The Internet is a competitive place for businesses and the level of competition is increasing every day. The more that you can do to connect with both existing and potential clients the better. Business on the web is all about building relationships and live chat on your business website can be a very useful part of your overall digital marketing strategy.
Social networks are one resource for building relationships with followers but they are removed from your actual website. Plus, relationships on social networks are ongoing and develop over time. Live chat on the other hand is instant communication that lets you turn an otherwise casual site visitor into a customer or a follower on your social networks so that you can build a long term relationship with them.
Many business have already adopted live chat on their websites. Chat services range from free plugins, to full featured suites that can be staffed by employees of the business, to applications that are staffed by chat operators from the chat company. For most small businesses though cost is a factor and from that perspective a chat application that is staffed by the business owner or their employees makes the most sense.
This past week we installed live chat software on our site. After doing some research into the many live chat plugins and services that are available we decided that ClickDesk offers the features that we would find most useful at a competitive price.
The free version of the ClickDesk platform does not come with all of the bells and whistles enabled but even in this somewhat stripped down form it is still totally functional as a chat application. In the free version the social sharing option is enabled for users.
The main limitations seem to be that you can have only one chat operator and one simultaneous chat session on the free version. Depending on the size of your business and the traffic to your site that may not be a problem. The paid version goes by how many operators you have and how many simultaneous chat sessions you want to be able to carry on.
If you go to this page on the ClickDesk site you can compare plans and see what you get with each one and what best meets your needs. For the basic plan with one operator and 5 simultaneous chats the cost is only like $14.95 a month (paid monthly). I think it is a great value for everything you get.
Speaking of everything you get, I did some testing today with ClickDesk on mobile devices. The chat system is mobile ready and when I visited my website on the Safari browser on my iPhone 5 the initiate chat button popped right up. So people can initiate a text/voice/video chat with you right from their mobile device! I think that is great because if people are out shopping and looking for a price or product availability they can get you right from your website in a multitude of ways.
While I am talking about mobile I should also note that you can be on the receiving end of text/voice/video chats from clients on your mobile device as well. If you have a business that requires you to be away from your office and you don’t want to lose out on conversations with visitors to your site ClickDesk has you covered! According to the tech rep I spoke to at ClickDesk you can tie the chat system in with Google Voice on mobile and/or VTok on ios.
Installation is fairly simple on most website building platforms. There is a plugin for WordPress and you just install the plugin and insert a bit of ClickDesk provided code into the footer.php file for your site and it is good to go.
I give ClickDesk live chat an enthusiastic thumbs up. I think it is an awesome tool for small and large businesses to extend the functionality of their website. Performance and ease of use are also well developed and I have not yet encountered any problems with it or conflicts with my website or its other plugins. If you are not particularly tech savvy your webmaster can install it easily. If you do not have a webmaster feel free to contact us and we will do it for you for a small fee.
If you would like to test out the system just click on the chat button on our website (not enabled on the blog portion of the site) and we will be happy to say hi via text, voice or video chat! Remember though we are still using the free version and are limited to one active chat at a time.