also use chat apps to keep a record of chat reps’ productivity and success rates?

There may come a time when someone uses your chat app inappropriately. Unlike phone calls or even in-person exchanges where you’re unsure of the seriousness of a complaint, you can quickly ban frequent jokesters (based on the app’s records) or abusive customers taking up customer support’s bandwidth.

Surprisingly, not that many companies have jumped on the live chat bandwagon yet. By making this simple update to your website, you can boost your company’s reputation as the attentive, forward-thinking, and tech-savvy company that it is.