Are you looking for a free live chat plugin to add to your website? Would you like to communicate with customers via your website with voice and video for free?
If the answer is yes then look no further! We’re going to tell you all about 3CX, an all in one communications solution that offers live chat, voice and video. It’s super easy to install and get started, and a great way to convert your website visitors into fully fledged customers.
3CX isn’t just about website communication. It’s a complete business PBX that includes contact center features, Facebook messaging integration, SMS and video conferencing.
A standalone version of the live chat plugin is available and is great! But why settle for chat alone when you could get voice and video too? Even if you’re not interested in 3CX’s other great business features, you can complete installation in minutes and make use of the website live call and video.
In this article, we’re going to cover features, product editions, and the installation process. And believe us when we tell you it takes just minutes – no coding needed!
3CX Live Chat Plugin Review
3CX Live Chat is a free WordPress plugin that can be integrated with 3CX’s communication system for a fully rounded solution that enables visitors to elevate chats to voice or video calls.
Both the plugin and the communication system are developed by 3CX, who have been leaders in the business communication industry for a number of years.
For bloggers and small businesses happy with live chat alone, the standalone plugin is a great solution that can be setup in minutes, no coding needed. It’s highly customizable and offers a number of features and tools to get your live chat working as efficiently as possible.
But, if you’re looking to offer customers excellent service and support, if you’re a larger business or enterprise, or are looking for ways that your website can help you grow, then you’re definitely going to want to take a look at 3CX’s complete solution.
As you can see above, the ratings speak for themselves. We already know the standalone version is a much loved and popular plugin. So for the purposes of this review, we’re going to take a look at the complete integrated version.
Live Chat, Voice & Video
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.
To get all this, and to add voice and video to your website live chat, 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.
Once you’ve deployed 3CX, you’ll need to complete some basic configuration in order to set up live chat. This basically involves creating extensions and queues to direct chats to, because they have to go somewhere, right?
If you just want live chat, you can skip the above and simply download the 3CX Live Chat plugin (see next section). Then How to get the Live Chat Plugin without 3CX.
Download the 3CX Live Chat Plugin
Once you’ve done the above, you can go ahead and install the 3CX Live Chat Plugin on your website. It takes just a few minutes.
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 integrate the plugin with 3CX.
Don’t worry, it’s really easy. Just head over to the 3CX management console (you’ll get the details about this in an email from 3CX), login and go to “Messaging”. Click “Add Live Chat” and fill in the information.
Here is where your previous configuration comes into play. You’ll need to select the extension or queue that you would like chat conversations to be forwarded to. You can find more information about creating extensions here and queues here (it’s really easy!)
Now 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’ve now connected the live chat plugin with 3CX. Make sure that that you select “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”.
The activation process is now complete.
Customize your Live Chat
The hardest part is over, now you can configure the settings of the plugin to determine how it will behave on your website.
You can select required chat box fields, notification options, the pages on which 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. More information about these tools can be found below.
Sending and Receiving Chats
There’s no need for agents to login to WordPress to access visitor chats. Instead, all incoming queries are delivered, to the extension or queue you selected, in the 3CX Web Client.
This means agents are able to enjoy all forms of communication from one central hub. There’s no messing around on multiple apps or interfaces. You can even integrate Facebook Messenger to have business page messages delivered there too, as well as SMS.
The agent is easily able to take ownership of the conversation in the 3CX Web Client.
From the website plugin interface, the visitor has the option to take the chat to a voice or video call.
Other benefits of integrating live chat with 3CX
- As well as the web client, you also have access to free smartphone apps for iOS and Android. That means agents can answer website live chats from anywhere.
- Easy 2 step Facebook integration and SMS.
- If you’re using a CRM or accounting software, you can also integrate this for even better customer service.
How to get the Live Chat Plugin without 3CX
If added voice and video doesn’t appeal to you, you can download the free standalone plugin. Not integrating with 3CX will mean that agents will need to login to WordPress to access chats, and all data is stored locally on your site.
What’s great, however, is that there is no limit to the number of agents you can add or chats you can receive. No bad for a free plugin.
To install the standalone plugin, select the option “No, I will login to WordPress to answer chats.” Click “Next”.
You’ll be prompted to add agents; you can also do this later in the plugin settings.
You’ll need to assign each user 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”.
Activation is now complete. Click “Start Now”.
You’ll now have the opportunity to configure your live chat settings as mentioned above.
Agents can be assigned to specific departments, so that you can organize your incoming chats and always ensure visitors are directed to where they need to be. You can also allow visitors and customers to select the department they need.
To create departments, go to “Live Chat” > “Tools” > “Departments”. Here you can add new departments and manage existing ones.
Easily export settings and data.
Customize the data collection fields that appear in your live chat box.
Here you can enter a set of pre-defined responses that your agents can use to answer frequently asked questions. This is a huge time-saver for agents, and helps to optimize the customer experience.
With web hooks, you can 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 Standalone Live Chat Plugin
When configuration is complete and you’ve customized the plugin for your website, it’s time to get chatting!
Your users/agents need to login to WordPress and click “Live Chat” under the Live Chat plugin on the dashboard. They will now be able to access all conversations directed to their department.