If you use your WordPress website to sell products or offer services, then you need to have a live chat feature installed. You need to consider that some of your clients and customers will have some questions and/or confusion at some point, and most likely they want to resolve their issue by talking to a real person – either you, a sales rep or customer service agent.
Thankfully, WordPress has access to tons of live chat plugins to help you out. But that being said, most of these plugins are a bit lackluster when it comes to features and functionalities. And the ones that are feature-full come at a hefty price which can be hard to pay for small size businesses and startups.
This is where the 3CX Live Chat WordPress plugin comes into the picture.
It’s a freemium plugin that comes loaded with all the necessary bells & whistles to deliver quality support to your customers. This includes providing support via live chat as well as over video calls and even having a group of reps conferencing to resolve a customer query or problem.
Now, in this read, we have put together an in-depth review of the 3CX Live Chat plugin for WordPress, including a quick tutorial to show you how to set it up.
So without further ado, let’s get started:
3CX Live Chat is a freemium WordPress plugin. This means that although the plugin is available for free, some of its more advanced features are only available by integrating the plugin with 3CX’s communications software. The full integration is free for a whole year and then is available at a paid subscription starting at $1 per user per month. More about pricing below .
But that being said, the 3CX Live Chat plugin includes almost all the advanced features we see with other premium plugins available in its free plan. Here’s a quick look at the main features bundled in with the free plugin to give you an idea.
Super simple UI for all participants: the admin, the reps, and the customers.
Option to customize the chatbox. Tweak the colors, add the company logo, etc.
Create a custom offline message form.
Dedicated storage system for all offline messages.
Historical records to save all chats.
Option to add surveys and polls to the chatbox.
Create unlimited agents to handle live chats and calls.
A picture of the agent shows up in the live chatbox.
Set up departments for agents.
Supports animations in the chatbox.
Choose whether you want to accept or decline a chat.
Only with 3CX integration:
Easily switch a live chat to a call or video call.
Reply through your smartphone – iOS or Android.
Transfer chats to other agents.
To get a look at all the bells and whistles offered by the plugin, including the premium features, you can read this – Why 3CX.
The 3CX LiveChat WordPress plugin is a freemium plugin with all the features we mentioned above available for free. But why does it say “1st Year Free” on its pricing page?
Well, that’s because new users signing up for the free Standard plan will get access to 3CX’s communication software for one year including hostingThereafter, if you want to keep the phone system, are happy to migrate to private cloud or on-premise, and an 8 concurrent call license is large enough for you, you can stick with 3CX’s free Standard license. If you would like to continue hosting with 3CX, or need a larger call capacity, you can upgrade to a paid license.
And if you don’t want the 3CX communications features including the voice and video calls, then you can continue using the standalone plugin for free perpetually.
Now that you have an idea of the different bells and whistles the 3CX Live Chat WordPress plugin brings to the table, here is a quick walkthrough of its most impressive features and how to set them up.
First things first, you will need to install the 3CX Live Chat plugin on your WordPress website.
To do this, just log in to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Plugins > Add New, and type in 3CX in the search bar as shown in the image.
This should bring up the highlighted plugin. Click on Install Now followed by Activate, and the plugin setup wizard will open up.
At first, it will ask you whether you want to connect the plugin with your 3CX account and avail all its features, or simply “login to WordPress to answer chats.” The 3CX services are available for free to all new users for the first year. As such, we recommend using it as it will also give you access to some awesome features like:
Access to 3CX Hosting.
Integration with your smartphone – iOS and Android.
Access to the 3CX web client, where all live chat, SMS and Facebook messages are delivered.
Option to elevate chats to voice or video calls.
Let groups of agents answer a call.
Note: You will need to have a 3CX account to use this feature. In case you don’t have one, use this link to create a new 3CX account.
After selecting your preferred option, click on the Next button, and you will be taken to the next step – configuring PBX Settings.
You will need to enter the Click2Talk URL in the required field to connect the plugin to your 3CX account and access all the features.
If you don’t know where to get the URL, just log in to your 3CX management console. From there, go to the Messaging section and click on +Add Live Chat as shown in the image.
Note: In case you can’t find your 3CX Management Console, open the email you got from 3CX after creating your account, and it should have a link to the management console along with the login credentials.
This is going to bring up the following screen where you need to set up a new Live Chat integration. Fill out the fields and copy the highlighted URL as shown in the image.
Now come back to your WordPress backend, and paste the URL to its corresponding field and click Next.
In the next section, you will need to configure the chat settings. Specify what information to ask from visitors before initiating a chat and whether you want to allow voice chat and video chat.
Once done, click on the Next button.
We are almost done with the setup wizard. In the next step, you will get to tweak the look of the chatbox. There are some predefined options – default (3CX), Salty Water, and Summer Vibes, as you can see from the image. However, you can also create your own custom color combination using a color picker.
Once you are done tweaking the appearance of the chatbox, click on Finish, and that’s it! You have successfully set up 3CX Live Chat on your WordPress website.
With the plugin activated on your WordPress website, you will now have to login to the 3CX Web Client to send and receive customer chat messages.
Now that you have the 3CX Live Chat plugin activated on your WordPress website, head over to your site’s front-end, and you should see a new chat button at the bottom-right corner of the screen.
Click on it, and it will ask you to enter your name and email address to start the chatting process.
Note: It is only asking for this information because we configured the plugin to do so. You can also configure it such that it doesn’t ask for any info from the visitor.
After entering the name and email address, the visitor will get access to the chatbox, as shown in the image below.
The name of the rep will be available at the top. For the sake of this tutorial, we simply named it “WordPress Rep.” However, only the first name seems to show up on the chatbox.
Right beside it, you should notice that there is a voice call and a video call button. The visitor can use these direct forms of communication in case regular live chat is not enough.
Now, if the user has sent you a message, you will get a desktop notification, clicking on which, you will be taken to the 3CX Web Client. From here, you can reply back to the visitors, answer all of their queries.
As you can see, from the 3CX Web Client backend, you get a two-column view where all chats are shown on the left-hand column, and you can chat with your customer in the right-hand space.
Also, in case you can’t find the 3CX Web Client backend, open the 3CX email you got on account activation. Here you will find the web client URL along with the login credentials.
Note: In order to receive message notifications, you need to have the 3CX web extension installed.
In order to move from a Live Chat to a Voice Call or even a Video Call, the specific features need to be configured. Now, if you recall, we enabled these options during the plugin step-up process. However, in case you forgot, you can easily enable it by logging into your WordPress dashboard and going to Live Chat > Settings > Advanced Features.
From here, check the button “Video, Phone, and Chat ” as shown in the image.
Of course, you can also choose to enable just “Phone and Chat” if that is what you want. Once you have configured the options, click on Save Settings, and the feature is now enabled.
With the option enabled, if a visitor opens a chat window, they will see two buttons – Voice Call and Video Call – available on the chatbox toolbar.
If the visitor decides that their current problem can’t be resolved via text chat alone, then they can simply click on these buttons to enable a voice or video chat with you.
When a user clicks on this button, you (or your reps) should see a pop-up window, as shown below, asking you to receive the call.
In case you fail to receive the call, the visitor will get an option to record a voicemail.
All recorded voicemail are available in the 3CX WebClient in the Voice-Mail section:
From here, you have the option to either play the voicemail, download it, or call back the customer.
Next, we will show you how to connect 3CX with your smartphone. That way, you can stay in touch with your customers without having to sit at your desktop all the time.
Now, to do this, first, you will need to download the 3CX mobile app. It is available for both iOS and Android, and you can download it using the links provided here or search for it in the App Store and Play Store respectively.
Note: For the sake of this tutorial, we will be using the Android app. However, the same steps will apply to the iOS app as well.
First, download and install the 3CX app on your phone. Next, open it, and it will ask you to scan the QR Code.
Now, you can find the QR code attached to the welcome email sent to you from 3CX.
After scanning the QR code, the app will ask you to make a test “echo” call to make sure everything is working perfectly. If you can hear back what you are saying into your phone mic, then the app is working flawlessly, and you are now ready to take phone/video calls and live chats from the mobile app.
Here is a look at the 3CX phone app user interface:
You can navigate to the different sections via the bottom panel. This includes access to Chat, Voicemail, Recent, Contacts, Status, and Keypad.
Depending on what the customer/client wants, it is unlikely that all support reps will be equally likely to offer the best service. As such, 3CX includes an in-built feature that allows a support rep to assign/forward a chat to another agent – who has expertise in the field where the customer is struggling.
Now before we show you how to assign a chat to a particular agent, you must first know how to set up multiple agents!
By default, when you set up the 3CX Live Chat plugin, it will automatically create a default user to answer all the chats.
Now let’s create an additional user.
To do this, we need to login to the 3CX Management Console. From there, go to the Users section and then +Add.
This is going to take you to the following screen, where you need to fill out all the information to create the new user.
Following the same method, we have created a total of three new users:
Now, we can also create a group of agents by heading over to the Ring Groups section and clicking on +Add Ring Group. This is going to bring up the following section:
Here you need to set a name for the “group of agents” and then use the +Add button to start adding new members into the group.
Now that you have created new agents and groups of agents, let’s see how you can assign/transfer chats to these parties.
So let’s say a new customer has sent you a message. You open it from the backend and see that another rep can handle the issue better. In that case, you can click on the Transfer button located at the top-right corner of the chatbox, as shown in the image below:
As you can see, this will bring up a pop-up window from where you can select the agent to whom you wish to assign the customer/client.
Another one of the wonderful features offered by the 3CX Live Chat plugin is its ability to integrate with Facebook Messaging.
To set it up, you need to login into your 3CX Management Console and navigate to the Messaging section. From there, click on +Add Facebook, and you will get the following screen:
From here, just click on the “Continue with Facebook” button, and grant all the requested permissions. Once done, you will get to select the Facebook Page with which you wish to integrate the 3CX plugin.
After selecting the pages and granting all the permissions, just click on the “Enable Facebook Integration” button. However, your work isn’t done just yet.
Head on over to the “Route” tab and set the extension or queue defining which rep will get to respond to the Facebook Messages through 3CX.
With everything done, click the “OK” button, and that’s it – you have successfully configured 3CX to take and respond to Facebook messages.
So this was our review and a quick walkthrough of the 3CX live chat plugin for WordPress. We hope you found this useful and that it helped you in learning about a free live chat solution for your website.
The features we showcased here are just some of the many awesome bells and whistles the plugin brings to table. However, almost everything else is fairly intuitive and easy to set up. We only highlighted the main features to help you take full advantage of what the plugin has to offer.
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