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What turns a visitor into a customer? This is the question that website and business owners hope to answer when they engage in CRO, or conversion rate optimisation. In addition to thinking about landing pages, navigation, eye paths, and other CRO staples, it may be a great idea to add a live chat feature to your site.  With this, you can engage non-customers and potential customers alike. This allows you to answer questions about your products or services and gain valuable feedback from visitors.

A live chat feature has a few advantages over other “contact us” features, like phoning or emailing. First, it is immediate. I have a question; I would like it answered now, not within 24 hours. Our ability to delay gratification has indeed diminished! Second, it is right there. You don’t have to go to your email account, you don’t have to pick up your phone. You just have to click a button on the site where you already are. So, now let’s talk about adding this feature to your site.


You can find a variety of free and low-cost widgets that you can add to your website to enable chat. Mibew Messenger, for instance, is an open-source app that installs the button on your site. Visitors simply click on the button and chat. It allows unlimited operators and users, it prioritizes visitors, visitors can leave a message, it offers an optional pre-chat survey, there is protection against automated spam, there are canned messages when you need to be quick, and you can track where your visitors are coming from, among other features.  Other applications to check out:

  • phpFreeChat
  • Chat4Support
  • MyLiveChat (free edition)

These are free, but some only allow for one or two operators, which can limit your ability to chat with visitors. This might not be an issue for small businesses. If you need more capacity, you may want to check out a paid solution.


LiveHelpNow was named as the best choice for live chat software by TopTenReviews. It offers unlimited operator capacity (with an increased fee for additional operators) online and offline messaging, customizable interface, remote admin, chat alerts, mobile options, tracking, and other features. The advantage here is that you simply install the software, and make sure you have operators ready, and you’re good to go.

Another additional option that you may want to consider if you have a high volume of visitors is outsourcing chat. If you can avoid it, do and have internal operators handle the calls. If you do need to outsource, carefully select your operator provider to ensure they are well-trained and fluent in the language in which your visitors are most likely to communicate.

Live chat can be a great way to increase conversions and sales, and it is easy to install on your website.

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