What is Smith.ai?
Smith.ai is a virtual receptionist and chat agent service. The company offers agents for hire and the software includes features like chatbots and lead capture forms. Smith.ai is utilized by companies across industries like finance, legal, and real estate.
Table of Contents
- What is Smith.ai?
- Smith.ai Review Summary
- Smith.ai Pricing & Cost
- Smith.ai Features
- Smith.ai Customer Support
- Smith.ai vs. Competitors
- Is Smith.ai Right For You?
Smith.ai Review Summary
Smith.ai was founded in 2015 by Aaron Lee and Justin Maxwell. The company originally began as a call answering and virtual receptionist service, and it took on live chat in 2018. Today, the company is headquartered in San Francisco and has over 1,000 clients spread across multiple industries.
Smith.ai’s main offering is their 24/7 virtual assistant and chat agent services. Only Smith.ai’s chat agents and the bots will interact with visitors, making this a hands-off customer support service. There are additional features including a customizable website widget and lead capture forms.
Pricing for Smith.ai services ranges from $140 per month to $600 per month for virtual receptionist or live chat services. Both pricing options are charged either on a per-call or per-chat basis and include 24/7 live staffing. There is a free chat plan that includes just the chatbot, which is ideal for customers who aren’t interested in staffed chat and phone lines.
Overall, Smith.ai is a unique company that offers live agents for hire and chatbot capabilities. The software works well, barring a significant technical issue that we had when testing the software that was subsequently resolved. Smith.ai is ideal for companies that are searching for hired agents to handle customer support. However, if you wish to have your in-house customer support team chat with visitors, you should consider a do-it-yourself solution that’s focused on live chat.
- If you’re searching for a similar live chat software that offers hired chat agents with no monthly chat limits, look into tawk.to
- If you’re looking for a hands-on live chat solution, consider Crisp
- If you’re searching for a more full-featured live chat tool that includes marketing features, look into Gist
Smith.ai Pricing & Cost
Smith.ai offers different pricing levels for the virtual receptionist and live chat plans. There are a host of additional services that can be added onto any plan and any call or chat overages are charged per interaction. Prospective customers are able to sign up for a risk-free 14 day trial of the services, where there's a money back guarantee.
- Starter: $210 per month for 30 calls; 1 transfer destination; extra calls are $7.50 per call
- Basic: $360 per month for 60 calls; 2 transfer destinations; extra calls are $6.50 per call
- Pro: $750 per month for 150 calls; 5 transfer destinations; extra calls are $5.50 per call
- Custom: Contact Smith.ai for pricing
- Additional Features: There's a wide variety of additional features. To learn about all the additional features, click the image below.
- Free: Free; includes unlimited chats
- Starter: $140 per month for 20 chats; additional chats are $7 per chat
- Basic: $300 per month for 50 chats; additional chats are $6 per chat
- Pro: $600 per month for 120 chats; additional chats are $5 per chat
Smith.ai Key Features
In this review, we’ll discuss Smith.ai’s major features, along with the notable benefits and drawbacks of each. We’ll also include images to give you a sense of what the software looks like.
To learn more about how we research and rate software tools, read about SoftwarePundit’s review methodology.
Chat Interface and Widget
Live chat allows clients and website visitors to speak live with Smith.ai’s customer service agents. When a visitor goes to a website, they’ll converse with customer support representatives through a small window, or widget, that’s installed on the site. Smith.ai staffs live chat agents and offers chatbot software to monitor your live chat channel. Within the dashboard, Smith.ai customers can view chat history and customize the widget.
The first section on the Smith.ai dashboard is the Chat History section, where a log of all conversations can be found. The chat history is provided in a list view with the most recent chats listed at the top. Overall, this section is detailed and helpful, as you can drill down into each chat to see the transcript.
Available information about each chat includes:
- Date and time of first chat
- Duration of conversation
- Channel the conversation took place through (web, text, Facebook)
- Visitor email address
- URL the visitor started the chat from
Smith.ai customers can sort chats by channel or time frame and can download conversation history as a CSV file.
When visitors go to a site that’s equipped with live chat, they will see a small button that opens into a window when engaged. The Smith.ai widget has a clean, modern look and has a list of customizations that can be made to fit any company’s needs. Below is an image of how the widget will appear to visitors:
The widget works on mobile, desktop, and tablet. Smith.ai customers can add a greeting that will be displayed to visitors when they start a conversation. Additional customizations that customers can implement are listed below:
- Write a disclaimer message
- Customize the widget color
- Upload a company logo to the widget
- Change the button placement
- Write company titles and introductions in the widget
- Send transcripts as emails after chat ends
Smith.ai’s main service is their hired agents. For a monthly fee, your company can hire virtual receptionists or chat agents that will answer incoming calls or chats around the clock. This type of service will benefit companies that want to provide customer support without hiring a dedicated customer support team. Smith.ai employs around 160 people across call and chat channels to ensure that channels will be consistently monitored.
Smith.ai’s live chat agents will monitor the live chat channel through your website and respond to texts and Facebook messages. This 24/7 service provides your prospective clients with nonstop customer support. The Smith.ai chat agents will generally take conversations over from playbooks and the chatbot, which customers can configure through the Smith.ai dashboard.
Virtual receptionists provide in-house services like appointment scheduling, payment processing, and client intake. When you route your phone lines through Smith.ai, virtual receptionists will answer phone calls that come through to your company. They can also conduct outbound calls to follow up with prospective leads or remind clients of appointments.
Playbooks are predetermined conversation sequences that engage website visitors and capture visitor information like name and email address. These conversations are sequential, meaning that Smith.ai customers can configure playbooks to have multiple steps for lead capture. For example, a playbook can greet customers, ask for an email, and prompt further communication. We found that this feature takes a bit of time to master, but there is a helpful “funnel” view for customers to easily visualize how playbooks interact with customers.
The playbook funnel view is displayed below:
One drawback to this feature is that if playbooks are edited, existing data tied to those playbooks will be cleared. Customers should be aware of this before altering any live playbooks.
There are customization options within the playbook feature that dictate when playbooks are deployed and how they interact. These options are listed below.
- Trigger playbook at start of conversation
- Trigger playbook when certain questions are asked
- Manually initiate playbook
- Trigger playbook after certain amount of time
- Tie playbooks to each other
Chatbots are software programs that engage in discussions with website visitors. They’re a helpful asset that can provide responses to simple questions or gather visitor information. When testing the Smith.ai chatbot feature, we ran into an issue that prevented the bots from working. The customer service team resolved the issue, but we were unable to utilize the bot for a week.
Question & Answer Programming
Smith.ai’s chatbot is a Q&A bot, meaning that it is built to answer questions. When configuring the bot, customers will enter variations of the same questions that will lead the bot to give the same answer. For example, you can enter four different questions about shipping times, which will all lead to the same bot response.
You’ll be able to test the bot before setting questions live to ensure that it’s working properly.
One of Smith.ai’s most unique features is that the chatbot you can“train” to recognize when it deployed correct or incorrect answers. Each bot answer will be saved for review, where you can mark these bot responses as correct or incorrect. The image below displays how customers will train the bot:
Smith.ai agents monitor chats that are happening between chatbots and website visitors. Once a bot has finished the conversation it has been programmed to do, or if a visitor needs additional help, Smith.ai’s chat agents will take over the conversation. Though this transition does not happen automatically—which is normally done through a process called chat routing—agents are available 24/7, meaning that no chats should be missed.
A table of Smith.ai’s additional features is shown below.
|Integrations||Smith.ai has built integrations with key software tools such as Agile CRM, Calendly, and Google Analytics. A particularly advantageous integration is with Zapier, which allows you to integrate Smith.ai data with over 2,000 other applications.|
|Emailed Call Summaries||When a call ends, Smith.ai virtual receptionists will send individual call summaries to customers so they know how a call was handled, what information was gathered, and whether any follow-up is required. Smith.ai also sends a daily call summary via email.|
|Business Referrals||If a lead is not interested in something that your business has to offer, Smith.ai virtual receptionists will refer callers to a custom list of businesses that you provide.|
Smith.ai Customer Support
Smith.ai customer support agents were helpful in conversations we had with them over live chat and email. When reaching out with concerns over email, we found the support team to be extremely communicative.
|Customer Support Channels||Live Chat, Email, Text, Phone|
|Other Support Resources||Help Center, Blog|
|Application Status Page||No|
Smith.ai Alternatives & Competitors
Smith.ai is similar to tawk.to, a live chat company that also offers chat agents and assistants for hire. The monthly chat agent rate for Smith.ai is $600 (if staying at or under the 120 chat limit), while hiring a 24/7 chat agent from tawk.to costs around $730 per month. A few other alternatives that are focused on live chat are listed below.
Is Smith.ai Right For You?
Smith.ai is a virtual receptionist and chat agent service with over 1,000 customers. The company provides 24/7 hired services along with a few technology-forward features, like “smart” chatbots, to support customer engagement.
Smith.ai is ideal for those who are looking to hire external support agents or virtual receptionists. Because Smith.ai connects many different channels, like web, text, and social media, it’s also helpful for companies looking to streamline communications across channels. Customers who want to handle live chat in-house, or who also want marketing features, should consider LiveChat, Gist, or Tidio.
If you are interested in trying Smith.ai, sign up for a 14-day risk-free trial.