On a typical day, what does most of your communication with friends and colleagues look like? For most of us, the answer to that question is some form of live chat communication. Whether it’s through a personal social media app like Facebook Messenger or Discord or something built with professional use in mind, like Microsoft Teams, instant text chat is rising while other forms of communication are declining. An on-site chat widget opens up a whole new way to interact with site visitors. With all that in mind, it’s not surprising that more and more website owners are interested in adding a live chat plugin to their sites.
The right live chat app can be installed on your existing website in order to allow you to talk with visitors via live chat agents or AI-powered chat bots. But what are the primary advantages of live chat, and how can you add a chat widget to your site? We’ll try to answer all your questions in this article, but if you need more information head over to the Formilla home page and click the “Chat with us” button in the lower-right corner to try it out for yourself!
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There are a variety of reasons you might be interested in adding a live chat feature to your site. Most commonly, site owners are looking to chat in real-time with visitors in order to offer better customer service or to generate sales.
Data from ecommerce platform Shopify shows that “businesses that respond to a customer’s chat within five minutes are 69% more likely to get a sale,” and it’s easy to see why. If you have someone on your site looking for customer service, the more quickly you can help them find what they are after, the better. Customers don’t like hunting around for information or waiting for responses, and well-executed live chat offers the best possible customer experience. A live chat customer service agent can speak directly to a customer, using natural language in the familiar text chat format, providing a personal and conversational experience and leading to increased customer satisfaction.
One of the benefits of live chat that businesses often overlook is the ability to learn directly from customers. Speaking to a customer who came to your site looking to solve a problem or answer a question gives you valuable insight into how real people interact with your website. Live chat customer service also helps keep customer interactions on-site, rather than seeing frustrated customers take their complaints to a public forum like social media.
Live chat can help in multiple ways throughout the purchase funnel for your business. Talking to real human beings is one of the ways we are all most comfortable learning about new products and services, and a skilled marketer communicating to site visitors via a live chat widget can provide great opportunities to educate and engage potential customers.
A live chat widget is an effective way to increase your visitor-to-lead conversion rate, which refers to the percentage of website visitors who get to the point of expressing clear interest in a product or service you offer. By engaging potential customers right away, you’re reducing the number of visitors who “bounce” off your site. And you can also use live chat to pre-qualify leads, determining a visitor’s actual interest level in what you have to offer.
Using live chat to help convert site visitors into customers is often referred to as “conversational commerce” or “conversational sales.” Your live chat sales team can help visitors find the products or services they are looking for quickly, can nurture leads brought to the site by marketing programs, and can answer ordering or billing questions as needed to offer a smooth transaction experience.
Live chat is also a great opportunity for a sales agent to schedule a product demonstration or training session, which can be especially helpful for sites that provide things like business software. And agents can also encourage satisfied customers to share their contact information as part of the chat, in order to continue the personalized interaction in the future.
Different live chat platforms offer different functionality. You can visit Formilla’s features and pricing page for a complete list of features our platform offers.
Here are some basic functions you should look for when considering a live chat plugin for your website.
Live chat services commonly provide a dashboard interface so that live chat agents can easily monitor and maintain multiple conversations. Live chat conversations are often archived in the dashboard as well, for future review.
You can see Formilla’s dashboard in action in our tutorial video.
Live chat works best when you can see who is on your site and what they are currently browsing, so live chat software often comes with real-time visitor alerts so you can know the moment a new visitor arrives on your site.
The Formilla dashboard also shows you the source of the visitors currently on your site, so you can know if the person you are talking to arrived via a Facebook advertisement or organic Google traffic, for example. Having that insight helps you understand the type of visitor with whom you are live chatting.
Since only large companies can afford to have chat agents sitting at a computer 24 hours a day, it’s helpful to be able to access your live chat system via your mobile device. Formilla has mobile apps for both Android and Apple devices.
Pre-written responses to common customer questions are a great way to increase the efficiency of your live chat service. You can have standardized, automated answers about business hours, shipping options, and to check whether a customer has left a live chat session. These “canned” messages ensure your live chat agents are giving consistent information, and eliminate the need to write out unique replies manually when you’re getting the same questions many times a day.
Learn more about how to deploy canned messages in our video and written tutorials.
While “canned” messages are deployed by agents when appropriate, you can take live chat automation further through the use of dedicated “chat bots.” AI-powered chat bots can offer automated customer assistance on your site in order to reduce the workload on your live customer service agents.
AI chat bots can be programmed and trained with variations of common customer questions, so they “know” the right response to give at different times. Chat bots can give an instant response to customer questions, 24 hours a day, and can work alongside live chat agents on your site to maximize efficiency.
Learn how to create a chat bot using Formilla’s Helper Chat Bot feature.
Live Chat Vs. Chat Bots: Strengths, Weaknesses, and How to Use Them Together
For most businesses, it just doesn’t make sense to build your own live chat feature from scratch. Trust us: we did the math. Fortunately, there are a variety of companies that offer the ability to add a pre-built chat widget to your site, whether that’s through a live chat plugin or an app. Using a platform like Formilla means you can add live chat functionality – along with chat bots, in-app messages, and other marketing automation and customer support features – to your website without having to do any manual coding yourself.
The term “plugin” is most commonly associated with WordPress sites, but Formilla offers live chat integration with a wide variety of platforms.
You can use Formilla Live Chat software on your site in order to connect with web site visitors in real time. You can get started with our platform with a free trial of the full service on many popular site building and ecommerce platforms.
Click the links below for more information on setting up a live chat plugin or app on your specific website or platform.
The Formilla Live Chat WordPress plugin has thousands of active users. It’s one of the best-reviewed live chat options on the platform, with an average rating of 4.8 stars.
The Formilla Live Chat Shopify app can add live, conversational customer service and sales options to your Shopify web store. Live chat is a great fit for ecommerce sites, and as a bonus Formilla comes with a number of useful marketing automation features, like e-mail automation.
Adding Formilla live chat to your Wix site is a simple process via the Wix app market. The instructions above cover the process for adding live chat to your Wix mobile site.
The Formilla Weebly app is well reviewed and easy to install via the Weebly App Center.
To install the Formilla live chat plugin on your SquareSpace site, you’ll need to copy the script available at the link above and paste it above the closing “body” tag of your site.
Read our complete platform install guide for more assistance and a full list of platforms compatible with Formilla Live Chat, including Joomla, Volusion, Magento, and more
Live chat isn’t just what customers will expect in the future – they already expect it today. If you aren’t talking to your website visitors via live chat, you’re missing out on valuable interactions that produce satisfied customers who spend more and convert more often.
You can read the full list of features of the Formilla live chat platform on our website. With a 15-day free trial and premium options that add more advanced features like AI-powered Helper Bots, it’s easy to add our live chat plugin to your existing site today.
Header image by Memed_Nurrohmad from Pixabay