Why should you integrate chat within your website/blog?
- You can chat with your visitors. It can prove to be a source of instant feedback.
- For a site visitor in thirst of some information, there is nothing better than being able to chat with the site owner in real time. If you are an affiliate, you can consider embedding chat box on your landing page. It can make your conversion rate go higher.
- If you are a business – like webhosting – whose operations rely heavily on the internet you can have your dedicated support personnel’s chatting 24*7 from your site.
Which is the most popular online chat service among startups?
- Very easy to set up
- You can chat from any client. So your customer may be sitting on your website and you can chat straight from your Gmail account.
- Looks way beautiful than any of the chat clients out there.
- Have support for built in analytics.
- Can be integrated with your favorite CRM/help desk solution.
- Plans start from as low as $9.80/month
Are there any free and easy options available?
Yes, there are a number of options available to embed/integrate chat within your website. I will review some of the important ones which I have tried myself.
- Has a ‘Live Support’ options for small/medium businesses. If you are planning to open a company with a live-support service provided by your personnel, don’t look beyond Zoho. It’s surprising that the service is totally free of charge.
- Has ‘Live Chat’ for small site owners. Perfect for bloggers. Have all the functionality of ‘Live Support’ except that it support one person only.
- Very easy to integrate chat. It provides you with a small code inside iframe that you can put in your HTML.
- They have a widget called ‘Shout box’ through which site visitors can talk among themselves. This is something similar to Google Friend Connect.
- Layout, Background color, title text, title text color customization available.
- Can chat with multiple visitors at a time.
- Completely free of cost.
- Easy to integrate chat within your website/blog.
- Layout, color customizations, text customizations available.
- Option to read offline messages from the comfort of your mail box.
- No need for a separate chat client. It can be integrated with Google talk, MSN, Yahoo and other commonly available IM’s.
- Can chat with only one visitor at a time.
- Service is available in three plans. Basic plan is free.
- MeeboMe is from the creators of Meebo. [The first of its kind service that enabled you to chat across IM's. Though there are many clones of it now.]
- What sets MeeboMe apart? It keeps track of all visitors and shows the visitors on your website, in real time.
- Allows you to chat with multiple visitors at a time.
- Again very easy to integrate chat within website.
- Layout, color and text customizations options available.
- Free of cost.
So, which one I chose?
If you are a regular reader of this blog you may have noticed I don’t like installing too many client-apps on my desktop. Going by that habit, If I need to integrate a chat for my business website I will definitely go for Zopim [Review]. However if I need a similar service for a hobby website I may go for a chat solution like Plugoo.