Zopim is one of those little live chat boxes that sits on a website (look down and to your right) and gives you the chance to connect with your visitors as they browse your site. I installed it a couple of years ago with a WordPress plugin, and I have to say I’m in love.
When I send out NerdWords on Friday, I make sure I’m around to be able to chat when people stop by. Frequently I’ll see the same folks stop by my site and say hello. It’s like a virtual coffee shop with no coffee. Or cupcakes.
Zopim makes the chat easy because it integrates with my Google Chat service. I get a “clunk” sound when someone hits the site, and they see a message that I’m online. I prefer the passive presence, which means that I don’t pop up and bother visitors when they arrive — they can talk to me if they want.
Most of the time I use Zopim from my Gmail page. I have to set my status to “Available”, and I sometimes forget to change it back to “Invisible,” which means I look like I’m online but away from the desk. If I really had my stuff together, I’d keep Zopim open on my phone through their apps, but I walk around staring at my phone enough without adding yet another task that keeps me nose down into my devices.
If I want more options, I can login to the Zopim dashboard to see even more details. Zopim gives me a few details about the visitors, such as where they’re from and what they’re looking at, but other than that I don’t have any information unless they reach out to me. Then I set the service to require a first and last name so I don’t have to write, “And to whom am I typing?”
If I am not around, I leave a friendly message in the chat box that encourages people to send a note. I probably get two-thirds of my weekly messages through that box.
Here’s the most important thing I love about Zopim… it’s 100% free for one user. They don’t even put a note that I’m using the free version on the chat area. Having this feature makes me feel, I don’t know, more official or something. It’s a fancy addition that doesn’t cost me anything but upgrades my profile and makes my website more useful to my visitors. As my business keeps growing, I may consider upgrading to the paid version (starting at $11.20 a month) so I can have more than one chat going at once.
There are, of course, numerous Zopim competitors out there, many with free versions. But I love a company that starts with “Z,” and I’ve never had a lick of a problem with this service, so I’m a huge fan and a loyal customer. Whichever one you go with, you’re probably going to make better connections (and we hope more money) when you add this type of personal touch to your site.