Live chat plays a tremendous role in conducting proper customer service and support on websites. However, it’s even more important now in the midst of COVID-19.

As people are struggling to figure out how to continue to do business during this crisis while also juggling new family situations, it’s vital to offer a lifeline in any way you can.

Basically, communication needs to be free-flowing. And when you have a WordPress website, live chat plugins are the best way to facilitate this.

First, let’s take a look at some great free live chat plugins and then discuss some tips for managing live chat effectively.

Related: How to make it easy for customers to contact you

5 free live chat plugins for WordPress

Here are a few free live chat plugins for WordPress to consider using:

  1. Pure Chat.
  2. WP-Live Chat.
  3. LiveChat.
  4. Tidio.
  5. iFlyChat.

Let’s take a look at each below. You can also search for chat plugins — including their number of active installations and user ratings — on the WordPress Plugin Directory.

1. Pure Chat

Pure Chat is a free live chat plugin that makes it easy to engage in an unlimited number of texts with visitors. It also supports up to three users. You can customize the widget that appears on your WordPress site, configure email forms, view transcripts, and enable triggers all with the free version of this plugin.

2. WP-Live Chat

Another option is WP-Live Chat, which makes it possible to connect with visitors quickly and easily directly from your website. You can have an unlimited number of agents managing conversations, view transcripts, and craft email responses all from one convenient dashboard.

3. LiveChat

LiveChat is another great option. This WordPress plugin makes it possible to interact with visitors and customers as they’re browsing your site. With it, you can talk with customers as they’re checking out, offer upsells, as well as set and track sales goals. You can view customer data and use automation to engage with customers even when you’re not around, which is especially helpful as you’re managing this uncertain time.

4. Tidio

Tidio is a live chat plugin that is quick and easy to set up that offers a pretty robust feature set, especially for being free. It includes live typing, a real-time visitor list, and live chat analytics. You can even see which pages a visitor has viewed before talking with them, so you’re better able to directly address their concerns.

5. iFlyChat

Last on our list here is iFlyChat. This plugin offers more real-time connection with your audience. With it, you can talk with visitors in real-time — and even enable one-to-one private conversations between visitors, group chats, and you can create chat rooms. This is an excellent way to provide real-time support for your site visitors in a time of uncertainty.

Tips for managing live chat

With a few plugin suggestions in mind, now we can turn our focus to how to actually manage live chat on your website, especially during a time of a global pandemic.

Make it easy to find and use

The first tip might seem obvious, but make your live chat super-easy to find. It can automatically pop up when visitors land on your site or complete a certain action.

Once it’s open, make sure only the most relevant features are accessible. A text box and enter button are all you really need here.

Develop automated responses

If you’re managing your website alone or have just a small team, there are going to be times that no one is available to chat live with site visitors.

For these moments, it’s vital you’ve put together some automated responses to be queued up and ready to go when a visitor types in a common question.

This adds a personal touch to the customer service experience, and also helps to ease the mind of anyone desperately seeking an answer to a question in the middle of the night.

Related: Key messages to share with your customers during a crisis

Make sure there’s a good mobile interface

Another thing you need to keep in mind is how well live chat works on mobile devices. Many potential customers will be viewing your site from a phone or tablet, so it needs to work — and it needs to work well.

This is vital for the backend, too. If the plugin is hard to navigate on your end, communicating with site visitors in real-time will be that much harder.

Stay positive

In all of your messages, maintain an upbeat, positive tone. Just about everyone is feeling the pressure in any number of ways. From concerns about job losses, to healthcare, to making mortgage or rent payments, tensions are high.

So, even if you’re met with a less than graciously phrased question or response from a customer, don’t respond in kind; rather, respond with compassion. It’ll go a long way to building a better relationship and improving someone’s day.

Make sure to go offline

It’s perfectly fine to establish office hours for your live chat. You can have your FAQ answers ready to go when you’re not online, but it’s essential to still establish boundaries for your professional life.

Post clear hours for when you’re available.

 

This sets a positive expectation for your visitors. Basically, they won’t be surprised to find you unavailable if you make it clear upfront when you will be available.

Getting started with free live chat plugins

With a good live chat plugin, you can do a lot to mitigate the business-related fears and concerns of visitors and potential customers at any time.

But this is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

So, pick a plugin and install it. Ensure it’s easy to use and that you’ve established office hours. Create automated responses and conduct yourself positively.

With so much uncertainty about everything else, the least you can do is be a sure thing for your customers.

 

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The post 5 free live chat plugins for WordPress and tips for using them appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

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