We took a look at Smartsupp — an unlimited free live chat solution which will probably be most useful for small and medium enterprises.
FREE SOLUTION FOR AN UNLIMITED TEAM
Smartsupp is one of these few popular live chat services which offers a completely free version for an unlimited number of operators. So even if you are in a large team, all of you can still use most of its functionality for free. For more extended features, e.g. video recording, statistics or auto messages sent to your visitors, you’d have to pay at least $10 per month. The only true competitor in the pricing area is probably Tawk.to, which offers all the premium features Smartsupp has (maybe except video recording, which we discuss later) for no price. You can find our review of Tawk.to in our earlier post.
EASY INSTALLATION AND BASIC E-COMMERCE INTEGRATIONS
The installation is just simple and straightforward — you copy the code, put it into the body of your website, nothing difficult, even for a less tech-savvy entrepreneurs/managers. If you use other solutions, especially the ones from the e-commerce segment like Shopify, PrestaShop, Shoper or BigCommerce, Smartsupp provides you with plugins and instructions making the installation process easier. However, it’s a shame that the software misses some key integrations like Big Commerce and that it does not support its video recording functionality in some of them, e.g. WIX. So before buying a premium version you’d better check if the platform you use will integrate fully. As always, you can check and compare integrations and features at picksaas.com.
EXTREMELY USER-FRIENDLY APP WITH AN OUTDATED DESIGN
Smartsupp’s agent platform is not the prettiest one — that’s for sure. But if the visuals are not so important for you as an operator, you should know that it is extremely user-friendly, so browsing through all the functionality and the settings, is without any doubt — quick and intuitive.
You can easily customize the content and colors of your chat window to match your website’s style or boost it by adding a custom attention grabber. But still, to be honest, the degree of personalization seems to be quite limited and its overall design is nowhere near modern.
MOST IMPORTANT FUNCTIONALITY AVAILABLE FOR FREE
Smartsupp, in its premium version, like most of the other live chat solutions gives you a chance to poke your visitors with auto messages, so if you see your visitor spends too much time on the particular sub-page you can auto-message him asking about any specific questions. In the premium, you can also analyze all the data you gather during conversations which might be helpful in optimizing the work of your agents.
Smartsupp also provides all the standard functionality like creating pre-defined messages, so that you don’t have to answer the same questions each time manually, setting pre-chat forms or custom notifications. All the standard features are available in the free version, so if you only need a core chat for your whole team, Smartsupp might be a good choice.
VIDEO RECORDING — IS IT ANY GOOD?
But let’s look at the functionality which is the most advertised by the company as Smartsupp claims that it is the only live chat solution to offer a video recording function. We checked on this and it’s true that Smartsupp is indeed unique in this area. But is it really so innovative and do you need it? It might be quite cool to see the video recording of each and every one of your visitors but it is a little bit like Facebook adding My Story and Snapchat filters to its mobile app — it will probably never be as good as Snapchat. If you want to record the behavior of your visitors you’d probably implement a dedicated solution like Hotjar, which also gives you additional heatmaps analytics so you don’t have to watch through every video recording to see the overall behavior of your visitors. So Smartsupp’s wise move was using a video recording functionality to create a separate product — Smartlook, which seems to be a Hotjar’s competitor right now.
NO LEAD TRACKING AND NO NATIVE MOBILE APPS
Smartsupp’s basic version is completely for free so you should rather not be so critical about all its limitations. Nevertheless, there are some issues to be pointed out if you plan using Smartsupp long-term. Firstly, it doesn’t let you organize your visitors’ data into contacts or leads to the management of customers visiting your website is rather basic as it is limited to changing the visitor’s name so that at least you know when your regular customer sends you a chat message.
Secondly, in today’s mobile world, it might be unacceptable that the software does not offer native mobile applications. While you can still connect Smartsupp to 3rd party mobile clients like Jabber, it is just not the way it should work. Hopefully, the company releases its own mobile applications quite soon, as the representatives claim to have been working on them for some time.
A NICE FREE APP FOR STARTING TEAMS
Summing up, Smartsupp is great if you don’t want to spend any money on implementing live chat solution in your team or if you desperately want video recording functionality included in a live chat app, instead of using a separate solution like Hotjar. It’s user-friendly so your employees should not have any problem with using it from day 1.
On the other hand, if you aim for a free software which is more powerful, Tawk.to might deliver a higher value-added with more advanced functionality for no additional price. Also, the lack of native mobile apps might be quite problematic if you’re this type of entrepreneur or manager who does a lot of stuff on the go and wants to have a constant access to contact between the website and its users.