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5 Best Live Chat Plugins for Membership Websites

A live chat feature on your membership website is integral if you want to offer effective customer service to your website’s members and/or visitors. Without it, members may feel undervalued, as you aren’t providing them with one of the primary, convenient means of communication in our modern digital age.

Customer support emails and even a phone line or call center are still valuable components to a customer support department. However, the majority of members will look to utilize a live chat service for their run-of-the-mill queries. Why? Because a live chat offers immediate solutions without costing your members time or money. Futhermore, it also eliminates the inconvenience of having to actually speak to someone, which certainly younger generations seek to avoid in terms of customer support queries.

But that’s not all… An effective live chat service can actually be an incredibly powerful marketing tool for your membership website. If one of your members is struggling or having a poor experience, instead of writing a review online or publicly posting on your social media pages, they may instead opt to simply contact you directly via your membership website’s live chat tool.

For a membership or directory website, the importance of your customer support gets ramped up another notch too, because it is your very business to provide a service which values your members, and any solution which doesn’t involve those members leaving your site, even for a moment, can add incredible value to the sales and retention funnels.

— Margie Kavanagh
Web Designer at Write My X and Brit Student

So, if live chat is a useful customer service tool that can benefit your membership website’s online reputation, what’s next? What software or plugin should you go for to deliver the right solution for your mmebership website? Here are five of the best options:


LiveChat Membership Website Chat Plugin

LiveChat is one of the most well-known and highly utilized website chat plugins. It’s highly customizable, which has attracted many users, and is a favorite among Brilliant Directories users.

LiveChat works for an incredible number of businesses, including membership sites and directories, and would explain why so many people turn to this option for their requirements. LiveChat is also cost-effective and easy to use, with incredibly clean interfaces.

— Barbara Kemp
Coder at 1Day2Write and Next Coursework

It’s a winner all around. However, there are some free alternatives if you’re not looking to spend any money on a live chat plugin for your membership website.


Freshchat Membership Website Chat Plugin

Created by Freshworks, Freshchat utilizes AI-powered bots, but don’t let that intimidate you. This plugin’s main draw is its incredibly simple and easy-to-use interface which attracts beginners. It also offers in-app messenger functions, and can perform user segmentation to boot.

The free plan allows 10 users to use Freshchat all at once, meaning it’s an incredibly popular option for small businesses and startups.

Zendesk Chat

Zendesk Membership Website Chat Plugin

This plugin, formerly known as Zopim, was bought by Zendesk, and is now a popular real-time chat solution for membership and directory websites. Zendesk Chat integrates seamlessly with other Zendesk products and you can also add it to your Brilliant Directories website.

Services such as chat ratings, trackers and analytics come standard. It’s free for a single user, and then increases in price by $14 per month for each user, or $59 paid as an annual fee.

HubSpot Live Chat

HubSpot Membership Website Chat Plugin

This is a great option for membership sites and directories, keeping things simple with its free basic package but in most cases will deliver everything you need. You can automate your live chat functions and operate what is called a collaborative inbox, which is great for teams. HubSpot Live Chat is also the ideal option if you’re also using the HubSpot CMS.


Crisp Membership Website Chat Plugin

Crisp is another practical live chat tool that offers all of the common features of other tools like LiveChat, but with some great additions such as a LiveTranslate tool, helping to bridge language barriers with members, and with a MagicBrowse option which would allow a customer service agent to take control of the users screen. Clearly this would not be necessary for all types of membership sites, but proves the unique nature of Crisp which even offers a basic free option.

Author: Joel Syder

Online community manager, Joel Syder, works at Origin Writings and Phd Kingdom where he builds and hosts thriving online groups. Joel also pens articles for Academic Brits.

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