Add Instant Messaging To Your Website by Barrett Powell
Have you and/or your agents go to http://download.live.com/messenger to download Windows Live Messenger. Then go to Windows LIve at http://login.live.com and get an ID you plan to share with anyone that takes floor duty. Only one person should be logged in at a time with that ID, the agent on duty, though you can have more than one actually signed.
Now once you sign in on the web to your ID, you will see on the left the ability to create Web HTML that will allow you embed a Windows Live Messenger window on a webpage. You copy that code. Then log in to your website setup and add a page. You can call the page whatever you want but I find something like "Instant Chat" a good idea. Then in the blank paragraph area of that page select any "HTML" check box so the input converts from plain text to html input and you "paste" the code you copied earlier into that section.
Now go to your "Menu" tool and add a menu item that links to the page you just created. You can add the menu item wherever in your menu you see fit. I placed mine in the "Contact Us" menu area.
Now have your agent on duty login to the ID you created earlier, the ID you share with your agents to use when they are on floor duty, and now when anyone clicks on your "Instant Chat" menu item they will see a Windows Live Messenger windows on your website with the ID you chose listed at the top and an indicator of "Online" or "Offline" depending on whether or not the agent on duty is signed in. If signed in, the web visitor can now initiate a chat session with the agent on duty. There is also a mobile version of Windows Live Messenger so agents can even monitor and chat with website visitors from their mobile phones. How cool is that!
We have been using this since it went into beta about 2 years ago and we actually get a few chat request per week off our website to inquire about properties.