A huge part of providing a positive customer experience is making it easy for anyone to communicate efficiently with your business – through the channel of their choosing.
The single most important place where you should centralize all these communication options is your website.
In itself, your site should provide a stellar experience, with easy-to-find information about you, your products and services, FAQs tailored to customer questions, mobile optimization, and fast loading times.
However, if (potential) customers are left with any questions, they should then only be a click away from reaching out to you.
But which channels of communication should you integrate into your website? And how to best go about it?
Here’s a guide to the essential communication integrations for your business’ site, and the best (free) WordPress plugins you can use to implement them.
To start off with, contact forms are the indispensable cornerstone of any business website. Even customers who rarely use them expect to see them on any reputable site.
For customers, contact forms offer a fast way to get in touch with you that requires low engagement on their part. They type a message, check a box, and send it off. You’ll get back to them as soon as possible – and they can choose to further engage with you at their leisure.
This is an advantage for many customers who might not be able to talk (or chat) with you directly. For one thing, many people suffer from chat and phone anxiety. In addition, forms are also easier to handle for people with auditory and other impairments and form an important part of website accessibility.
For you, the huge advantage of contact forms is that you can pre-sort any type of correspondence. It also helps you avoid the huge volumes of spam mail you would receive if you simply listed your business email address on your website.
Plus, in terms of customer data, you get at least an email address out of this type of interaction – and possibly quite a bit more data that you can save in your customer relationship management system.
Recently, a common trend in contact forms has been to add conditional fields to help you get more precise information about customers, and organize your correspondence more efficiently.
When it comes to implementing contact forms on WordPress, you can take your pick from a wide variety of plugins, many of which are free in their basic versions. WPForms, Formidable, and Gravity Forms are among the best.
Live Chat and Chat Bots
Recent statistics show that 41% of customers expect live chat on businesses’ websites. For Millennials and members of Gen Z especially, live chat is an essential communication channel.
In particular if you are directly selling a service or product on your website, offering live chat is an excellent way to respond to last minute questions and help customers reach their buying decisions.
For customers, it’s also reassuring to have a live chat option if they are experiencing some problem with your products. By putting a live chat widget in your customer support section, for example, you eliminate the need for customers to juggle their phone while looking up technical details and trying to follow instructions.
Plus, for routine requests, you can also implement a chatbot feature. While they’re not capable of handling complex requests, AI-based chatbots can take a considerable workload off your shoulders when it comes to booking and scheduling, or forwarding customers to the right departments in your business.
Zendesk Chat, Pure Chat, Drift, LiveChat, and Tidio are some of the best live chat plugins currently available for WordPress.
Phone Contacts and Click-to-Call Buttons
Despite the massive variety of modern communication channels, 60% of customers still prefer to call businesses on the phone. Talking to someone directly is one of the most immediate and personal ways to communicate, and for businesses and their customers to connect.
In terms of adding a phone contact to your website, it’s one of the most low-effort additions.
You can list your business phone number in your website menu bar, your footer section, or simply on your contact page.
If you want to take it a step further, though, you can add click-to-call buttons to your site. As the name suggests, these allow customers to reach out simply by clicking on a button.
Since more than 60% of website visits are from mobiles these days, this is a handy addition. Plugins like Excitel and Call Now Button make it easy to implement.
Going even further – if you subscribe to a cloud-based business phone service, you can probably add both voice and video calling options to your site that will allow customers to reach out no matter what device they’re on.
Messenger Apps and Social Media
Finally, you can also integrate external messenger apps into your WordPress website. Rather than using your website’s own live chat plugin, customers will be able to reach out via Facebook Messenger for business, Telegram, or WhatsApp chat widgets.
This is a great advantage for customers in terms of overcoming inhibitions when it comes to contacting businesses. Most people use these messenger apps in their day-to-day lives anyway. Using them to contact a business can easily feel more natural, personal, and immediate than a formal contact form or a dedicated live chat plugin.
Efficient communication is a cornerstone of providing a positive customer experience.
By centralizing all your communication channels on your WordPress site, you make it easy for anyone with questions about your products and services to reach out.
Providing a variety of options, from click-to-call buttons and contact forms to live chat and messenger widgets, gives your customers the freedom to choose whatever means of communication they feel most comfortable with.