Plugin Review: Firehose Chat

Update 11/14:
This post was written in July, 2014 and I have since decided to use a different chat provider.  I was reluctant to switch because I do really like the benefits of Firehose Chat, but there were some issues I couldn’t get past. The main one was not saving chat logs, so if I couldn’t respond to someone, they were gone forever. You can upgrade to their paid version to get chat history, but it seems too expensive for one person. I wished they had a better plan for less users. Let me know if you have any questions!

Have you been thinking of adding a live chat box to your website? Live chat can be a powerful tool to capture website visitors before they leave. It has less friction than having to email or give you a call because it is fast, easy and has no strings attached. So you want to try a live chat out, but one one do you choose with so many options out there?

Here at wpONcall, we have gone through a few different products and we think we have found the solution that works best for us. Keep in mind that we have only used Firehose Chat for a week, but it has features that make it the best we have tried so far

The problem with live chat: “We are currently unavailable”

nolongerLive chat is only good if you are there to answer a request or question. Most live chat providers force you to:

  1. Log in to their website to access your account.
  2. Go to the chat page, which activates the “I’m here” message on your website.
  3. Keep that tab or page open to allow visitors to chat with you.

If you do not keep your chat window open, it displays a message like: “We are currently unavailable, please leave us a message”.

This is where Firehose Chat makes live chat more effective:

With Firehose, your chat window is always “open for business”. This is because they have a Mac and iOS app that allows you to chat at anytime, even if you are not at your computer. If you are at a computer, a notification will tell you if a visitor is trying to message. If you are away from the computer, it will alert you like a text message, so you can go right into a chat at any time.

firehose chat review

Get alerted on the Mac app instead of a browser window.

firehose ios

Chat on iOS like a text message

This solved my biggest problem of never remembering to keep the Live Chat browser window open to talk with potential customer.

Any negatives?

Unfortunately, right now Firehose is only available for Mac and iPhone users, so no Android or PC support right now.

The team at Firehose chat have now added support for Android and a browser version for any desktop. Now anyone can use Firehose chat, regardless if they are on Mac, PC or Android.

Otherwise, it is a free, well designed application that can help you connect to website visitors.


What has been your experience with adding Live Chat to your site? Has it helped you connect with customers that would have otherwise left your site?





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