Are you after a quick and easy way to communicate with your website visitors? Do you want to include voice and video as well as live chat? If you’re searching for an efficient and easy-to-install solution then 3CX is a great way to consolidate all your communication on one simple platform.
In this article, we’re going to cover how you can set up live chat on your WordPress website in minutes – no coding required!
But First, What is 3CX?
3CX is a complete business communications solution, which offers a free version including 1 year of free hosting. Being a complete solution means it comes with all kinds of communication features including voice, video, Facebook messaging and SMS integration. It also includes contact center features such as queues, reports, recording and more.
Live Chat, Voice & Video
Why settle for live chat alone when you can get much, much more and for free? If you want to take your customer communication, and specifically your website functionality, up a notch, 3CX provides voice and video chat. This means that your web visitors can seamlessly elevate the chat to a voice or video call through the browser. All this requires is the click of a button, and since it’s browser-based, it’s free for you and the customer.
To get this functionality, you’ll need to be running a 3CX communication system. It’s free and easy to set up, and it means you’ll also get a fully functional UC solution for your website/business too. It’s also flexible, so you can install it on-premise on Windows or Linux, go hosted, or run it in your own private cloud. Head over to the 3CX website to get your free license.
Download the 3CX Live Chat Plugin
Once you’ve got your free 3CX license and you’ve deployed the system, you can go ahead and install the 3CX Live Chat Plugin on your website. It takes just a few minutes.
You can do this by using the link provided on the welcome screen, downloading the plugin, and manually adding it to WordPress.
Or in WordPress, go to “Plugins” > “Add New”. Search for “3CX Live Chat”, install the plugin and activate.
You’ll then be directed to the 3CX Live Chat activation wizard.
Select “I have 3CX…” and then click “Next”.
You’ll then be prompted to connect 3CX and the plugin.
At the point of this, you’re going to want to head over to the 3CX management console. Log in and go to “Messaging”. Click “Add Live Chat” and fill in the information.
You’ll need to specify an extension or queue that the chat conversations should be forwarded to, so make sure you have configured these before. You can find more information about creating extensions here and queues here (it’s really easy!)
Once you’ve done this, copy the highlighted URL, click “OK” and go back to WordPress. Paste the URL into the field and click “Next”.
And that’s it! You can proceed to set your chat settings as described above. Be sure to select that you would like to allow “Video, Phone and Chat” when asked, so that you can make the most of your new system.
Now the fun part; styling your chat box.
Select from one of the three present color themes, or create your own custom theme. Click “Next”.
You’ve now completed the activation process!
Configure your Live Chat Settings
Now the plugin will be ready to use, but first you’ll want to head over to the settings to configure your setup. This is where you’ll define how the live chat plugin will behave. You can select required chat box fields, notification options, the pages that you would like to display the live chat box and more.
You can also edit your chat box styling, enable and disable offline messages, set operating hours and departments, privacy and Gutenberg Blocks.
Using the Live Chat Plugin from 3CX
Now all that’s left to do is log in to the web client and start receiving website live chats from the plugin.
As you can see, from the website plugin interface, the visitor has the option to take the chat to a voice or video call.
And the agent is easily able to take ownership of the conversation in the 3CX Web Client.
Other benefits of using live chat with 3CX System
- Integrate with your CRM or accounting software
- Free smartphone apps for iOS & Android so agents can even answer incoming chats on the go
- Integrate Facebook Messenger and SMS so that all inbound messages are directed to and managed in a single platform.
Installing the Standalone Live Chat Plugin
If you’re not interested in having voice and video calls available on your website, you have the option to install a standalone 3CX WordPress plugin. This option stores all data locally on your site. It’s free to download and use and there’s no cap on the number of agents you can add or chats you can receive. Furthermore, agents will need to login to WordPress to receive and respond to messages.
To install the standalone plugin, select the option “No, I will login to WordPress to answer chats.” Click “Next”.
The next step is to invite agents to use live chat.
Add as many agents as you like and assign them a role as either an agent or an admin. Admin will be able to make changes to the configuration of the plugin. Click “Next”.
Choose the styling of your chat box, as detailed above and click “Next”.
Click “Start Now” and you’ll be taken to the plugin dashboard.
Once activation is complete, you’ll want to go ahead and configure your live chat settings, as mentioned above.
Department is a great feature that allows you to select the default group for chats to be sent to. You can also set multiple departments and allow website visitors to select whichever one most closely matches their needs.
To create departments, go to “Live Chat” > “Tools” > “Departments”. Here you can add new departments and manage existing ones.
There are also a number of other useful tools available to make managing and using live chat more efficient.
The data management tool allows you to export settings and data.
Here you can add custom data collection fields to your live chat box. These can be in the form of a data entry field or drop-down selection box.
This is a great time saver for busy customer service agents. You can enter a set of pre-defined responses that your agents can use to answer frequently asked questions. Set a title that clearly defines the contents of the message, and display each response in order of importance to make choosing the correct message easier.
Webhooks allow you to integrate 3CX Live Chat with third party systems or custom APIs. For example, you can have a GET/POST request sent to a given endpoint, triggered by actions such as an agent login, new visitor, chat request and more!
Using the Live Chat Plugin
Once you’ve configured all the settings and you’re happy with how the live chat plugin works on your website, you’re ready to let your agents start chatting.
All they have to do is log in to WordPress and under “Live Chat” click the “Live Chat” option. This section displays all active chat conversations.