Life in the 21st century is swift, and virtually everything happens online these days. Social media, university classes, language courses, we even order takeout using apps these days. Life has become so busy that the number one priority seems to minimize the time we need to spend going about our day-to-day tasks and trying to broaden that little window of free time we have left every day.
Communication works much in the same way. Just think about it when was the last time you actually wrote a long text or even called someone, for that matter (your grandparents don’t count). It doesn’t matter if we’re trying to connect with a friend or buy a new product we’re interested in. If you have any questions, the best option seems to be a chat.
So, if you’re a business owner looking to provide better customer service, it’s high time you embrace the power of chat. It’s efficient, fast, and saves everyone mounts of time.
New Approach to Customer Service
Spending any amount of time online, you’ve probably noticed that many sites nowadays opt for a chat in place of the original helpdesk or a call-in-line. Even huge companies like Booking.com now predominately use chat to deal with their customer complaints.
And they’re right in doing so; as we previously hinted, chat has numerous advantages over traditional customer service. Agents can prepare better, it takes less time, and if a customer is unsure of something and needs time to retrieve the data, you can work on multiple cases simultaneously.
Plus, chatting comes naturally. You do it with your co-workers and friends. It’s just more comfortable for everyone involved. For these reasons and many others, it’s virtually necessary to implement chat as a feature of your company’s customer service.
A tool that can perform pretty much every task you need it to when it comes to this type of communication is 3CX Live Chat. It’s pretty much a total all in one, available for WordPress, Wix, Joomla, and in console form. We’ll go through it in detail to show how it can be the perfect solution for your business.
Today, we’ll be focusing on the WordPress side of things the most since we run our sites on WordPress, but it’s pretty easy to get the hang of it on any platform.
Calls and Video
Before we get into the nitty-gritty and present the features 3CX has to offer in full, we’d like to take a few moments to talk about what truly makes this tool a standout amongst other similar options available. The first thing is the added features of calls and video chat.
Sure, while your primary way of communication shall be chat, you might think there’s no need to implement this at any time. But if the need shall arise for you to add this feature, you can do so completely free and elevate your service in a split second. However, these added benefits might not even be the best thing about it.
You can currently get it for free for a whole year. There are no hidden payments, no catch, no paywalls, and restricted features. Having said that, if you’ve ever considered adding a live chat function to your website – the time is now. So, let’s examine this tool more closely.
Installation and First Steps
You could go a few different ways when getting this tool, and one of them doesn’t even require installation, which would be the hosted version. With the hosted version, you’re leaving most of the grunt work to 3CX while you reap the benefits. Pretty neat, right?
It can be an excellent option for those relatively new to the game, as it allows you to outsource as much as possible. You’ve already got your hands full trying to deal with everything else, so why not leave this to the professionals. We have to mention that opting for the hosted version has a few primary conditions that are somewhat different from other options, so if this is how you’re going about it, do consult their official site and see if everything works for you.
Aside from the hosted version, you can also download and install it as a plugin or an app ( a cloud is also an option). The setup itself is a simple matter of downloading and following the step-by-step installation wizard. But, before you can do that, you’ll have to create an account to connect it to unless you’ve done that already.
To tap into the full power of this tool, you can also install the mobile app. Once the installation has been complete, you can go ahead and tweak everything to your liking until it’s right for you. That way, chatting can be done on the go or when you’re in a hurry.
In addition, it’s also worth noting that you don’t just get the default chat app, but some features allow you to integrate other chatting apps like Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp. We wholeheartedly recommend you take this step, as social media apps have been all the range in customer support recently. Users are familiar with these apps, how they work and are just overall more comfortable using them.
The WordPress Plugin
It’s finally time for a more in-depth look at the feature 3CX offers in the form of a plugin. Once you’ve completed the previous steps, you can head to the WordPress dashboard to configure and customize.
Some basics need to be configured so everything can work right, and then some more advanced options that you essentially don’t have even to touch if you don’t want to. The plugin will function either way, but modifying the plugin to fit your business specifically can be very beneficial.
General Settings and Chat Box
Naturally, if you want the plugin to work, you’ll first have to enable the chat, the first option presented on the dashboard. Other options to tweak in the General Settings tab include enabling the plugin on mobile devices, playing that all-too-familiar “ding” sound whenever you receive a notification, using details of the logged-in users, and so forth.
These are all pretty standard, but we have to mention that 3CX makes it exceptionally simple to decide where the chatbox will appear. More precisely, using a list of pages further down on the tab, you can include or exclude certain pages from the list and only have the chat option available where you want it.
When it comes to the chatbox itself, there are a lot of features to choose from. Do you want the box to appear on the left or the right, do you want it to be an automatic pop-up, do you wish to show the agent’s name, etc. Aside from just these, some branding features can come in handy such as: adding an agent’s image, uploading a logo, an icon, including Facebook or Whatsapp.
Since we’ve already broached the idea of branding, now would be a good time to discuss customization. Aside from being functional, a chatbox also needs to fit your overall aesthetics and be on-brand with the rest of your business. The styling tab is all about keeping up appearances and securing that great first impression.
These minor tweaks such as themes, titles, custom colors, effects, and animation can seem a tad trivial. But combined can make a powerful impact. Make the chat button fit with the aesthetics of your overall site, but don’t make it invisible; make it stand out. With a bit of time, the chatbox can add a subtly professional air that’ll make the site seem more trustworthy and approachable in the same breath.
Virtually no business aside from massive conglomerates can afford to have a 24/7 live chat service. With 3CX, you can easily set up operating hours and prepare a handful of automated messages to help out when you can’t.
Having automated messages is essential because it answers the visitor’s questions to some extent, even when you’re not present. They won’t wonder if they’ve done something wrong or if there’s simply no one on the other side.
- selecting a chat server
- allowing calls and video calls
- advanced privacy settings
- Gutenberg blocks
- embedding code
Besides just the WordPress plugin, using 3CX also grants you access to a management console. Sure, WordPress is great, but it’s not an all-powerful platform that can encompass every feature you need to run a successful customer service team. That’s why the developers opted for creating an addition where you’ll find analytical data, options to configure rules, add users, the call logs, and everything else not found on the WordPress dashboard.
If you’ve ever used an analytics tool, it’ll take less time to get used to this as the concept and the general layout are pretty similar. Remember that every essential is relatively easy to get around, but some features have a learning curve. Running into this dashboard headlong and expecting to get everything right away might be a fool’s errand if you’ve never dealt with a similar tool before. So, take some time to get used to it and learn the ins and outs. It’s well worth it.
The very first thing you’ll have to do is add users, their info, phone numbers that you’re planning on using, any extra extentions, and so forth. All of this is automatically tied into the ring groups, which you’ll need to address immediately after. Ring groups are kind of like teams. Set up a ring group, and once someone calls your customer service, every phone will ring until someone answers.
The reports include a detailed call log of every single call. The security settings can also be changed depending on your company policy. There’s even an option to block IPs that have come up as problematic or possibly even illegitimate. In essence, you’ll need some time to get into all of this, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll realize that the console is highly detailed and well equipped to handle anything you need.
3CX Live Chat is a modern tool offering plenty of features to any business wanting to take customer service seriously. It’s suitable for experienced users and newcomers alike, albeit with little practice. Considering that the whole service is free for an entire year, it’s at least worth giving a try.
Even though it would still have our recommendation, even if that were not the case, it’s a feature-full tool that comes with both live chat and call capabilities, which is rare to find.