Providing support to your customers 24/7 is not always easy and in this ever-changing technology landscape, it’s becoming increasingly more important to be able to respond quickly to customers to avoid them navigating away from your site. The team at WPEZI have experienced this first hand and so we made it our mission to improve the way we could communicate with our clients. After many hours of research, we decided we needed to open more communication channels. We already had email, phone, webform, and social media channels, so how could we open the door for more communication? What more could we do? What about a Live Chat function on the site, to give our customers and potential customers the ability to speak with our team directly and in real time. That was how we came to have the Live Chat service you see in the bottom right hand corner.
Live Chat allows your team to speak directly with the customer, when their query is current and before they navigate away from the site to find an answer or to simply clarify a query before they proceed to the checkout. The team at WPEZI use the Live Chat to assist clients with minor queries or to help new customers understand the features of one of the plans and sign up for the right plan for their needs.
Think of all the ways Live Chat could help you and boost your site! There are dozens of Live Chat plugins for WordPress sites and all have their own merits. We use tawk.to on our site, and of course highly recommend this plugin. We will however, take a look at some of the other plugins, both paid and free, so we can give you an overview of the top plugins for an informed choice for your site.
What is tawk.to?
Tawk.to is a free plug in got your WordPress site which allows you to talk to your customers in real time without them leaving your site. Tawk.to has a range of features and if you would like to have agents answer the chats for you, there is a paid version available. Tawk.to allows to you monitor your site visitors, engage with visitors in real time, and even answer chats on a mobile device. You can have as many or as few agents able to chat your customers as you wish, and communications are encrypted with 128bit SSL, and any chats are stored on encrypted servers for peace of mind. Tawk.to are also not likely to start charging for the service in the future, they make their money from the paid service and there are no pesky ads displaying to get in the way of you communicating effectively with your customers.
Tawk.to boasts being the chosen plugin by big name brands both in Australia and across the world, such as, Sheraton, Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz, to name a few.
Tawk.to also has an Apple and an Android app for when you are on the go, your customers do not have to wait. You can answer chats and solve problems on the run, allowing your business to be truly agile and available.
As mentioned, Tawk.to is a free plugin, however there are paid add-ons. You can remove the Tawk.to branding from your chats by installing the widget and selecting either the $12 or $15 per month package. You can also add hired agents to answer your customer queries, which would be a great feature at $1 per hour, if you are planning a holiday or need a break.
Every product, service or feature has a competitor who may or may not provide the exact same product, service or feature. There will however always be one or two points of difference between the competition. Tawk.to has several competitors, however the team at WPEzi have found Tawk.to to be the superior of the Live Chat services. However, we would still like to put forward a few paid and free alternatives if Tawk.to isn’t quite what you are looking for.
LiveChat – With packages starting $16 a month, after the free trial, this plugin is a little expensive if your site doesn’t receive a lot of chats. This particular plugin does however have a lot of benefits and is cost effective for the larger sites like PayPal and has a laundry list of features in the Business and Enterprise plans, where the Starter and mid-level Team plans have a lot less features. LiveChat also works on the basis of what they refer to as ‘Seats’. These Seats are agents logging on at the same time. So, if you only have one seat, you can have a dozen agents ready to answer the chats but only one agent can login at a time.
Olark – This plugin will integrate with your Customer Relationship Management database and sales software such as Salesforce. You can also integrate a helpdesk like Zendesk. You can even track the activity of each customer who reaches out using the chat feature and note any common threads through the reporting features. Olark plans start at $17 per agent, per month, however you do get 20 free chats per month as well. Olark has a lot of the same features with a few extra integrations thrown in.
Zendesk Chat – One of the popular plugins, possibly due to its integration with other Zendesk features, or it could be because it is simple and easy and comes with a range of gorgeous themes and layouts. Zendesk offers both a paid and free subscription, just like Tawk.to. The key difference is that Tawk.to allows multiple chats with multiple agents at once, where the free version of Zendesk only allows one agent at a time to answer one chat at a time. So, if you have multiple customers looking to chat at once, this might not be the solution for you. However, if your site is small and you don’t need more than one chat at a time, this option could be a great starting point for your business.
Free or Freemium
WP Live Chat Support – This plugin is also completely free, just like Tawk.to, however the Pro version is available for approximately $40. WP Live Chat Support allows you all of the same features as the other paid plugins but offers it for free. It is simple and effective, however basic in design it will look on your site. The features are similar to Tawk.to, however no mention is made of being able to answer the chats on mobile devices and all reporting is contained in the Pro version.
WordPress Live Chat Plugin – This particular plugin is different from its competitors in that it does not charge each month, but rather there is an $75 one off fee. That’s all you pay for the some of the same features as the other plugins. Although customisation with this plugin is limited, your business doesn’t suffer if you are unable to have an agent available for the chats. If there is no agent available, a contact form is displayed in its place, so your customers can still leave a query. You can still handle multiple conversations across as many agents or operators as you like without paying a cent more.
As you can see each of the different plugins offers something different to its competitors, whether it be features or price points. You really cannot go wrong with a free product like Tawk.to where all of the features are free, not just the standard ones. If you have any questions, please let us know, the WPEZI team are happy to provide WordPress support, whether you are a regular customer or it’s a one-off issue. Contact us via live chat today, it’s just in the bottom corner. You can even road test the Live Chat feature on our site, so you can see what your customers would experience if you installed Tawk.to onto your WordPress site.