When you’re running a business or e-commerce site, you need to provide the best customer experience possible. This includes offering top-notch service and support. To do that, you’ll need the right tools, such as WordPress help desk plugins.
In fact, there are a variety of easy ways to add support features to your site. You can implement a ticket system, make use of live chat, and even create a dedicated forum. Whether used alone or in combination, these techniques simplify the task of providing excellent customer support.
Why you might need WordPress help desk plugins on your website
WordPress offers a lot of useful functionality out of the box. However, it doesn’t include many features that help you provide customer support.
It probably goes without saying that offering support to your customers and clients is vital. However, to make this even clearer, let’s look at a few crucial numbers:
- Companies in the U.S. alone lose about $1.6 trillion due to customers leaving because they received sub-par customer support.
- On the other hand, 70% of unhappy customers are willing to continue doing business with a company if their problems are addressed.
- Finally, 64% of customers are looking to do business with companies that provide real-time support.
From these facts, we can glean a few important truths. First, support is a key factor in whether or not customers stick around and continue to spend money with your business. Second, they want a variety of support options that match their needs – including live interactions. Fortunately, you can provide what they need using the right WordPress help desk plugins.
How to provide excellent customer support using WordPress help desk plugins (3 easy methods)
Below, we’ll present three simple ways to improve the customer support you’re offering on your WordPress site. While there are several options when it comes to WordPress help desk plugins, we’ll present our favorite in each case and show you how to set it up.
It’s also worth noting that you can choose to use just one of the following methods, or all three. It’s really up to your unique needs.
1. Add a ticket system to your website
We mentioned the importance of live support earlier, and we’ll elaborate on that method shortly. However, it’s not always feasible to deal with all questions and issues in real-time, especially if your site is large or your customers’ problems tend to be complex. This is also the case if your support team is very small.
For these reasons, it’s a smart idea to set up a ticket system on your site. This is a simple, organized way to let customers submit their queries. You can see everything that’s in the queue, and address it all in the order it was received (or using whatever prioritization works best for your business).
WP Support Plus is one of the best WordPress help desk plugins that offer this feature:
After installing the plugin, you’ll see a notification like this:
Click on the link to be taken to a setup wizard that will help you configure key functionality. First, you can select (or create) the page where your ticket submission form will be placed:
The rest of the screens will provide some basic information about the plugin and its options. When you’re done, head to the page you selected and paste in the following shortcode:
This will enable the ticket submission form on the front end of your site:
You’ll also find a new tab in your dashboard called Support Plus, where you can customize exactly how your ticket system works. There are a lot of settings here, so we recommend checking out the plugin’s documentation for more details.
2. Implement live chat functionality
Your site’s ticket system is great for more patient customers and those with technical issues that need to be reviewed. However, a lot of people will expect quicker replies – especially when their questions are simple.
This is where live chat comes into the picture. Live chat lets you respond immediately to customers, giving them the help and information they need as quickly as possible. If you have the manpower required to respond promptly, live chat is an excellent addition to most sites.
To get live chat working, the aptly-named WP Live Chat Support plugin is a solid solution:
Installing the plugin gives you access to a new Live Chat tab in your dashboard, with a lot of sections:
This is because the plugin is highly customizable. However, you can still get its primary functionality up and running quickly. All you have to do is select the OK! Let’s start button at the bottom of the main page.
This will add a small icon in the bottom-right corner of each page on your site. Clicking on it will enable visitors to start a live chat:
Back in your dashboard, you can see a list of all visitors on your site, including those who have requested a chat. Answering them simply requires you to hit the Initiate Chat button:
Of course, you can also configure the plugin’s settings as much as you like, in order to get your live chat system working in a way that’s convenient for you and your team.
3. Create a dedicated support forum
Tickets and live chats are useful for one-on-one interaction. However, if you have (or want to have) an active community, you should consider creating a way for users to help each other.
A dedicated forum can be an invaluable part of your website’s support system. It lets visitors see each others’ questions and issues and help out – saving you a lot of time and energy. Of course, you can also respond to forum queries yourself. When you do, you’ll be offering advice and solutions that will be permanently recorded, so other users with the same problems can find what they need quickly.
There are quite a few forum plugins you can choose from. However, bbPress is arguably the most popular option, and for good reason:
This plugin makes setting up a forum on your site quick and painless. After installing it, you’ll want to visit Forums > New Forum in your dashboard:
Here, you can use the standard WordPress editor to give your forum a name and description. In the right-hand sidebar, you can also configure whether the forum is open and public. Then hit Publish, and you’ll find a lightweight forum ready to go on the front end:
You can also tweak the way your forums work under Settings > Forums. bbPress may not be the most customizable of plugins, but it’s ideal for getting a functional, user-friendly support forum off the ground fast.
Support plays a huge role in how both prospective and current customers view your business. Therefore, it’s vital to offer a number of robust support options on your website, in order to provide help quickly and in whatever format a given visitor prefers. Fortunately, this isn’t hard with the right WordPress help desk plugins.
These three support channels are all worth considering on your WordPress site. You can: