Terminus Guide: Engaging Customers and Prospects With Website Chat

See how conversational marketing and account-based marketing go hand-in-hand, and how Terminus Chat helps marketing, sales, and customer success teams align for an unmatched unified experience.

Website Chat Inspiration: 7 Examples to Help Get You Started

The Only Account-Based Marketing Platform with Website Chat

Connect your sales and CS teams to your most important prospects and customers, in real-time, no matter where they are. Learn more by checking out the Terminus feature overview.

5 Use Cases For Account-Based Website Chat

Interactive Worksheet: How to Set up Account-Based Chat

Your New Favorite Terminus Feature: Website Chat Analytics

Website Chat

Website chat allows site visitors to chat with company representatives just by activating the chat window available on the site. Typically, this window starts out as an icon at one of the lower corners of the screen, and expands when the icon is clicked. Another implementation that is becoming popular has the chat window pop up from the bottom of its own. This is a much more intrusive presentation, but can be useful on sites where prospects are likely to want to chat.

To the site visitor, each online chat application seems pretty much the same. However, the back end capabilities can be quite different from each other. This makes it worthwhile for site operators to look closely at live chat service providers before choosing one.

Some live chat software for website use is set up to support lead generation activities and account-based marketing. Terminus and Drift are two examples of this type of live chat service provider. They offer many options for targeting, keeping track of interactions, and more. Their offerings are aimed mostly at B2B companies, though certain B2C organizations may find them useful, as well.

Other implementations are targeted to meet live chat support needs. Intercom is one of these providers.

Because the needs and goals of each business are different, the best live chat software for websites is not just one offering. Instead, it’s the one that best meets the company’s own requirements. A business that wants to provide support to existing customers will often need a different online chat application from one that wants to draw in new business.

Due to this factor, it’s important to take the time to really look at the options instead of just going with whoever promises to get you running with “online chat now.” This will ensure that you won’t have to change your website software just months after you installed it.

Live Chat Software

There are many providers of live chat software. Along with Terminus, Drift, and Intercom, mentioned above, you’ll see Olark, Pure Chat, and Tidio. Others also exist.

Many of these are very similar to each other. Those meant for larger companies typically work with other types of software, such as account based marketing systems or more generalized lead generation platforms. This interconnectivity makes it so that you can use the larger platform’s abilities to target accounts, keep track of communications across channels, and track a prospect’s progress through your sales funnel.

We will use Pure Chat as an example that offers many of the standard features. PureChat pricing makes it easy for new businesses to get chat on their sites, with only a low annual fee and a reasonable fee for extra users. Notably, however, one must pay quite a bit more to get this company’s branding off of its chat window.

As with most other chat app companies, you can get a Pure Chat login free for 30 days. This gives you a good chance to test the Pure Chat app and see if it will work for you. You can also look up Pure Chat reviews.

Of course, it’s easy to contact Pure Chat support. There is a Pure Chat widget on their site, so use it to get immediate help – and to see what their app is like from the customer side. Other live chat software companies also show off their products the same way, so be sure to do the same with the Tidio live chat offering as well as Olark.

One difference between Pure Chat and the others is that it is aimed at smaller companies, while its larger competitors are more robust “enterprise” grade options. This is reflected in the pricing, and you can expect functionality differences, as well. Contact Pure Chat for more information.

Best Live Chat

When considering adding chat to your website, it’s a good idea to look at other sites first. You will often see that the best live chat implementations involve more than just stuffing a chat widget onto every single page. This makes it so that chat is only present on pages where customers and prospects are likely to want to use it. Then, the shopping experience is not interfered with by unwanted invitations to chat, but the option is available when it’s actually needed.

This is an especially good strategy for online chat support implementations. For example, live chat support Amazon can be found on the company’s support pages. The same is true of live chat support Facebook and live chat support PlayStation.

That said, it is possible to make an online chat option too low-key and hard to find. Live chat support Apple is a good example of this. You have to drill down through several support pages to even see that the option exists. If you want customers to use your chat feature, it should be a bit more obvious than this.

To see online chat Amazon or any of these other implementations, just visit the sites and click the “support” links. Then, you’ll get a real-time look at how they’ve set up chat and other contact options.

Notably, some of these companies would normally run 24 7 live chat support, but have reduced staffing levels at this time. Plan to have chat available whenever your customers are likely to want to get help.

Online Chat Apps

There are several big differences between business-oriented website chat services and online chat apps like WhatsApp. One is that website chat is, as you’d expect, tied to your website. The only people who can represent your company are those that actually run or work for it. Meanwhile, online chat apps like Facebook Messenger are typically tied to individuals, who use them for online friends chat.

The best live chat apps also offer far more features. You can track users through your site, decide which ones to target, keep track of interactions, and more. These apps also integrate with account-based marketing platforms to give you even more powerful insights into your customer or prospect. Since personal chat apps aren’t built for business, they offer few or none of these capabilities.

Group chat apps like World Chat Online have the same limitations as the ones meant for private individuals. It’s harder for users to verify who they’re talking to, and on the backend, tracking is nowhere near as powerful as it is with business-oriented chat platforms.

Because of this, it’s worth it to invest in a “real” enterprise-oriented website chat system. A random chat app or one meant for private online chatting groups may be free, but it won’t serve many of your needs. Your company is far better served by the robust tracking, conversation recording, and data collection abilities of a business-oriented chat platform.

Chat Widget for Website

A chat widget for website has less functionality than the live chat website plugin that comes with a B2B chat platform. However, this doesn’t mean that a chat widget should always be avoided. In fact, there are times that the widget system will be the better option.

Widgets are especially good for companies that aren’t in control of their entire website ecosystem. Those who run their sites through platforms like Wix and Squarespace are good examples of these businesses. While they have their own websites, the way those sites are set up is mostly under the control of the overall platform.

In these cases, the business doesn’t have full access to the backend – or nuts-and-bolts – of the site. This makes it so that a live chat widget may be the only way to get chat onto the website. To do this, one need only add the chat widget HTML to the proper area in the site editor.

There are a few options that may qualify as the best live chat for Squarespace. Many swear by the WhatsApp chat widget for website. While this is sometimes referred to as a chat room widget for website, a business-oriented implementation is almost never a room-like system where multiple people talk at once. Instead, it should be a widget for one-on-one conversations.

If you have full control over your website, as is traditional, your options for website chat expand greatly. In that case, we suggest moving to a live chat website plugin that is connected to a robust, enterprise-grade system as soon as your budget allows.

Free Live Chat Software

When looking for software, almost everyone seeks free versions before they go for a paid one. Often, this is either fruitless or yields only vastly inferior options. However, there are some free live chat software options that are worth looking at. The most notable of these is the free HubSpot live chat. This is offered as a way to bring more users to HubSpot, and hopefully, get them to use the entire HubSpot platform.

Other free options include Elfsight. Currently, it lists no charge at any time for its pop up chat box for website free, so it isn’t just a trial version. However, it has limited functionality. Users cannot send pictures, and it doesn’t support audio. Importantly, it is actually a front-end skin that is powered by Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or another such personal chat software that you choose. This means that this live chat service free won’t have the tracking and recordkeeping abilities of paid versions.

Because of these limitations, those who choose a WordPress live chat plugin free will likely want to upgrade in the future. However, free versions are great for brand-new, one-person businesses that need to get off the ground before large investments are made. They allow these startups to offer live chat support free right away.

Once a business has grown, it will surely see the need to move beyond even the best free live chat software. Then, one of the several paid options will be ready to meet their needs.

Ready to see Terminus in action? Let's do this.

Get a Demo