What better way to drive sales & conversions than putting a live chat on your landing page. Here are some of the top chat providers for website owners. Some chat clients that allows you to move from chat to Twitter to help desk and ultimately on to closing the sale.
Best Chat Clients for WordPress and Other Sites
1. Zopim: https://www.zopim.com/pricing
Zopim looks like a great chat client that features:
- Ability to carry on multiple chats.
- Chat stays persistent if they navigate through your site (like Olark & ClickDesk).
- Can see where they are in funnel (just like Olark – see what they’re browsing).
- Get their text automatically translated which is big if you have international visitors.
Zopim makes it easy to see exactly who is on your site and what they’re doing.
The analytics for Zopim is not just for gathering information on your visitors. Zopim is an ideal chat package for small businesses who want to gauge how well their operators are doing serving their potential customers:
Zopim also has a trigger feature that will make the chat feature behave differently depending on who your visitor is and where they are in the funnel. The customization features of Zopim’s triggers are about on par with Liveperson, and neither of those are quite as advanced as Olark’s triggering features. One thing to note: you only get 2 triggers on Zopim’s basic plan. You’ll have to bump up to the $25/month advanced plan to use unlimited triggers.
There was one peculiarity with Zopim that other users have noticed: you’re tied to the web dashboard, and logging in through a different browser or Zopim’s mobile app will log you out of the other session. Olark is preferable in this regard as it can route chats to your preferred IM client.
ClickDesk is a great chat applications with a gorgeous interface and lots of functionality under the hood.
- ClickDesk allows you to start a conversation on Twitter right from the ClickDesk interface.
- You can answer chats using their agent panel, or using Skype or gTalk.
- Clickdesk doesn’t require a user to enter personal info – they can just start typing.
- Video chat (requires you to setup a video cam first).
- You can see down to the city where they’re visiting from:
• Allow visitors to call you with a click:
• Helpdesk is integrated and accessible by clicking over one tab:
• Works with many CRMs and eCommerce stores: WordPress / Joomla / Magento / Shopify etc.
The Lite plan gives you 5 simultaneous chats as well as agent transfer and chat to ticket transfer functionality. There is also a limit of 3 domains on the Lite plan. The Pro plan gets you unlimited chats, phone support, API access, more agents and SalesForce integration. A plan comparison chart is available at https://www.clickdesk.com/compare-plans.html.
Olark.com is an incredibly versatile chat platform and you can make it do almost anything beyond its many built-in features by extending it via its API. Some of the killer built-in chat features that Olark has include:
Ability to automatically start chats.
10 simultaneous chats ($17 plan only has 1 operator)
Easy to end chats -> on the operator side can type !end or if you’re using chat.olark.com simply close the chat tab.
Olark can selectively show the chat is very cool -> it allows you to not show the chat for junk traffic.
You can also use Olark to:
- – get message as soon as anyone opens my webpage
- – in the message, get information that is already available such as Country/City
- – parse referrer so I can get QUERY string if visitor came from Google
by using https://www.olark.com/extensions/welcome_assistant Just make sure to set it to 5 seconds, and only check off the “Notify operators when a new visitor lands” option. Olark already includes the country/city and referrer in the notification that you receive.
Olark kind of has live translation-> http://www.olark.com/customer/portal/questions/1261160-live-translation but requires (paid) Google translate api. Maybe better to just install a chrome translation extension.
You can also type !translate, but you can’t specify the language for the !translate command (and occasionally it’s pretty bad at guessing).
Triggers in Olark
Olark has all sorts of triggers (called “Targeted Chat”) to change how the chat is presented depending on the visitor:
This enables you to do some really nifty things. For example, you could have a url in your newsletter which you tack on a tracking code (#olark in this example). Now when someone clicks on that link from your newsletter, your chat box will have a personalized message that acknowledges where your reader is coming from:
The Olark API
I already mentioned that Olark has a very flexible API. For example, in answer to the question “Where do you put the code to add the email box for visitors to add their email to begin a chat?”:
You can prompt for email and name before a chat starts by checking the box “Require Name And Email” on http://www.olark.com/customize/text, or you can call the api after the chat ends to show an email box.
API calls like api.chat.onBeginConversation are documented here: http://www.olark.com/documentation.
Some undocumented calls (like operator_is_typing_text) can be gleamed from this blog post: http://www.olark.com/blog/2010/olark-in-your-favorite-language
More useful code snippets at http://www.olark.com/blog/2011/who-am-i-speaking-with
You can put those code snippets on any page, below the Olark embed code. If you’re pulling user details in your original PHP script, you can certainly put this custom code in there so that all of your pages will have those visitor details. WordPress users might be interested in how to extract visitor information like login name and account email when they’re logged into a WordPress account.
Drawbacks of Olark
• Bound by chat box (expand/collapse – lower right of screen) (but you can go inline w/ Olark):
“We do have a mostly undocumented feature that allows you to “inline” the chatbox, but you will probably need to mess with the CSS as well. Give this configuration a try:
…and then make a box with CSS ID = olark-box-container.
• You’ll have to integrate with a 3rd party support system like Zendesk if you want a help desk / ticketing system which is a drawback compared to Clickdesk (unless you already use and are satisfied with Zendesk). Zopim is similar and touts their tight integration with Zendesk as a selling point.
Other Chat Options
• Purechat.com is an inexpensive chat solution ($5/ month, and free for up to 15 chats) that offers a nice looking chat box. What’s interesting is that they also offer a $500 option to be your outsourced customer service team by manning your chat box during office hours. I like their multi-customer chat functionality, ability to re-route chat customers to specific chat agents and their dashboard looks great:
Although they offer WordPress or Shopify plugins, they don’t have any more extensive integration options, so optionally syncing up to analytics services like Mixpanel or Woopra will have to come from outside services. They’re also missing the live “spy” view of being able to see who’s exactly landing on your site, although PureChat says they are working on having it by early 2016.
• Liveperson.com‘s chat is built around campaigns where you choose a goal, your intended audience for your goal and the types of engagements you want to use. These engagements can be chats, banner content or an FAQ popup (see image below) among others which are all tied to your business goals and driven by customer behavior. Liveperson understands that “chat” is just one way to reach particular goals you have for your landing page, so specific visitors will get content that is tailored towards them. In the Liveperson dashboard below, some visitors are being engaged by chat while others are seeing pre-canned content:
Liveperson has a free plan (1 chat operator) that’s fully featured. After trialing their live chat for a few days, some things about Liveperson chat which left me disappointed include:
- In the visitor spy view dashboard, stale visitors who’ve already left remain in your dashboard. It makes it impossible to see exactly who’s online right now.
- Their support and knowledgebase left something to be desired. I get the sense that this is a company culture problem and so it is what it is, caveat emptor.
• Casengo.com features a built-in helpdesk (like ClickDesk) which consolidates multi-channel support (whether you use email, chat or Twitter to contact your users, it will all show up in your universal Casengo inbox):
With Casengo there’s not much analytics triggering that you can do as with Olark, Zopim or Liveperson, and their cheapest plan is rather stingy in only allowing 100 conversations / month.