How to Use Live Chat on your Website to Increase Sales

iThemes has been using a live chat program called Provide Support for over a month now and I’ve been absolutely delighted with it and I think our customers would say the same.

Many of our customers have asked about what service we’re using and have expressed their appreciation for having the service on our site, so I thought I’d write a post detailing some of the objectives and best practices and tips as well.


Here are three key reasons we started using live chat, with some commentary on how it’s gone …

1. To answer questions

We sell an intangible, digital product – WordPress Themes – for a specific online software – WordPress. While most of the WP community may understand how themes work, a large majority of our prospects and users don’t understand some of the details into using them.

We want people to make the best possible purchase decision, so while we have a robust FAQ section, we realize people will want to ask a live human being questions.

Just giving people a place to get real-time answers has been key for us … and translates into the second point …

2. To build trust

I think people buying products on the web want to know who they are dealing with. This is one reason I’ve stuck my ugly mug on this site. It’s also why I’ve posted our team photo on our About page at iThemes.

Allowing people to have access to our staff – live human beings, and not simply text and images – builds trust.

3. To increase sales

Obviously, we implemented live chat because we felt ultimately it would sale more themes. It’s the final result of the first two items above. When people can get answers to their questions, they have more confidence in what they are buying and will be more satisfied in their end purchase, which builds trust and should … increase sales.


Here are some of the things I’d recommend after using it for a month or so …

  • Put Live Chat buttons all over your site – if you want it used, put the buttons in obvious places
  • Always be upselling – this is actually the most critical element … one thing we try to do is show the value in our Theme Club, it’s jammed packed with themes and the best deal we have
  • Be patient – like the phone, it never rings when you want it to and when it rains, it pours
  • Use questions to get better – I love seeing the kinds of questions we get from customers because it helps me improve our website copy, or make improvements in our themes


Our designer James had tested Provide Support before and liked it and recommended it to us when we began discussing the concept.

They’ve got a neat console software that you can use from your desktop to monitor your live chats. We’re starting to used template responses now for the most frequently asked questions. So we’re not using it to its full potential right now, but getting there.

The final and probably biggest reason is cost. It’s extremely affordable. At $15 a month, to us, it’s a no-brainer. The return on investment is exponential.

Check out Provide Support’s features and pricing here and ask our iThemes staff about your next WordPress theme here

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3 responses to “How to Use Live Chat on your Website to Increase Sales”

  1. We’ve been using ProvideSupport for a couple of years now. We’ve never had any issues or outages.

    While some people may look at it as a disadvantage we love the fact that they host the service. That means:

    – We never have to update software
    – Less change of getting “hacked” since the software is not on your server

    They also offer some pretty steep discounts if you pay for 3, 6 or 12 months.

  2. Hi, are you using the web-based, or downloadable (installed) console, to run the operator portion? I’ve been testing several providers and I agree that providesupport has a competitive service.

  3. Frank, thanks for these great points. I think hosting companies have really led the pack with Live Chat.

    Reviewer, we use the downloadable console on my laptop.