We’re going to assume that you already know that you need a professional website for your business. Thanks to intuitive, code-free, user-friendly website platforms like WordPress, it’s simple and affordable to create professional-looking sites.
WordPress is famous for providing a plugin for every problem, but sometimes it seems like every single site is using the same plugins and the same themes, again and again and again.
If you’re sick of identical business sites (and really, aren’t we all?), try branching out to some lesser-known, but no less powerful, WordPress plugins that drive business success without creating copycats.
1. Sendinblue Chat
In case you didn’t notice, everyone’s been getting more impatient recently. Of course, a global pandemic hasn’t helped anybody’s stress levels, but even before that, consumers weren’t exactly eagerly willing to wait for your business to respond to them.
Making actual phone calls is passe nowadays, and ain’t nobody gonna hang around for you to reply to an email in 2-4 business days. Your customers expect you to be responsive within minutes, if not sooner, otherwise they’ll give up in frustration and turn to your competition.
What’s more, customer support is even more important in the face of Covid-19, when consumers are zipping up their wallets, so you need to pay careful attention to customer retention as well as acquisition campaigns.
Live chat is the way to go. Sendinblue Chat is a fully customizable live chatbot that enables you to respond to your customers’ every question ASAP.
What’s more, you can use Sendinblue to connect all your communication platforms, including Facebook, SMS messaging, email, and chat. Sendinblue also integrates with landing pages, signup forms, retargeting ad tools, and your CRM, so you can keep track of customer interactions across all channels without dropping the ball.
2. vcita appointment scheduling
Everything we just said about consumer impatience applies equally to booking appointments. Consumers have long grown tired of back-and-forth email chains and answering machine messages to arrange a convenient date and time for a meeting or appointment. They want to be able to make and confirm a booking instantly, and cancel or reschedule without fuss.
vcita offers an integrated online appointment scheduling widget that supports all this and more. It doesn’t matter if you’re arranging an in-person visit to power-wash a house, an online video-based coaching session, or a virtual lesson as part of your online course. vcita can remove the friction – which, without an embedded system can get insanely frustrating – from the scheduling process.
Embed it into your business website to invite new and existing visitors to book or change their appointment, hassle-free. The tool automatically integrates with the rest of the vcita software suite to streamline invoicing and billing, and issues automated reminders to reduce the risk of no-shows.
You can customize how it looks, so that it seamlessly matches the rest of your branding, and set access permissions for different employees to keep all your meetings straight across the entire organization. Finally, the vcita scheduling plugin adapts to different time zones for virtual meetings, and supports 11 different languages so you can scale up your digital offerings without a hiccup.
3. Tutor LMS
If you’re unable to offer your service virtually, teaching other people how to manage for themselves is the next best thing. For a number of service-based businesses, switching to online courses has been a lifesaver for their income.
It’s not surprising that there’s a wealth of LMS (learning management system) plugins for WordPress, but now you need to choose one. We recommend Tutor LMS. It’s a relative newcomer, but it’s already building a decent following among eLearning savants.
You’ll find all you need to develop a customized online course, including a drag and drop frontend course builder; support for all types of content including video, audio, live classes, and text-only; Zoom and Google Classroom integration; easy quiz builder; and interactive forums for Q&A sessions and nurturing student communities.
You can also track metrics through an instructor dashboard, monetize your courses with integrations to other plugins, and produce personalized certificates and assignments for participants in your course.
4. Uncanny automator
It doesn’t take long before your business website is overflowing with different workflows, plugins, and widgets, each one doing a different job. It can quickly get overwhelming to keep track of everything and manage all your administrative tasks, and it’s not like you have an infinite amount of work time in which to do it all.
Uncanny automator is one of those perfect, little-known plugins that makes your life so much simpler. It enables you to connect other plugins into seamless workflows, without having to write a word of code.
So for example, you can use Uncanny Automator to connect your registration forms plugin with your LMS plugin, so that when someone completes a form to register for your online course, a new member account can automatically be created in Tutor LMS.
You don’t need to write it as code, you can just write simple “if this happens, then do that” sentences in plain English. There are over 90 different preconfigured triggers and actions waiting in the system, and it integrates smoothly with 18 different plugins.
Once you’ve pivoted your service business to operate digitally, why not open it up to a larger market? One of the advantages of offering digital services like online courses is that you don’t need to let geography hold you back. You can reach a much bigger market online.
But once you’re targeting cross-border markets, you might need to support different languages. Unless you, or one of your employees, is a linguist, you might run into difficulties translating your website and content into other languages.
Which is where translation plugins step in. We recommend WPML, which automatically converts content into various other languages without any hassle on your end.
What’s great about WPML is that it’s so easy to use even for non-techy folks. As the developers say: “It’s powerful enough for corporate sites, yet simple for blogs”
That’s a wrap!
There you have it. Five useful plugins you probably haven’t thought of that will rocket-power your business site. Even in a pandemic, there are still sales to be made, and now you can make them.