BirdSeed Review & Tutorial – AppSumo Limited Time Offer 2019
How do you optimize the lower right (or sometimes left) corner of your website? Do you use live chat? Or if that’s not always possible, how about a knowledge base that’s searchable? Or maybe a click to schedule, a lead capture, or an instant call button?
We’ve been used to choosing one or the other. Otherwise, it got clunky to have more than one widget that users can grab.
BirdSeed lets you get over that phase. With it, you can select from up to 12 tools that you can place in the lower corner of your site in a nice, elegant way.
The more urgent news is, it’s available for a lifetime deal in AppSumo! Is BirdSeed hip or just a hype? This review takes you around the tool.
With BirdSeed, you can:
- Pick from up to 12 tools that you can run in one BirdSeed panel.
- Hide or show some tools according to business or non-business hours.
- Customize each tool – tweak their functionalities and appearances.
- Perform other tasks like monitoring the tools’ analytics, setting proactive messages, and tracing past conversations.
The Limited Time Lifetime Offer of BirdSeed
The BirdSeed lifetime deal has a 60-day money back guarantee. You can stack unlimited codes, redeemable until November.
BirdSeed can integrate with more than 1000 applications. It also offers a mobile app.
You also get access to:
- BirdSeed’s 12 engagement tools, which include the Live Chat, Knowledge Library, Link Launcher and more. The screenshot below shows only some of the tools:
- Ability to remove BirdSeed’s footer branding, a preferred setting to maintain branding consistency.
- Unlimited website visitor traffic, so no worries when it comes to the number of people that the tool can accommodate.
- 15 users per account. I believe 15 users per account is adequate for a typical website. A company might need fewer people to operate their official chat response.
One account = one workspace (usually). Meanwhile, one workspace = one BirdSeed panel (but no limitations when it comes to the tools inside). A “workspace” implies the working space for one functioning BirdSeed panel (the rectangular interface that has the BirdSeed tools).
On the other hand, if you have the Agency Access, you’ll be able to acquire multiple workspaces from one account login.
- Tool to instantly send videos in a chat, for purposes such as forwarding videos to respond to customer queries.
The differences between the plans:
- $49 plan – or one code, giving you one account or workspace. That means you can include up to 15 people who can use that workspace.
- $98 plan – or two codes, giving you two accounts/workspaces, or 30 people max for those workspaces.
- $147 plan – or three codes, giving you three accounts or workspaces, or 45 people max for those workspaces. It also entitles you to an Agency Access, which lets you manage multiple workspaces from one account login.
Just to let you know, you can assign one workspace/account for one target website or company. For each workspace, you can add both users and admins. Users won’t have the complete access to a BirdSeed account, unlike the admin. They can only view a dashboard and respond to live chat messages and other activities of a website’s visitors. Admins can access all the BirdSeed account features.
So if you’re using BirdSeed for multiple clients, you’d need to provide them user login access to respond to customer queries and more in their website. They won’t be able to see the details of your other clients’ logins, obviously for confidentiality reasons.
Previewing the BirdSeed Panel
BirdSeed’s engagement panel is meant to be a handy popup box that people can just open if they need its tools.
A good thing is that as you’re editing a panel, you’ll be able to preview its results. Its preview will be visible at the expected corner of your screen.
The changes will appear once you hit the Preview Changes button at the bottom.
Meanwhile, one setback in the preview mode is that you won’t be able to navigate the panel as much as you’d like.
For example, you want to see the items in the dropdown fields you’ve created. If you really want to check them, then you can publish the changes on a test website. From there, you can view what the published version looks like.
Setting up the Account
BirdSeed lets you go through a step-by-step process in setting up your account.
This is what a BirdSeed account initially looks like, right after signing up:
To get started, it asks you to:
Step 1 – Style your panel.
Step 2 – Set business hours.
Step 3 – Customize your tools.
Step 4 – Install BirdSeed.
When your account is ready, you and your team will mostly just need to respond to site visitors who are using the BirdSeed panel.
(Step 1) Style Your Panel
Often, a tool setup isn’t complete without some general styling. As for BirdSeed, it involves customizing the panel’s launch icon and start screen.
As you select options, you might consider convenience, the company’s style, and other factors you think are relevant at this point.
Here are the settings you can find in styling up your panel:
- Panel Visibility – show or hide the BirdSeed panel. This refers to the rectangular interface that contains your BirdSeed tools.
If you choose to hide it, only the launch icon will be visible by default. The panel will only appear once you click the launch icon.
Showing or hiding the panel might also have to do with your website’s design and the user interaction that you want to happen.
- Pulsation – have the launch icon pulsate or move slightly to grab people’s attention.
- Position – put the BirdSeed widget either on the left or right side of the page. Again, customizing this might have to do with your website’s design.
- Footer Branding – turn on or off the display of the BirdSeed branding (the one with the logo and a line saying “Powered by BirdSeed”). People are likely to hide this to be consistent with their own branding.
- Introduction Text – create the default text that comprises a title and a text. It will be the text to headline the whole panel that is supposed to introduce the tools you offer.
- Color – customize some colors of your panel, specifically the primary color and the link color. The primary color refers to the color of the tools’ icons that are visible here:
The link color refers to words or elements that link to a certain site, I believe. Actually, there is no way to preview that in the BirdSeed’s backend.
- Button – customize the icon of the launch button. The default ones available are as shown below:
Meanwhile, you have the option to upload your own icon as encircled in the screenshot. Right now, it looks like one of the design selections for an icon so some users might not easily spot that.
Testing the Custom Icon Option
I tried to upload my own logo to test if it can work as my default launch icon.
Here is what happened:
After clicking the upload button, it gave me the option to choose a file. I went ahead and got my image file, which is the That LTD Life logo.
At first, the uploaded image looks like the following, which is bigger than the Image Cropper interface itself.
While the image I chose might be too large, there isn’t any prompt that specifies the dimensions. More halts came up for this image. Using the scroll wheel of my mouse as well the zoom out button in the cropper, I was able to zoom out. Still it didn’t give the image enough room on the sides.
I tried the black version of my logo instead. Again, the image preview was massive at first. I zoomed it out and almost wasn’t able to spot it until I scrolled up the screen. After zooming out the image, at last, I was able to fit it as I liked and saved it.
My logo at this point was aligned with the other icons. But that was only for a few seconds. As I clicked the Preview Changes button and refreshed the page, the uploaded icon altogether disappeared.
So the upload icons option is still not fully developed. It still has some bugs that the developers could fix.
I just went on to choose one of the built-in icons.
Upon completing the styling settings, you can move past step one.
(Step 2) Set Business Hours
Want to select some tools for business hours and others for closing hours? Then this feature offers the right goodies. For example, you might display your live chat only during office hours.
In this section, you can assign the times of the week when you are open for business. This setting relates to the “Visibility” function upon customizing the BirdSeed tools, where you can choose from always, working hours only, and after hours only.
Here are the settings you’ll establish for the business hours:
- Timezone – set the timezone that your tools will follow.
- Time Format – choose from either a 12-hour time or a 24-hour time as the default time format of your website.
- Schedule board – schedule the start and end time of your office hours. If you’re thinking about making your tool available 24 hours, don’t worry about that at this point, because you can always set the 24-hour availability as you customize a specific tool.
The board is organized by rows, according to the days of the week – Monday to Sunday. For each day, you can schedule the start and end time of your office hours. The options for breaks are also located at each row.
- Breaks – set the break times by selecting from the respective dropdown menus. You can add up to three breaks per day.
As you add a break, you’ll be able to set the start time of the day and the duration of that break. The choices for the break duration so far are only 30 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hours, and 2 hours. It would be great if they added an option here to customize your number of minutes or hours.
After closing the breaks section, you’ll be able to see the number of breaks that represents that day, which is quite handy for this list. For example, below you can see the number 2, which just says there are two breaks created for that day.
Still, the eye icon does not have an obvious meaning. I ‘m not really sure of what it does. (Feel free to point out in the comments what it is.) That’s a bit peculiar, although not too bothering for me.
Another feature I’d suggest is to have a day selector within the break menu. So if I was taking lunch at the same time everyday, I can just input the days there and the time will automatically appear on the other days in the list.
(Step 3) Customize Your Tools
Here, you’ll start to choose the tools that will show up in the widget. Of course, it’s ideal to pick those that are applicable to your site and will cause visitor engagement.
By default, the screen will present the ones in the picture below.
However, there is also an Add Tool button that will reveal a pop up box with all the other tools available for your use.
As you go on with this article, you’ll see each of the engagement tools being discussed.
(Step 4) Install BirdSeed
If you’ve arrived here, you must have already picked your tools (at least your initial ones). In Step 4, you will be installing your BirdSeed widget on your target site.
The page will look like this:
Basically, you can get your embed code from this section. You can also watch any of the installation videos for guidance in installing the code according to your website’s settings.
Now in installing the embed code, you’ll see the dropdown selection for it. This is where you can copy the embed code to paste in your target website.
As you might have seen on my review video, I made a demo on installing the embed code of my BirdSeed widget. As a result, my live chat and the rest of the BirdSeed panel started to run in my website’s frontend.
Refer to the Live Chat part of this article to learn more about this demo.
Presenting, BirdSeed’s Engagement Tools
Let’s go over the engagement tools that BirdSeed has to offer. These are the Live Chat, Contact Form, Call Request, Email Capture, Meeting Schedule, Knowledge Library, Link Launcher, Video Showcase, Customer Testimonials, Timeline, Phone Contact, and Feedback.
The Live Chat feature is probably one of the most eye-catching tools that BirdSeed showcases. This is where the admins, employees, or clients can log in and use the chat interface to interact with site visitors.
Again, the preview is available at the corner of the screen if you want to know how your live chat widget is looking so far.
Here are the settings you can expect from the Live Chat feature.
Settings that You will Also Find in the Other Tools
The following batch of settings will likely be present in other tools as well, so watch out for them later.
- Tool Title – customize the name of your tool as it gets listed among other BirdSeed engagement tools. A good example is “Live Chat”.
- Visibility – select when the tool can display for visitors to use. You can choose from Always, Working hours only, and After hours only.
- Panel Title – put the title that appears in the chat’s start screen. One option is for it to be a call-to-action that encourages a visitor to chat with you. An example is “Live Chat With Us Now”.
- Introduction Text – add a text underneath the panel title at the chat’s start screen, if you like. An example is “Fill out a form to start a live chat.”
- Main navigation icons – select the icon that represents the live chat tool as it gets listed on your Birdseed widget.
- Form Builder – one optional, yet relevant setting of the tools here is the Form Builder.
The form helps the receiving operators learn more about their site visitors.
Note also that you can “require” an information from a visitor before accessing a tool. This is by checking the box for ‘this field is required.’
In building a form, you can add fields that you’d like your visitors to fill out.
These include the following fields. We also show here the preview of what they’d look like once they’re published.
- Custom Text Field – customize a detail you’ll require to your visitors by simply changing a field’s text. Note that this appears as a typical “field” where the box has about a similar size as other fields.
- Custom Text Box – have a bigger space for your visitors to enter their information. The custom text box differentiates from the custom text field because it comes as a bigger box. This is typically a space for composing a message, instead of just any shorter information.
- Checkbox – create a checkbox aligned with its description text.
- Picklist – list and limit the items of information that your visitors can pick from. A dropdown menu for the choices gets published.
- Team – let users choose from the teams of people they prefer or belong with. The website admin can designate the teams/categories that will be included in the dropdown menu.
Settings that are Unique to the Live Chat Tool
Meanwhile, the following details are somehow exclusive to the Live Chat feature.
- Button Text – tailor the text for the buttons, including the start chat, continue chat, end chat, and send buttons.
- Introduction Media – add a video or image that serves as the visual element of your Start Chat screen. Here, you can introduce what your live chat feature is for, before the site visitor goes on to access the chat tool.
- Feedback Text – edit the text that asks for a feedback from the user about the live chat. There are the “provide feedback” and the “no feedback” texts that you can customize.
- Introduction message – input the first chat message that automatically appears when a visitor opens a chat room, such as greetings. During our live chat test, this was buggy.
Testing the Live Chat Feature
Now let’s see how the BirdSeed panel works on a website, as viewed by the public. I tested the live chat feature for this.
Here, you will observe how I embedded the BirdSeed code to my WordPress site and how the tool functions during a live chat conversation.
Installing the Embed Code on my WordPress Site
To start, I also logged in to the WordPress backend of my thatLTD.life website.
I’m currently using the Astra Theme for WordPress. The theme includes an option called “Custom Layouts”, which lets me perform customization tasks like what I’m doing now. Look for an option like this in your active WordPress theme. If you can’t find any, you can either get a new theme or go over to the plug-in directory in the WordPress repository and add the headers and footers code.
As I tried to copy the embed code, I pressed Birdseed’s Copy to Clipboard button, which wasn’t working, uh-oh. So we’re noticing some fit and finish aspects of BirdSeed here that aren’t quite up to snuff yet.
So I copied the embed code manually and pasted it to my WordPress’ interface. But before pasting, I enabled the code editor first.
Here are the settings I did for my Custom Layout section:
I put the:
Title of my custom code.
Layout – chose Hooks.
Action – put body_bottom to let me add it at the bottom of my tag.
Priority – set it to 10. I didn’t change it as I didn’t want to mess with it.
Spacing – also didn’t change the settings there.
Display – chose Entire Website to display the result in all my web pages.
User Role – left the setting as it was.
Using the Live Chat from the Visitor’s Side (Website’s Frontend)
Let’s check how a website visitor may experience the live chat tool provided by BirdSeed.
From the settings I made, my BirdSeed tool displays only as a launch icon until I open it. The button has a pulsating animation when I hover over it.
After launching, it displays the list of tools I’ve included:
The Live Chat looks like this upon clicking it:
The Live Chat from the Operator’s Side (Website’s Backend)
On the other hand, let’s see how the receiving party can use BirdSeed’s tool.
To go to the backend of the Live Chat, you need to go to the Active Conversations section, as shown below:
Here is the chat operator’s view:
Here, you can find the:
- Categories of chat conversations – sort the conversations by clicking the dropdown menu at the top left of the screen. This is supposed to help the operator track the status of any chat discussion.
- Main chat panel – send and receive messages by using the chat’s messaging interface.
At the right side of the page are the information about the user. They include the:
- Map – spot the location of the visitor by viewing the map. The map was fairly accurate from what I saw. It was not right in pointing the exact city I’m in but it’s close by.
- User Provided – the details that the visitor filled in the form.
- Visitor Details – see more information related to the visitor, including the submitted date, IP address, operating system, timezone, number of visits, and referrer.
- Browsing Activity – check some browsing activities of the visitor to probably hint an operator about the visitor.
- Chat Feedback – learn the rating and comments that the visitor gave to previous chat operators.
The information here so far are quite helpful and on par with more expensive chat tools. Overall, the Live Chat feature does a pretty decent job.
How My Test Conversation Went
I tested the Live Chat both from my WordPress backend for the chat operator’s side and the frontend (in an incognito window) for the visitor’s side.
So the interaction went like this:
Visitor: (Opens the live chat feature.)
Operator: (Hears a notification bell about the new chat being initiated.)
Visitor: (Not getting any welcome message – the default welcome message set earlier that was supposed to automatically pop up.)
The welcome message only displays after the operator joins, but it would be nice if there was an option to publish a notification about not being available and other means they can reach you.
At the backend of BirdSeed…
Operator: (Opens the chat screen. Views the introduction line already there – “Hey, how can I help you?”)
Operator: (Presses the “Take Chat” button.
The chat area that lets the operator type messages then pops.)
Visitor: (Doesn’t see the introduction message at all. Only sees the text “waiting for chat operator to join”.)
Visitor: (Types “Hello?”)
(Sees the automatic text “the chat agent is typing”.)
As we can see, there’s a little bug present here as the operator can see the automatic introduction message. The visitor doesn’t see that message.
Operator: (Receives the message “Hello?” from the visitor.)
(Sends the message “Hi how are you?”)
Visitor: (Receives the operator’s reply. Sees the operator’s icon/picture only having the color purple.)
A Few Bugs Encountered
There are a few minor bugs that I encountered as I explored the Live Chat feature. These are the following:
Tooltip Elements being cut off – the tooltip elements at the left side get overlapped by the video present as I scroll a page.
You might also find this on a few other parts of the page:
Operator’s icon can’t be changed – I tried to look for a way to change my profile picture.
I went over to Manage Users and clicked to edit my own profile, but there was no option there to change my profile picture.
Back to the website’s frontend, my profile continued to show a purple icon and now with a broken link in it.
These are minor issues that the developers ought to fix.
This is the “leave a message” tool that BirdSeed has, among others. It comes basically as a form (where you can add the information fields you like) with a message box in it.
The Contact Form may look like this:
In the Customize Tools section, we’ll select the Contact Form option.
Some fields are similar with the Live Chat. Here, you’ll also find the options for the tool title, visibility, panel title, introduction media, introduction text, button text, form builder, and navigation icons.
I chose a navigation icon of a little person with an envelope at the back, although I’ll say that it’s a lot of detail for that small of an icon. Viewers would have a hard time figuring it out.
As for the other icons, I’m not sure if they’re the best for this function either.
Meanwhile, the options that are somehow distinct of the Contact Form are the:
- Custom Text Box (in the Form Builder) – allow visitors to write a message in this wider space or box. This is actually a part of the Form Builder, but what’s different about it here is that it is required and can’t be erased.
- Confirmation email – send an automatic email confirming that you received the message a visitor sent.
- Response email – add emails of up to 15 users who can respond to a message received from the website user.
Call Request Form
If you want something that shows off your customer service’s speed, then this tool is one opportunity.
From the name itself, the tool displays a form that lets visitors request a call by leaving their phone number and other details.
After submitting the form, they’ll view a big timer that counts down the maximum minutes they’ll wait until they’ll receive a call from the customer service.
Many options here are similar to those of the other engagement tools. These include the tool title, visibility, panel title, form builder, and more. You can also add the information fields you prefer in the form builder.
As the focus of this tool is the call request functionality, the notable mandatory items here include the:
- Call Response Time – set the amount of time promised until you’ll call. The maximum time allowed for this tool is 9 minutes and 59 seconds. So if you decide to include this in your panel, know that you are supposed to respond instantly when using this tool.
Remember that for more convenience, you can opt for this to display only during working hours.
The result is a display that emphasizes the countdown timer.
- Phone number – require the phone number. This field can’t be deleted for this tool, which just makes sense.
This tool functions mainly as a lead capture. For example, your visitors can sign up for a newsletter where they will enter their email address.
Again, many details here are the same with those of the other tools. These are the titles and texts you need to include and more.
The notable options are the email address (in the form builder), which is required and can’t be deleted, as well as the automatic confirmation email you can send.
So, yes, these look good, but you’d observe that the details of the tools are quite similar to each other. It just depends I guess on what you’d want to focus on for your tools.
The Meeting Schedule tool allows visitors to pick a time to have a meeting with you. They can only schedule within the hours that you’ve set as available for an event.
But First, Manage the Event Types
The first thing you’d want to do is scroll down the bottom of the screen and look for the Manage Event Types button.
Clicking that button will take you to the Settings Page > Manage Event Types, where you can add the events that visitors can select from.
Here you can preset details like the title of the event, a form builder, and a confirmation email.
Meanwhile, some notable details in the page are the:
- Title of the event – name the event as you’d like (e.g. “discovery call”).
- Configure Your Available Hours – set a regular schedule of your event in terms of time and day.
- Schedule settings – put the duration of the event. For some reason, the only options for this are 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, and 2 hours.
Also, you can choose your number of appointments for the event. You can have either 1 appointment per timeslot or unlimited appointments per timeslot.
- Google Calendar – integrate your Google Calendar to synchronize with your BirdSeed event scheduling.
It’ll be able to tell if you already have something scheduled at that time, so it won’t show up as available to users on the frontend.
As a result, in the published Meeting Schedule tool, the list of events will look like this:
After managing your event types, you can customize the other items for the Meeting Schedule tool.
Note that the settings you make here will pretty much become applicable to all the events you just created.
It does make sense as you’d want to set some uniformity when it comes to this tool’s setup. Notable options include labels for the months and days, notification emails cc option, and manage event types.
The usual settings of tools are also found here, including the titles and button texts.
The knowledge library, which may also be regarded as the FAQ section, lets you add entries that guide people about your website or company. Here, you can index information such as frequently asked questions or comments, support issues, and more.
You can see from the screenshot above some features similar to the other tools. These are the tool title, panel title, and navigation icons.
Meanwhile, the visibility option is kind of interesting at this point. Not sure why we’d want to set that up to anything other than 24 hours (don’t you want people to be able to find answers on their own?), but somebody out there must have some special reason.
Meanwhile, here are the features that are only found in the knowledge library:
- Search text – customize the placeholder text in the search box (e.g. “search for a topic”).
- Type label – set the name for the topic type’s dropdown menu.
- Questions & Answers – add the searchable information items in the Knowledge Library. This section lets you:
– Add Section – put a category where some questions belong. After you put your category, it will also be added to the categories’ dropdown menu. Note that before you can add a question, it is required to choose a category.
– Add FAQ Item – add a specific question along with its corresponding answer.
It will look like this once you add a question:
Meanwhile, there are also options for you to edit or delete the sections and questions here. Note that when you delete a section, the questions underneath it will also be erased.
I think BirdSeed has a really nice way to add a knowledge base. The room for improvement here relates to the fact that people don’t want to be scrolling through a massive amount of text inside a chat bubble. So for an item that needs a longer explanation, it would be nice to link it out to a full screen website.
As for now, there’s no convenient way to do that, so you’d have to be aware if an FAQ item is going to fit in a few statements and look good in the window.
The Phone Contact tool resembles the Call Request tool. However, this time, it lets you publish contact numbers for visitors to call and thus, implement inbound calling.
The options in this page are the typical ones for all tools, like the text customization, visibility, and more. You can observe that there is no form builder present here.
Only the phone number is required. You can add many phone numbers, if you need to leave relevant ones such as the different departments of your company.
As for the navigation icon, it’s interesting that the default icon is a star (doesn’t make much sense to me). But I did change it to a phone icon.
This is the pop up box that appears as you add a phone number:
How the panel appears when published:
Some qualms about the layout here – I’m curious why they made the hours in the same kind of call-to-action (or almost has the same size) as the button. I probably would want to put more emphasis on the call button.
The radius around the button – not exactly my taste. It seems too big as opposed to the phone icon itself. I removed the “call” text near the icon but it is still a bit wonky in design.
If you’re doing this for clients, it might come as a concern, where a client would ask for a certain shape of the button for their brand or whatnot. So you might need to find a workaround for that.
This is one setback of a tool that has a lot of functionalities. They can’t always build in all of the features in a tool that the most discerning person might expect to see. So perhaps just one of the trade-offs if you have about 10 lower right-hand quadrant widgets from somebody like BirdSeed.
With BirdSeed wanting to provide important tools in one pop up box, it just makes sense to include the link launcher. The tool lets a user click a link to arrive at a certain webpage.
You have two chances to add it (unlike the other tools which you can only add once) in the BirdSeed panel. For example, you can include a link to your sales page and another to your company website.
Just like the other settings, the page for the link launcher lets you personalize your tool title, visibility, and navigation icon.
The distinct feature of this section is the URL field. Here, you can put the website link that will be available to site visitors.
You can also let that open in a new page.
Here is the preview of the link launcher from my frontend website:
When I click the listed link, it then takes me to my Client Amp website:
If you’re thinking of presenting a line of videos that site visitors can view, then this is the way to go. In the Video Showcase tool, you can upload videos, then organize them according to sections and sequences that you like.
Some familiar options in the Video Showcase tool include title, visibility, panel title, introduction text, and navigation icons.
Here are options unique to the tool:
- Showcase Videos – upload and manage your videos here. This part lets you:
– Add Section – create sections to group your videos.
– Add Video – add your video file by clicking this. Here, put the video’s title and duration.
Upon attaching a video, a pop up box displays:
You have the option to either record a video or add a video url. For a url, you can use one only from either Youtube or Vimeo.
Interestingly enough, when it comes to putting a url, the option just lets you paste the video id instead of the whole url. I believe it’s more convenient for people to just paste the entire one.
Meanwhile, if you attempt to paste the whole thing, it doesn’t automatically turn into its proper url form either. It might confuse people who don’t understand how url’s work (so they can just refer to this article;)).
To get the video ID, just copy the characters of the video url after the equal sign (or this: = ). For example, the “c5SbxASMpFA” in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5SbxASMpFA ).
Again, you can delete or edit the sections and video items added here. When you delete a section, the videos underneath it will also be deleted.
A Bug on the Video Title
So, I entered everything I needed, including adding the title for the video, which is “Krisp”.
However, when I viewed it from my frontend, the title didn’t show (just remained as “new video”).
I also made sure that I hit the button “save” for both the one within the vid’s settings and the one at the page’s bottom.
It still didn’t let the title show at the frontend site. So, I would ding this as another bug that the developers could fix.
Another age-old tactic to boost engagement or conversions is to show customer testimonials. You can leave a slideshow of testimonials in your BirdSeed panel if you think this helps you.
Again, the usual settings are here such as the tool title, visibility, panel title, and navigation icons.
One different field in this tool is the Testimonials section.
There’s the Add Testimonial button for you to input a testimonial.
A popup box appears, which looks like this:
You can just fill out the details there. It includes a video url you can put that has the testimonial of the website user.
There are two sections here, which can’t be altered – the “visible” and hidden”. By default, the added testimonial goes to the Hidden section, until you move it to the Visible section.
Once you do, the testimonial will then be visible to site visitors, just like below:
As you can see, it comes as a slideshow of the user reviews once it is published on the widget.
For multiple testimonials, the forward and back buttons are handy.
However, if there’s only one review entered (just like the one in the video demonstration), those buttons could just be removed. That’s another fit and finish issue we’ve bumped along so far.
On the other side of things is the Testimonials Capture tool. If you want to include a form where guests can submit their testimonials, then this is the tool to use.
To prepare the capture form, go to the Settings Page and choose Testimonials Capture at the sidebar.
Upon arriving at this page, you’ll see the:
- Capture Form – preview the capture form by pressing the button here.
This is what the preview can look like:
This will be what the form will look like from the visitors’ side.
- Form Fields – include the fields of information that you’d like to show in the testimonials. You can also set them to any of the Required, Optional, and Hidden settings.
- Terms and Conditions – state briefly the terms and conditions that you might need a user to agree on before submitting a testimonial. This then appears as a statement with a checkbox next to it in the published version.
- Submit Button Color – adjust the color of the submit button as you’d like.
If it’s the milestones or events of your company that you want to emphasize, then there’s the Timeline tool for that.
Here, you can indicate the milestones that your company’s already hit, or your future roadmap, or other stuff you prefer. Some websites do this to make guests feel that they’re part of the journey or that the company is transparent.
Usual items apply here, like the tool title, visibility, introduction text, and navigation icons.
Meanwhile, here are exceptional fields present in the Timeline tool:
- Type Label – customize the name next to your dropdown menu of categories. It resembles the one in the Knowledge Library.
- Categories and Events – Here you can:
– Add Event – create a specific event. If you click its button, a pop-up box then displays:
You just need to fill out those categories. Meanwhile, for the Category and Tag fields, you can check their respective dropdown boxes for items you can select from. The items there are the categories and tags you’ve added so far.
– Add Tags – add the tags that you prefer for your events. For example, “new” or “[a certain product category]”.
This then appears as…
– Add Category – add a category to sort out your events. The default ones in the page are Considering, Planned, In Progress, and Completed. That means, using this, one thing you can do is show your viewers the current status of your event.
You can edit or remove the events, tags, or categories as you need.
Note that deleting a tag or a category will also delete the events corresponding to it.
So when you add events with different tags or categories, the result should look like this:
Board Icons – style up the bullet that will appear next to your timeline event.
A tool that I failed to mention in the review video is Feedback (apologies for that). Actually, this tool focuses on creating a survey-type of form that website visitors can answer.
The usual fields to set here include the titles, visibility, and introduction text. For some reason, it presents only one navigation icon and there is no way to upload a custom icon.
The unique option for this tool is the Survey Questions section. It is here where you can add or delete a question. You can also choose to make a question either active (visible to website users) or inactive.
As you add a question, you can select a Question Type, which only has two choices: Multiple Choice and Emoji.
This is what a multiple choice question looks like:
This is what an “emoji” question looks like:
A Bug When I Reached The Maximum Number of Tools
As I was trying to preview the Timeline tool at the frontend, I didn’t find the changes that were supposed to appear.
I found that I hit the maximum number of tools allowed in the widget. However, I didn’t get any notification from the backend that the settings I just did wouldn’t display for the same reasons.
Upon trying to fix this, I went ahead and hid one of the published tools in the widget.
By doing so, I successfully exposed my Timeline tool.
So there should be a maximum of nine tools that can display in the widget.
Worth noting that there was no indication of that on the back end. Again, it’s not really a huge deal, but these little things could’ve popped up alerts to let you know.
Similar to my suggestion for the Knowledge Library, it would be nice to open the timeline into a bigger Kanban view. Meanwhile, how about allowing users to interact or comment on the events created? These are indeed entirely different undertakings with much work involved.
However, having something like this, I couldn’t see someone interested in a road map for the tool, but not have those features.
That concludes the 12 engagement tools that BirdSeed currently has available.
The Rest of the BirdSeed Platform
Let’s examine the other parts of BirdSeed to know what they are for.
We’ll also tackle integrations and the issues related to that.
The analytics dashboard lets you overlook the daily activities related to your BirdSeed tools. It helps you somehow assess your performance so far upon using BirdSeed.
As we saw when we were editing the Live Chat features, it is here where you can track chat conversations. You can start by selecting among the categories in the dropdown menu, sorted according to the status of the chat entries.
In the Contact Inbox, you can find all the contact forums and other types of entries. This is actually great because you’d want to have backup copies of these in case a third-party service is not functioning well, like losing some information.
We’ve seen the Customize Tools section. It lets you add and manage the engagement tools you want to include in your BirdSeed panel.
In the Manage Users section, you can add up to 15 users per workspace. Users can be assigned either as an admin or a user.
The Admin will have all the access to the BirdSeed account, while the User can only use the BirdSeed dashboard to respond to website visitors.
If you want a pop up message that you can assign to a certain webpage/all webpages of your site, you can set up Proactive Messages. This means the tool automatically displays even without requesting user interaction.
Say someone gets to your billing page, you might want a proactive message such as “It looks like you’re interested in one of our services. Feel free to chat with us if you have any questions.”
After clicking the “Create Proactive Message” button, you can then see the following screen, where you’ll select the tool you want.
The settings page is where you can tweak some more when it comes to BirdSeed’s tools and general functionalities.
It includes the following tabs that you can check and manage.
As you might remember, we needed to go to the Settings page to configure some things while adding the tools. Tasks like installing codes, managing the event types, and more can be done here.
Meanwhile, know that you can also change the sound settings while in this page. For example, if you don’t want chat notifications making sounds, you can fix that.
In Set-Reply To Email, you can assign the email address you’d want visitors to see when your BirdSeed tools send emails.
The Account Settings is where two very important features live – the “add account/workspace” and “integrations”.
Adding a workspace lets you set up another BirdSeed panel (a.k.a. the BirdSeed pop up box). Creating a new panel is for usual reasons like getting one intended for another website or company. To do that, you can click the “Add Another Account” prompt as shown below:
That way, you can toggle between different accounts when you need to.
This is also where you can add integrations. Here, you can synchronize outside applications, including marketing, support, and CRM tools. However, I’m disappointed to find out that it is only Zapier. I’d want some native integrations like MailChimp or HubSpot, a favorite CRM.
Now, I have read some comments that this is a really solid Zapier integration.
Yet, it’s pretty easy to run out of the free plan on Zapier. You can only create five different zaps per account and you can only do two-step zaps.
The real problem comes when you need to have multiple steps to integrate with more sophisticated products. Meanwhile, some zaps or tools are considered premium ones only available when you upgrade to the $20 monthly plan.
If you’ve already been using Zapier, then you’re used to paying such fee and it’s no big deal.
Personally, I avoid Zapier like a plague because it tends to be slow in response.
If you check the following page that shows the plans’ features, you can see that the zaps run only every five minutes, at least.
So that’s a downer, for example, if you have an email capture where you promised to send a free PDF, but then the receivers have to wait five minutes or more before receiving that in their inbox. That can kill your conversion rate. As you know, five minutes can be a lifetime on the internet.
I’m not too conscious of the platform – the prices shown are not too expensive. But as you see, you can only hit 20 different zaps for the $20 monthly plan, 50 for the $50 monthly plan, and so on.
It can become one of the nagging recurring costs and the point of BirdSeed is that we’re supposed to avoid those costs. So Zapier is just kind of a deal breaker for me.
BirdSeed Final Thoughts & Rating
BirdSeed’s feat is commendable, being able to roll out an impressive set of features rather smoothly.
Meanwhile, by now, you’d agree that there are some fit and finish issues that the developers can correct. The custom icon upload, the copy url button (while we were installing the BirdSeed code), and the tooltip elements that were unnecessarily overlapped are some to mention.
Those issues can be fixed pretty quickly, and this happens when a product gets really big and they’ve got a small bootstraps team.
Also, the levels of customization for each tool are bound to have some limits since BirdSeed is trying to deploy all 12 tools successfully.
Another downside I’ve emphasized is that of Zapier, and I’ve already explained why in the previous section. But know that you don’t need Zapier for every tool of BirdSeed. For example, you don’t need it for the live chat (and there are the BirdSeed apps that you can download for timely notifications).
Rating: A good 7.3.
Overall, I’m impressed with BirdSeed. I believe it is going to be a great deal in the future.
Yet, as a reminder…
I never recommend buying on a road map. This can be a worthwhile investment if you’re already using Zapier and you need a tool like BirdSeed. But if you’re just buying it to be stored somewhere and you’re not doing any chat on your website, maybe let this one go.