There’s no shortage of articles and posts – even on our own blog – that talk about the diverse platforms that exist that can help your business in some way or another. However, there aren’t many posts that discuss the different criteria and features that you need to take in account.
As well as the types of tool available and a few tips for how to use them – such as Google Analytics – we’ve put together a list of 12 criteria that should be considered when you’re looking for an online chat platform for websites and for WordPress blogs. This will make it easier for you to figure out which are most important for the needs of your business, helping you to evaluate each platform. Whilst reading this article, why not click here and take the chance to download our own Jivochat wordpress plugin so you can easily configure our chat platform on your site.
1. An Interface that’s tidy and user-friendly
Just like explaining jokes, if you need to explain how to use an interface, it automatically means that it’s not that great. Professionals and those that use chat systems for ecommerce – whether on their site or WordPress- aren’t necessarily going to be experts in programming or be clued up about IT, and they shouldn’t have to be.
That’s why one of the most important criteria when you’re evaluating chat platforms for ecommerce on your WordPress site is that it’s easy to use and to navigate the functions and configurations. A stylish platform with loads of complicated features is no help if users can’t find or get to grips with its most basic features.
2. Compatibility with mobile devices
The world is now mobile, with the vast majority of people visiting shops and pages through their devices. That’s why it’s vital for your WordPress chat platform to have what’s called responsive design. That is, the tool should automatically adjust to fit the size of the screen that’s being used to access the site, improving compatibility. Try searching for images on a certain platform on different devices to see how they appear on different screens.
3. Receive messages even when customer service is offline
It’s key that messages can still come in even when your customer service team isn’t online. That’s why it’s a good idea to find out if the platform you’re considering incorporating into your business lets you receive messages out of hours, with your team then responding when they log in, or, at least, that the client’s questions are sent to you via email. In an ideal world, the platform should do both these things.
4. Let a customer pick up where they left off
Most customer service chats are ended the moment the window is closed. Although this was common in the past, these days some online chat plugins for WordPress let clients pick up the chat where they left off even if they’ve closed the window.
It should be up to you or to your customer service team to finish chats, as accidently clicking the close button or an issue with the customer’s device – whether a computer, mobile or tablet – could shut the call down. Without this feature, the client would have to start the whole process again, losing valuable time and possibly ending up frustrated with your ecommerce site, to the point where they give up on the customer service, or even on the site altogether.
5. Support audio and video calls
This criterion is one that will depend on the needs of your business. Not every company necessarily needs to be able to make voice or video calls, although it is useful for making your customer service more human and bringing your client closer to your business. If your clientele prefers being attended to through video or voice calls, look for a tool that lets you make them.
6. Include analytical tools
Just as important as selling is evaluating your performance. This applies not just to sales, but also to customer service. One of the most important aspects to consider is having a platform for Wordpress that can go back to past customer service events to analyse either their results or the quality of the calls. If a platform doesn’t allow for this analysis you can definitely cross it off your list of options, as without this feature a key element of your support will be missing.
7. Bring together all customer service channels in one place
This is another optional criterion, but you can save both yourself and your team a lot of time by using a platform that encompasses all your online customer service channels, such as emails and social media. With this feature, you won’t need someone monitoring each channel, but can divide tasks up between the team, who will all use the same software. What’s more, evaluating the results will become easier and you won’t need to use different applications to assess each channel.
8. Customise the look
Some free online chat tools for WordPress don’t let you customise the appearance of the chat or include some kind of advertisement. For sites on a tight budget, this might not be a huge problem, but having a chat tool that matches your visual identity will, without doubt, give your page a more professional air. This will mean that your site will appear more trustworthy in the eyes of your visitors and clients.
9. Possibility for communication between team members
To avoid using different software for your team to communicate, it might be a good idea to select a WordPress chat tool that allows for internal communication. This is a way to keep your team working closely together, whilst allowing them to ask each other questions whilst they’re delivering customer service without exiting the platform.
10. Provision of conversation transcriptions
Forget any tool that doesn’t let you keep records of the transcriptions of your customer service. A platform that doesn’t backup chats between your team and clients or visitors will leave your company unprotected when it comes to guarding against dishonest behaviour. What’s more, not keeping a record will stop you from evaluating the quality of your customer service.
11. Allow one person to deal with multiple clients at the same time
Your first few chats via the platform might not require you to have to deal with multiple visitors and clients at once, but this won’t be the case for long. That’s why we recommend you should make sure your chat for WordPress has this feature. Letting one team member deal with various clients simultaneously means that the queue will move more quickly, even if there is a limit for the number of people one person can deal with at once.
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12. Possibility for creating model answers
A less important criteria than some of the ones we’ve mentioned in this list, the possibility of creating model answers will also make your business more productive and help you economise your time. The reaction of model answers isn’t a rare feature as you’ll find it on a lot of platforms, including JivoChat. However, it’s worth considering choosing a system that lets you and your team create the model answers yourselves rather than only offering generic answers.
It’s worth noting that these aren’t the only criteria that can be taken into consideration, as some types of business have very particular needs that can’t be included in this list, which focuses on tools that are useful in a general context. However, we believe that using these criteria – the vast majority of which are features of JivoChat for Wordpress – will make choosing the right platform for your business much easier.