It is always good to provide your visitors a method to contact you on your website if they have any question. In my opinion, it is better to provide a contact form rather than openly publishing your email address because it is easier as your visitor don’t need to login to their email address and also not everyone get to know your email address, thus reducing the amount of spam that gets in your email.
The better way is of course to provide live chat to your visitors. They get to easily ask question and maybe get an immediate reply if the operator is online. There are many powerful but expensive and complicated live support shareware scripts such as Live Person, Kayako SupportSuite and etc… If we are not offering any customer service, we probably only need to integrate a simple live chat on our site.
I found 3 live chat widget which you can easily integrate live chat to your website, blog, and even myspace within minutes!
Here are some advantages of having live chat widgets on your website.
- Instant communication to anyone who visits your website
- Visitors don’t need to download, install or sign up to chat with you
- Able to chat with people who don’t want to give you their IM contact.
I guess most of you all should know what is Meebo by now. meebo.com is a website for instant messaging from absolutely anywhere. Whether youâ€™re at home, on campus, at work, or traveling foreign lands, hop over to meebo.com on any computer to access all of your buddies (on AIM, Yahoo!, MSN, Google Talk, ICQ and Jabber) and chat with them, no downloads or installs required, for free! Meebo Me was launched somewhere around August 2006 and it allows people to contact you and see when you are online whenever they visit your site by putting a meebo me chat window right on your own home page. When logged into meebo, you can chat with all of your visitors in real time.
What I like about Meboo Me is I can customize the color of my chat widget, leave offline messages when I am not online, and even send files. There are also a bunch of 3rd party applications that I can run together with visitors such as games, shopping, communication, news and etc. Offline messages can be bad because you can be bombarded with messages. The only way to disable Meebo Me offline messages is by disabling Meebo Me Widget.
To create Meebo Me live chat widget, head over to MeeboMe‘s website, enter Widget title, display name, select widget size and color theme, and click Next. At the next screen, you’ll either have to login or register for a new meebo account (if you don’t have one). At the final page, you’re given a code which you can copy and paste into your website html where you’d like the widget to appear. Once you’ve done that, sign in to meebo and you get to see the visitors on your site and start talking with them.
Google Talk chatback badge is pretty new, simple and nice. It only shows a nice Google Talk bubble with your online status. If the operator is online, the visitor is able to click on the link that says “Chat with NAME”. Then the operator will receive a link to accept the chat request. When you’re chatting with your visitor using Google Talk Chatback, you are actually using Google Talk Gadget (the web version of Google Talk). It doesn’t work directly with Google Talk desktop version though.
Once you logged in to your Gmail account using the link above, you are able to edit your nickname, title and choose to show your status message or not. You will then have to copy and paste the given code into your web page where you want Google Talk Chatback badge to appear.
The third and final one is Hab.la. Habla doesn’t have its own chat or web client. Once you’ve added the code on your website, you’ll notice a small bar appear on the bottom right of the page. It will either show “not available” or “click here to chat”. The operator will have to add hab.la to any Jabber client such as meebo, trillian, pidgin or iChat. There is nothing to configure and customize. So if you have a dark colored website, most probably the bar is not very visible for your visitors.
There you have it. 3 free and easy ways to chat with visitors on your website. Perhaps one day I shall implement a live chat on my website to chat with you guys…