When your companies sell products or services, then supports plays an important roles. Many companies realize that without a good support, customer can move to their competitor. In order to provides a good support, at least companies provide call support and email support. But now a channel like social media is used. Another channel that may be useful is an instant messaging channel.
Instant messaging or chatting is an alternative way to provide communication between customer and companies, with a real-time response, always connected and almost zero cost. This article will discuss how to build an Live Chat tool using Mibew Messenger and attached it into your website.
What is Mibew Messenger
Mibew Messenger (also known as Open Web Messenger) is an open-source live support application written in PHP and MySQL. It enables one-on-one chat assistance in real-time directly from your website.
Here’s a list of Mibew features :
- Open source and it’s free
- Real-time chat (without page refresh)
- Unlimited operators, chats, and users
- Unlimited departments (groups of operators)
- Priority queue of visitors
- Localized to 10+ languages, unicode support
- Runs on your server and domain
- Easy-to-modify source code
- .... more
As a web-based application, Mibew needs :
- A working web server which can read PHP files
- A MySQL database
Mibew installation is done with some easy steps. Here’s the steps.
1. Download mibew software
$ wget https://sourceforge.net/projects/webim/files/Mibew%20Messenger/1.6.8/mibew168.tar.gz/download
2. Extract it into your Web server root directory
On this article, we will use /var/www as a root directory
3. Create folder with name 'mibew' inside it
$ mkdir /var/www/mibew
4. Upload all the files contained in this archive (retaining the directory structure) into created directory. Be sure to chmod the mibew directory to 755 and the install directory to 644
# chmod 755 -R /var/www/mibew
# chmod 644 /var/www/mibew/install
4. Edit ../mibew/libs/config.php to the information needed to connect to the database
5. Visit http://your_server_name_or_ip/mibew/install/ and hit Create database “mibew_db” link
Figure 1. Installation step 1
Figure 2. Installation step 2
Figure 3. Installation step 3
At the first time, you can logon as user: admin without any password
For security reason, please remove /mibew/install/ directory from your server.
Once the installation completed, you can login with admin user. For the first time login, you will asked to change your admin password.
Admin user will have these menus :
- Canned messages
- Button code
Figure 4. Admin menus
We will discuss some menus here.
A canned message is “message template” which can be created in order to speed up the operators response.
Figure 5. Canned messages
To add it, just click the Add message link and type your message. Then save it. If later you need to edit or remove it, just click edit or remove link beside the message.
A chat function is attached to operators. To add operators, you can click on Operators > Add operators.
Figure 6. Add operators
There are no limit about how much operators that Mibew can handle.
On Settings menu, there are four different part. Those parts are General setting, Optional Services, Performance and Themes.
Figure 8. Operational Services
Figure 9. Performance menu
Figure 10. Theme Preview
How to start a chat
Mibew is a web based Live Chat application. We need to put an URL in the website that the user can access. To generate the URL, as the admin, go to the button code link on the admin page.
Then you will see a HTML generated code there.
Copy and paste the code into your website.
Here’s a sample after the code is put on your website.
Figure 12. Button code implementation
User only need to click the image above.
After the user click that image, a pop-up window will appear.
Fill the blanks and click Start Chat
Figure 13. Request for chat
Figure 14. Start to chat
While in operators side, they will see a list of visitors with details.
Figure 15. List of incoming visitors
When the operator answer the guest, the a chat window for operator will appear.
Figure 16. Operator chat window
The window looks similar with Guest chat window, except operators can redirect visitor to another operator (if any) and operator can see the chat history.
Operators can also use canned messages to quickly reply the visitor.
Figure 17. Canned messages for operators
Mibew keeps chat history. This recording can be evidence later on. To view a chat history, operators can click Chat history link on the right pane. If there are a lot of chat was happening, then you can use the search bar to find it more specific.
Figure 18. Chat history
If you click the visitor name, then a chat log window will appear.
Figure 19. Chat history log
In the Internet era, customer can “go anywhere” just in a single click. Buy a product, use a service, even negotiation with the seller can be done via Internet. If the deal is reached, then a product can be sent via courier. They have probably never seen each other. So a quick and good support is need to maintain its relationship. In order to maintain it, Mibew can be a right tool. To explore more detail about it, please visit Mibew Messenger website.