Improve Conversions With Live Chat – For Free!

Easily integrate Google’s Chatback Badge

It used to be an expensive, hard to install feature but today there are plenty of ways to add Live Chat support to your  WordPress ecommerce website or blog – or any website. According to a study done by LivePerson, having a live chat feature on your online store improves shopping cart conversion rates by 18% – 20%. The problem is that a 5-agent site license from LivePerson is $495/month which is far too expensive for a small business or a blogger.

There are other solutions available such as Olark which offers a free plan including 20 conversations per month or SightMax which offers a one operator system for $299. But, for most of our clients, including ourselves, the best and easiest solution for adding a Live Chat component to a website is to use integrate Google’s Chatback Badge. Best of all, Google’s Chatback Badge is free! If you are using WordPress there is a plugin to help you add a Google Chatback widget (Google Talk Widget) to your sidebar.

Adding Live Chat To Your Site For Free

To get started, you are going to need a Google account. If you already have a Gmail email address then you are set. Once you have your Google account, here is how to add Live Chat to your website for free.

1) Download the Google Talk Widget for free from the library of WordPress plugins.

2) Update: This is no longer available Go over to Google’s Chatback Badge page and get the iFrame code for your badge. When you are there, you can configure your badge to your liking by selecting the title, style, and your nickname (screen name) for the badge. For the nickname, you can choose anything you want, so you do not have to reveal your Gmail username or your own real name. For example, you could use the nickname “support” or “live help” for your badge.

3) Navigate to the Appearance –> Widgets page in your WordPress admin panel and drag and drop the Google Talk widget onto your side bar. Give the widget a title, perahaps something like Live Chat and paste in the iFrame code that you copied from Google’s Chatback Badge page. Then click the “Save” button and you are finished!

PHPoet Tip: We also use the Widget Logic plugin to be able to control which widgets appear on the various pages of your WordPress website. For example, perhaps you only want your Live Chat link to appear on your “web pages” and not your “blog posts” – you can control that using the Widget Logic plugin.

Now, when a potential customer is on your site, they will be able to chat with you. When they click your Live Chat link, a new, little chat window will open and they can initiate a live chat session with you. You don’t have to buy any software to monitor the live chat. You just use the Instant Messaging client you already have. This will work with any IM client that supports Google Talk – we use Adium.

Using Google’s Chatback Badge is not limited to WordPress,  if you are not using WordPress you can still use the Chatback Badge. All you have to do is drop the iFrame code on any webpage of your site.

7 Additional Benefits of Live Chat

In addition to helping your customers get answers to their questions, there are several other benefits for using Live Chat on your WordPress store, or any e-commerce website. Here are some tips and ideas for additional ways you can benefit from using Live Chat on your website.

  • Having Live Chat available improves customer satisfaction by 90% while shopping  according to an internet e-commerce study.
  • Increase the trust your visitors have in you and your company. If people can get in touch with you easily they will feel more comfortable shopping on your website.
  • Use the feedback to further optimize your website. If a bunch of people are all asking the same question, create an FAQ page that answers the question.
  • Faster and more accurate than phone support. It is much easier to share FedEx tracking numbers and links to web pages via chat than it is to try say it over the phone.
  • Use the live chat sessions to get ideas for other products or services you may want to offer.
  • Take the questions from the chat sessions and use them for blog post or newsletter ideas.
  • Decrease product return rates. Well informed customers are much less likely to return a product. Handling product returns is expensive and you can dramatically reduce this cost by making sure your customers make informed decisions before they buy.