Adding live chat to your website gives you a great way to communicate with visitors as they browse your site.
If you’re using WordPress, enabling live chat is surprisingly easy. Best of all, it can be done for free without sacrificing any essential features.
In this guide, we show you exactly how you can achieve this and add another way to forge a connection with your audience.
Whether you want to support your users better, find out more about your blog readers, generate more sales for your eCommerce store, land new clients for your service-based gig, or connect with your audience for some other reasons, live chat is a tool that can help you achieve your goals.
Benefits of Live Chat
If you’re still not entirely sold on the idea of adding live chat to your website, here are a few reasons why you should give it a try (according to research from Kayako):
- 52% of consumers are more likely to remain loyal to a company that offers live chat
- 29% of consumers have told friends or colleagues about a positive live chat experience
- 79% of businesses say offering live chat has had a positive effect on sales, revenue, and customer loyalty
- 38% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company if they offer live chat support
- 51% of consumers will buy again from a company if they offer live chat support
- Live chat is the most preferred method of communication for consumers
Live chat could also reduce the number of emails you receive via your website. If you’d rather answer a visitor’s query in real-time, rather than have them start a new email conversion, live chat could be for you.
If you’re worried about live chat becoming too time-consuming — despite the many benefits — there’s no need to be concerned.
The best live chat solutions give you lots of control over when your service is available, whether that’s on a set schedule or only when you choose to turn it on.
The free solution covered in this guide even has an optional chatbot feature that can take some of the load off of your hands, pre-screening users, responding to basic queries, and providing useful information when you’re not available to chat.
If you’re ready to add live chat to your WordPress website, read on to start the process. In just a few minutes, you could be chatting with your visitors, answering their queries, and helping them to find the information they need on your website.
About the Hubspot Free Plan
The tool we’ll be using to add live chat to a WordPress website is Hubspot. Hubspot is a powerful customer relationship management (CRM) tool that’s packed with features. As well as its paid service, it also has a free plan that can help you with marketing, such as creating landing pages, running an email list, and adding live chat to your site. Hubspot is also easy to use and integrates seamlessly with WordPress.
The free plan does have a few limitations, including only being able to have one live chat operator, rather than a team of staff handling the conversations. However, if you’re a solopreneur or you’ll only have one person handling the live chat channel at a time, the free plan is a great option.
How to Add Live Chat to Your WordPress Website
As mentioned, Hubspot has a free plan that lets you do a few things, including adding a single-user live chat feature to your WordPress website.
There are other live chat tools available for WordPress. But Hubspot has a very good free service that’s easy to use with lots of useful functionality.
So here’s how you can add live chat to your WordPress website with the free Hubspot plan.
1) Sign Up for a Free Hubspot Account
As you’ll need a Hubspot account, the first step is to sign up on their website. As the free tools, including live chat, are free forever, rather than being a trial, there’s no need to enter any payment details.
Once you’ve signed up, you can move on to the next step.
2) Install the Hubspot WordPress Plugin
Hubspot also has a free plugin that integrates their service and your account with your WordPress website.
After logging into your WordPress dashboard, click on the Add New item under the Plugin menu on the left-hand sidebar.
From the Add New Plugins screen, search for Hubspot. Then click on the Install Now button for the Hubspot button, followed by the Activate button.
Next, you’ll be asked to sign into your Hubspot account in your WordPress dashboard. This will connect your account to your website. As you already have an account from step one, click on the Sign in here link.
After you’ve entered your login details, follow the on-screen steps to complete the connection.
Hubspot has a lot of features, so it’s worth watching the demo if you’d like to get an overview of what this service can do.
3) Create a Chatflow
When you’re ready to continue with adding live chat to your website, exit the demo to get back to the Hubspot area inside your WordPress dashboard. From there, click on the Create chatflow button in the Live Chat section.
The first step lets you choose a color for your chat window.
After that, you can choose what name is displayed in the header of the live chat window. You can also upload a custom avatar or use the one associated with your WordPress account. You can also enter the welcome message that visitors to your site will see.
Next, you can set the hours that live chat is available. The two main options are setting a schedule and when a team member is online. For the latter, you’d need to set your status, or your team member, to available in the Hubspot dashboard for the live chat to be active.
Finally, you can preview your live chat window before publishing it. If you’re happy, hit the Publish button to enable live chat for your WordPress website.
4) Test the Live Chat
Now when someone arrives at your website, they’ll see the live chat widget.
If they choose to interact with it, the full chat window will be open, displaying the welcome message you defined earlier.
Messages submitted by visitors are then displayed in the inbox of your account area on the Hubspot website.
Now you can reply to your visitors through your Hubspot inbox. Any message you enter will be displayed to the visitor on your website.
When you’re ready, you can close the conversation by clicking on the check icon in the top right-hand corner of the Hubspot inbox.
Hubspot also gives you the option of emailing a chat transcript. This can be useful if you’d like to forward the conversation to a site visitor or someone you’re working with.
As you can see, adding live chat to a WordPress website with Hubspot is very straightforward.
Just remember to keep your status in your Hubspot account updated to reflect whether you’re monitoring the live chat channel or not. Email notifications about new live chat messages are sent out by default, and turning on browser notifications can help you to keep on top of incoming conversations, as well.
What Else Can You Do With Hubspot?
As well as using live chat to communicate with visitors to your site, you can also create basic chatbots with the free Hubspot plan.
The free chatbot builder tool lets you automate responses to simple questions your visitors ask. The two main benefits of this are that you’ll be able to automatically resolve basic issues your visitors might have and provide some assistance when you’re not monitoring the live chat channel. The chatbot can also be used to collect preliminary information from visitors before you or one of your team takes over.
You can also create a chatflow for Facebook Messenger, giving you a way to connect with your audience on that platform.
Adding forms to your website is another way that Hubspot can help you connect with your audience. There’s also an email marketing service for communicating with visitors who’ve signed up to your list.
If you’ve got products, services, or other offers you’d like to promote, the Hubspot free plan has a landing page builder, too.
Hopefully, you now know enough to add live chat to your WordPress website.
Whether you want to communicate with potential clients that have arrived at your site, help shoppers at your store find the products they’re looking for, support your users in real-time, or simply connect with your audience, live chat is a very effective tool.
Thanks to the ability to set an away message, turn off the channel, or even create a chatbot, running a live chat channel doesn’t have to be too resource intensive. You can just enable live chat when you’ve got time to monitor the channel, and turn it off when you don’t.
If you want to make your site more interactive, give your visitors another way to get in touch, and increase conversions, live chat is definitely a tool you should be aware of.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.