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By John Eberhard

I recently set up online chat on two websites and want to share it because I think it is a feature that would help a lot of businesses.

You’ve probably seen online chat set up on websites, usually in the form of a button or small window in the bottom right corner. If you are shopping for something or trying to do some research on a product or service, it’s great to be able to start a chat and find the answers to your questions right then, rather than send an email and wait a day or two.

One website I set up the online chat feature on is a WordPress site for a business that sells consulting and training services. There are a variety of WordPress plugins that you can get that create the online chat system. The best ones cost money and give you a fair amount of features.

The other site was an online store selling products using the Pinnacle cart system, which is similar to Shopify.

For both of these sites I used a product called https://www.livechat.com/. For the WordPress site it’s a plugin, and for the Pinnacle site it is some code that puts the chat up there. For both you manage it by logging into your account on the Live Chat website.

You can set up multiple “agents” or people at your company that handle the chats. You pay by the month and by how many agents you need to set up. And you can set it up so specific agents are the agent for specific pages on your site.

One of the cool things about this is once you are logged in as an agent, you get notified whenever a new person comes on the site. And you can even see which page they are on. You can then originate a message out to them, asking if you can help them or if they have any questions or whatever. That’s in addition to responding when they initiate a chat. Usually you set it up so in order for the person viewing your site to start a chat, they have to fill in their name and email before they start, so you automatically get their contact info.

You can set up more complicated setups where they fill in their name and email, but also have to answer multiple choice questions on what they’re looking for. And thus they can get routed to specific agents depending on their answer.

So if you’re interested in increasing leads and sales from your site, online chat can be a great addition.

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