We’ve been experimenting with live web chat on our site and a couple of client sites and so far it has been a useful option for people to get in touch.
Finally we have found a live web chat system that is FREE and GOOD.
There is definitely an increase in the use of sms/imessage/facebook messenger between us and our clients and we see it happening in other businesses too.
Why is this so?
Different people prefer different modes of communication and sometimes they want a quick text reply, other times an email reply in the next few days or weeks is fine and yet other times a call to speak to someone is best. As people trying to communicate with a business we tend to pick the method we feel most comfortable and appropriate for our query.
Tawk has a free service which includes all the basics you need to have a chat box on your website.
Here’s an example of what it looks like on a few different sites:
You can see there are some options about the colour of the chat box and you can change other settings about how it shows before it pops up.
It’s quite easy to integrate in WordPress using the tawk plugin. Once you have a free tawk account and add the plugin it pretty much works with default settings.
Here is a quick tutorial video that shows how the messaging part works as the website / business owner.
When it can be a customer service problem
Our main hesitation with using the chat and for rarely encouraging clients to use it is that you have to be really prompt to reply to the messages.
Like phone call answering fast!
The typical experience that people expect when they open a live chat box is that they will get a reply within seconds or certainly within a minute.
Longer than that and the person who clicked into the chat box has probably wandered off to another website or maybe picked up the phone if its urgent.
You can see in the screenshots below an example of the message list and a sample enquiry from a person on our website.
List of past messages
Message made by someone
Even in the short time we have had this running we’ve had a message where someone got annoyed about us not responding fast enough.
This is definitely the hardest part of the whole process.
I’ve added the app to my phone as well but still you need to be pretty quick to respond to the notification from the app.
If a business has dedicated admin people who are at the computer or phone throughout the day, preferably more than one person, and they can pay attention to the incoming chat requests then feasibly they can react quickly enough to answer the chat enquires.
If you’d like to give it a go head over to tawk.to and setup and account. The setup for WordPress is pretty simple and the phone app is easy to login to as well once your account is activated. Jezweb clients are welcome to get in touch if you need a hand getting it setup and working.