Some SMEs and freelancers often find premium plans of elite Chat apps pocket-heavy and free apps or free plans of freemium apps are often lack-luster.
Well, today we are going to review Smartsupp – An affordable but effective web chat app, which might just be what you are looking for. So, read on to find out what this affordable alternative to pocket-heavy chat app has to offer.
Smartsupp is based out of the Czech Republic and offers a shot of Slivovica to its subscribers upon visiting them at their office in Brno among other eminent features since 2013.
It is used by small and medium-sized companies and freelancers across Europe and is the only web chat app which claims to provide video recording for visitor’s view of your website. We tried a 30-day free trial of one of the Smartsupp’s premium plans and we have condensed the test results in the following review starting with the pros and cons of Smartsupp live chat app.
- Offers three subscription plans including a free-for-life plan. Its paid subscriptions are also more affordable than other applications.
- 3 chat windows and 3 agents with its free plan, which also includes unlimited chats. Smartsupp offerings for paid subscriptions also offer better value than other chat apps.
- In collaboration with Smartlook, its sister app, Smartsupp provides a video recording of visitor browser while he/she browses your website during chatting.
- An in-built basic statistics section to analyze your chats. Plus, there is Google Analytics integration for advanced chat analysis.
- Over 50 integrations including plugins for WordPress, Magento, Shopify, and more.
- Android and iOS apps to stay connected to your chats.
- Provides no options for different chat widgets and thus the user is stuck with default chat box.
- There are no theme options for chat box or font style options for chat box text. The user can only select the font colors for the bubble, bubble text, main color and text color for the chat box.
- Its marquee video feature and other options like Groups, Automatic Messages, and others are pay-walled.
- To make any substantial customization to his/her Smartsupp chat box, the user must resort to additional codes.
- Although it has over 50 integrations, some important integrations like HubSpot, MailChimp, Zoho, Wix, and Zapier among others are missing.
The Smartsupp Dashboard – Is it really smart?
If you’ve been reading our reviews of other chat apps, or any SaaS product, for that matter, you know how much emphasis we lay on the user dashboard.
The Smartsupp user dashboard is shown above; it is the third iteration in a line of Smartsupp dashboard updates.
It has a pending chats side-panel which lists pending chats which are not closed yet. The chats in the side-panel are appropriately marked with identification icons to be identified as ongoing, unanswered, closed, and more.
The main menu bar has Visitors, History, Statistics, and Video Recording tabs. On far right of the menu bar are the options to go to Settings Panel, Billing, Tutorial, and log out under the profile email ID dropdown.
We would not say that the Smartsupp dashboard is smart but it is sorted. Unlike other chat apps, it does not house chat and configuration options in the side-panel. The side-panel instead lists ongoing and initiated chats.
You can open or delete any of the ongoing or initiated chats shown in the side panel. Upon opening the chats, the chat panel loads into the dashboard window.
The core of any chat app is its chat panel where the operator and admins can see the messages from visitors, reply to them and also see system notifications and visitor information.
As we have seen in our reviews of other chat apps, some of them provide built-in chat panel features like chat forwarding or transfer, adding chat notes, canned messages, and co-browsing options.
The chat panel of Smartsupp also has two sections for conversation and user information as is the case with Userlike, which we reviewed before.
The visitor information hosts information like visitor’s name/username, email ID, location, user IP, OS and Browser information, if available. There is also an option for the agent to edit visitor name and email fields like Userlike, but unlike Userlike there is no embedded map to show visitor location.
Apart from the mentioned visitor info, there is also a Browsing History section showing the current URL and referrer URL for the visitor, and previous browsing details of your visitor for your website, if any.
The user also gets an option to connect Smartsupp with his/her internal system to show additional customer info like user ID, Total amount, or whatever you wish to add, via custom JS scripts. Also, the Information section houses a notes box for the agent to add any notes to the chat.
The conversation section shows all the chat messages and system notifications; below the messages pane is the text-box for the agents to reply. Agents can reply by directly typing-in the or choosing shortcuts for default pre-canned messages.
The conversation section of chat panel as two toggle tabs namely Chats and History. The message pane comes under the Chats tab, which has options to forward the chat, end chat, block visitor, and send chat transcript as an email to any email ID on the top left of the chat panel.
Under the History tab of the conversation section are listed the previous chats for the same visitor if any with details showing agent name, chat rating by the visitor, and date & time of previous chats. This helps the agent get a better understanding of visitor’s queries. The agent can choose to expand any of the chats in History to see the full chat transcript and visitor details for that chat.
So, Smartsupp Chat panel, although not as smart as Userlike or LiveChat does offer all functional chat options like canned messages, notes, visitor info, chat forwarding and even allows to share chat transcripts in the form of emails to the visitor or anyone else. Like its parent app, the Smartsupp chat panel also provides value for money.
Chat Monitoring Options
The Smartsupp dashboard has four main tabs in the applications menu bar – Visitors, History, Statistics, and Video recordings.
These all are essentially chat monitoring and assessment tools, which allow the Smartsupp user to keep track of the current visitors, check out older chats, and get a quick overview of the performance stats.
The Visitors section of the platform, like LiveAgent’s Online Visitors section, lists the details for the current visitors on your websites, where you have embedded your chat windows. It shows visitor name/username (if available), country location icon, online time, and current page for all visitors currently online, chatting or just surfing.
The username for the visitor has some identifiers, describing the state of the visitor like is actively browsing, is chatting, has unread messages, etc. Below is the image showing what all the different identifiers stand for.
The user can choose from a drop-down list to see a particular type of visitor, or use the search bar to find a particular one.
The user can initiate a chat with any visitor by selecting from the visitor’s list or the pending chats side-panel.
Under the History tab are housed all the previous chats based on your subscription – the limit is two weeks for the free plan and one year for other plans.
Smartsupp provides sophisticated options to filter out the chats from the History section. There is an option to sort chats based on time like today, this week, last day, last month, last week, or a custom range.
The other option is to search the chats based on user reaction, chat status – online, offline or missed, or advanced search based on no. of chat messages, URL, and IP address.
The Statistics tab of Smartsupp dashboard shows on top a header table of overall performance indices like All chats, missed chats, offline messages, first response time, total and average chat durations, and overall visitor rating percentage.
Next in line of chat statistics are the three “time vs. number” graphs for chats by the first response time, chats by duration, and chats by the hour of the day.
At last is the agent-wise KPI sheet with performance indexes such as total chats, average chat duration, average and first response time, and number and percentage of visitor ratings.
Smartlook video recordings
The last tab is the marquee feature for Smartsupp, the Video recordings tab. This holds the recordings of browser surfing of your website by all the visitors. The video recording is a premium feature of Smartsupp available with paid plans.
None the less we will describe how it works for the sake of review. Smartsupp, using its sister application Smartlook, captures the escapades of the visitor through your website as browser window video recordings.
The settings for video recording in Smartsupp, lets the user disable data recording for forms, which is the only place on most websites where the visitors enter personal information. Also, Smartsupp never records data for form fields marked as sensitive such as credit card details and passwords subject to them being marked sensitive by the website developers.
If you have an account for Smartlook, which is a full-blown user browsing video record software like Hotjar developed by Smartsupp team, you can access advanced features to analyze visitor videos like website heatmaps to identify hotspots, and conversion funnel to mark the funnel segment with most visitor churns.
In the case of heavily advertised recording feature of Smartsupp, we think that checking the entire or portion of a browser surf video of your visitors seems pretty pointless. The more viable option is to use Smartlook features like website heatmaps, event tracking, and conversion funnel.
As far as the free version is concerned, it does not feature a video recording option, and even if it did, without a Smartlook account, it would not have been of any significant use.
The Settings Options
As mentioned while reviewing other web chat apps, or any software for that matter, we again reiterate the importance of chat settings, and agent or account settings to set up and streamline your online chat support service.
The functionality of the settings options defines the chat experience for both the visitor and the agent. It also empowers the agent with tools like chat forwarding, predefined chat replies or allows the user to configure settings for advanced chat features like AI chatbots or settings for mobile apps.
Unfortunately, Smartsupp does not offer AI chatbot but offers options like automatic messages, shortcut for messages, office hours, and limiting agent access. Some of these features like limiting user access and Office Hours are subject only to premium plans.
The setting options for Smartsupp are available in a separate window which can be opened by selecting the settings option under the profile avatar drop-down from the main menu of the Smartsupp dashboard.
The settings options for Smartsupp are divided into – Personal Settings and Account Settings with three and seven set of options under each respectively.
The options under Personal settings are primarily meant to be edited by the agent or operator. The agent can update or edit his/her profile details, create personal and team shortcuts (if he/she has admin access), and choose desktop and sound notification options.
The options for Account settings include some general settings, settings for agents and groups, chat box settings, adding automated messages, Smartlook recording, and Billing information.
General settings side-bar menu loads into the settings window the options under the general tab like defining time zone for agents, chat history duration, specifying domain whitelist to disable your Smartsupp chats on other domains, and enable showing visitor’s IP address.
Other tabs under General Settings menu are Offline messages, Office hours, and Blocked IP addresses with options to add email IDs to the mailing list for receiving offline messages from offline contact forms, define online service hours, and blocking spam IPs.
The admins can set up new agents and define default settings for them, or edit the settings for existing agents under the Agents option of the Account settings menu. Similarly, new Groups can be defined or existing ones edited under the Groups menu by adding or removing agents.
There is also a field showing group code, which can be added under the chat code for your website or webpage to route all chats from that page or site to a particular group.
Under the Automatic messages option of account settings, the user can define conditional messages which will be triggered if the visitor spends more than stipulated time on a particular webpage or section of the website.
Also, there is an advanced option under the Automatic messages which allows launching of these messages upon occurrence of certain events like loading of chat, visitor sending a new message, etc. with various conditional element options.
The admin can decide to activate or deactivate any of the automated messages for the time being, but there is no option to define automated messages for specific groups or individual agents.
Other account setting options are to enable Smartlook recordings and associated options, and Billing info and upgrade option.
Although Smartsupp provides all the basic setting options including Agent Groups, Service Hours, and smart chat feature of automated messages, it is not able to match the options provided by other premium char apps like Userlike, LiveChat, and LiveAgent.
Chat Box settings
The chat settings define the very blueprint of the chat experience not only for the visitor but also for the agent, and thus is an integral part of setting options for any chat app.
The importance of chat settings can be judged from the fact that many chat apps like LiveAgent, Userlike, and others have dedicated chat settings menu with multiple tabs of each of its options. But Smartsupp has chat settings incorporated within the account settings.
Still, there is a dedicated menu option for Chat Box settings with chat code, options, colors, and text tab of options.
The other option is to directly install the Smartsupp plugin for available websites, e-commerce portals, and CRMs which include WordPress, PrestaShop, OpenCart, Magento, Shopify, Shopware, Joomla, and more.
The Option tab of chat box settings allows the admin to choose the chat box language, allow the visitor to rate agent, enable showing of chat bubble and custom notice message for personal data or choose to hide the chat box all together.
Under the Colors tab, the user can select Main color, Text color, Bubble color, and Bubble text color for the chat box, and preview the same.
Similar to the Colors tab, under Text tab, one can choose the Title, Company name, upload company logo, text area description, and button text for both online and offline modes.
So, Smartsupp is not smart when it comes to chat configurations. The options for chat box style and font has no theme or font-type options, let alone custom CSS option.
Also missing are chat routing options apart from a group code option, which can be accessed by clicking on the link for a particular user-defined group. One needs to add this code to website’s code to route the chat on that page to a particular group of agents.
Smartsupp is an affordable chat app for SMEs and start-ups and accordingly has very basic amenities with regard to chat box customization. The only thing which the user can do to is choosing colors similar or complementary to his/her website color-scheme for the chat box.
However, to apply some substantial level of customization to your chat boxes, you can check out the documentation section of Smartsupp’s website which has articles listing some codes which can be added to your website’s code to customize chat boxes.
Smartsupp Integrations and Plugins
If you are have read our other reviews or any of the reviews for any SaaS application, you have to be familiar with integrations among various applications which allows seamless transfer of data and services within the partner applications.
These integrations add to the capabilities of an application by allowing to borrow services from integrated apps on the go. Smartsupp has over 50 integrations with applications from varied genres including CRMs, helpdesks, E-commerce sites, Email marketers, website builders, and some web analytics applications.
Some notable integrations are Google Analytics (as there is no dedicated in-built web analysis in Smartsupp), Wix, Shopify, Magento, WordPress, Joomla, Desk.com and more.
As we have already mentioned about dedicated Smartsupp plugins for WordPress, PrestaShop, OpenCart, Magento, Shopify, Joomla, Shoper, and Shopware.
These plugins can be activated without any code from the respective parent software’s plugin repository, and in case of some older versions of these apps, you may need a plugin key, available under the chat code section in the Chatbox menu of Settings Window.
Also notable is the fact that all plugins might not allow all the features based that the Smartsupp SaaS provides.
The number of integrations of Smartsupp is impressive but there are many mainstays of chat apps integrations like HubSpot, MailChimp, Salesforce, Slack, Squarespace, Wix, Zendesk, Zoho CRM, and Zapiers missing from the list.
So, now we will conclude our Smartsupp review by saying that Smartsupp is an affordable option to pocket-heavy premium web chat apps.
Although it lacks some advanced premium features like a chatbot, smart chat routing, and chat window themes among others but provides basic and some advanced features like video recording, automated messages.
So, if you are an SME or a start-up looking to cut down on your expenses, or looking for affordable web chat service, Smartsupp is made for you.
In case you are looking for a free-forever chat app, Smartsupp offers good value but there are other free chat apps or free plans of freemium apps which offer better value in terms of features like Tawk.to or Userlike’s free plan. But that is just our opinion.
So, go ahead and try out the month-long free trial of Smartsupp’s Pro plan and see if you’re able to find fulfillment in your quest for an affordable web chat support application.