As a small business owner, one of the most important things you can do is provide excellent customer service.

Being able to answer potential questions, and solve problems quickly can be the main difference between being a successful business owner and a business that’s quickly heading the way of the Dodo bird.

Aside from an email address, and a phone number where your potential and existing customers can reach you, having a live chat is an added bonus that allows you to solve any potential problem almost immediately.

In today’s day and age, when our lives are on the fast track, having the ability to quickly get back to your clients is essential.

In this post, I’m going to show you how you can easily add a live chat option to your WordPress website.

In order to add a live chat option, we’ll take a look at Tidio Live Chat plugin.

Tidio Live Chat is a live chat solution that is extremely simple to install, easy to configure and best of all; it’s free although it does come with a paid option.

The main features include:

  • Extremely easy installation, you only need to install plugin and it’s done
  • You can see who visits your website
  • You can contact any customer who is visiting your site
  • Adjust color scheme to your needs
  • Dedicated app for mobile and desktop devices (iOS, Android, Windows, OS X, Chrome)
  • Supports 140 languages
  • 2 outstanding beautiful designs available

How to add live chat to WordPress using the Tidio Live Chat plugin

When it comes to installing Tidio Live Chat there are two options, however both of them are extremely easy.

Option 1:

Install the plugin from the official WordPress plugin repository by going to Plugins > Add New, searching for Tidio Live Chat plugin and then proceed with the usual installation and activation of the plugin. After you have done that, you will be re-directed to Tidio’s own dashboard where you can tweak the plugin’s settings.

Option 2:

Install the plugin via Tidio’s website.

Step 1: Go to Tidio’s website and sign up for an account.

Step 2: Complete the registration – you will be prompted to allow Tidio’s desktop notifications. Click on Allow access to be able to receive notifications.

tidio-chat-complete-registration

Step 3: After you have created the account, you will be re-directed to their dashboard where you will be given the instructions on how to integrate Tidio Live Chat with your website. In this case, they detected that the website in question was built on WordPress.

They will give you one line of code that you need to paste into your header.php file. Copy the given line of code.

tidio-chat-integration

Step 4: Go back to your WordPress dashboard, open up your Editor under Appearance, select header.php file and paste the line of code they gave you directly before the closing /head tag.

After that you are pretty much set. If you load your WordPress’ home page you should now see the little Live Chat box in the bottom right corner. All that’s left to do now is play with the settings.

You can customize the appearance of the chat box to use your color scheme and match the rest of your site:

Tidio-Live-Chat-Appearance

You can also set up your Operator’s name and upload an avatar for them.

The chat box is relatively simple and straighforward: all the user has to do is type a message and you will instantly receive a notification, and reply from Tidio’s dashboard.

The downside is that with the default settings, you won’t get any information on the user, so unless they tell you their name, you will have to ask for it yourself. This can however be avoided by turning the Pre-Chat Survey option on.

By turning this feature on, you can add fields for name, email, and phone number which allows you to address your users by their name, which is definitely friendlier and more convenient.

On the front end the chat box looks pretty sleek and polished and there is no delay in receiving messages/notifications:
tidio-live-chat-front-end

tidio-live-chat-backend

From their dashboard, you can view active visitors on your site and start a conversation with them, or wait for them to message you.

In case you are offline, or in other words, not logged in into their web interface, the users can still leave you a message and Tidio will use your email (either the one you signed up with, or the one from your User Profile in WordPress dashboard) to deliver their message to you.

tidio-chat-offline

offline-message-tidio-email-notification

Other notable features

Aside from being able to use Tidio with WordPress, I’d like to mention that you can also use it with static websites as well as integrate it with Joomla, Drupal, Shopify, Prestashop and BigCommerce.

On top of that, Tidio comes with apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Chrome extension and a desktop app, so you can be available even when you are on the go.

tidio-chat-apps

Pricing

I mentioned that the plugin comes in paid version as well. The main differences between the free and paid version is that with paid version you can:

  • Add unlimited number of operators,
  • Unlimited chats,
  • The ability to send automatic messages, and
  • Access to mobile apps.

After signing up/installing the plugin you are given access to their PRO version for 7 days so you can experience the full feature set.

After the 7 day trial period is over, you are downgraded to their free plan. However, for $10/month it’s definitely worth upgrading to their paid plan; considering other such options are often more expensive.

Final Verdict

Tidio Live Chat makes it easy to get live chat setup on your website.

It’s easy to use, optimized for mobile users and it’s easy to customize the chat window to really stand out and attract the attention of your visitors.

My only complaint is with the user interface. When you have the Pre-Chat Survey option enabled, you have to click the little arrow to send the initial message through and initiate the conversation.

Something like that can easily be missed if you are multitasking or have multiple tabs open.

The bottom line:

Overall, I am extremely happy with the experience provided by Tidio Live Chat. It’s small, lightweight, and incredibly easy to set up and use.

Within 5 minutes you can have a live chat option on your site that not only looks great but allows you to be available for your customers whether you are working or are on the go.

Considering the paid version gives you even more features, it’s definitely worth the upgrade, especially since the pricing is extremely affordable.

 

(Disclosure: this is a sponsored post but we only say good stuff when we REALLY mean it. Read more.)

Posted by Ana Lynn Amelio

Ana Lynn Amelio is a WordPress designer and freelance blogger. When she isn't busy running her own small business Ley Design she can be found reading, enjoying Italian food, and helping her kids go through not-so-secret cookie stash. Follow her on Twitter or say hi on Google+