Experiences trying to replace Brevo and/or Crisp with Odoo LiveChat


Experimentation with Odoo LiveChat as an alternative to Brevo (formerly Sendinblue) led to increased customer dissatisfaction and labor costs, primarily due to notification and integration issues, prompting a return to Brevo for enhanced reliability and functionality.

Introduction on Brevo and Crisp

Invantive as a SaaS-company uses chat as a supplement to forums and phone. The forums are the primary entrypoint for product-related questions, whereas chat and phone are used for questions on subscriptions, security and sales. In the recent past we have used Crisp. Crisp worked great, but was replaced by Brevo (formerly: Sendinblue) due to the better integration with automations. Brevo’s main disadvantages compared to Crisp are less solid multi-lingual features and in general not always stable and reliable. Brevo’s main advantage compared to Crisp besides automations is it’s better support for hundreds of tags/lists. Both Brevo and Crisp provide an unified inbox to bundle customer service channels such as WhatsApp, email and chat in a single place.

The number of chats initiated per day is less than 10, and an effort is made to provide users self-service by guiding them to the appropiate resources. Typically, when a chat is initiated by a website visitor the (part-time) support engineers hear a bell and a pop-up appears, even when working in another application. Brevo and Crisp automatically look up the history of the linked contact, such as subscription information.

(Top-up) pricing for Brevo is EUR 13 per user per month, whereas Crisp offers 20 agents for EUR 99 in total monthly.

Odoo LiveChat experiences

As part of the implementation of Odoo within Invantive, an effort was made to replace Sendinblue by Odoo’s LiveChat on odoo.com, an app bundled without additional cost in most subscriptions. The LiveChat app is for free and only the Odoo user price of EUR 37,40 applies for all apps used by a user.

All platforms (Odoo, Brevo, Crisp and others) are automatically provisioned with user data from a central backoffice system called Invantive Estate. For users, Invantive besides name, the integration also includes tags/lists to provide chat users the most relevant context.

After an implementation and testing period of approximately two weeks, all chat traffic has been relinked from Brevo to Odoo LiveChat to gain better real-life experiences about the viability.

In the following elements the switch from Brevo to Odoo LiveChat led to advantages:

  • Long lasting registration of individual users activity for users logged into Odoo, allowing for chat users active and logged on to the Odoo-powered website to better overview history.
  • Flexible customization to many languages makes worldwide customer service more accessible (although labour intensive and with too long implementation delays when on odoo.com).

In the following elements the switch from Brevo to Odoo LiveChat led to disadvantages:

  • No persistent notifications, which leads to many chat requests being missed.
  • No way to pick up ended chat requests, to continue the conversation with a chat user.
  • No way to easily integrate user information for websites where the user has already been authenticated, like Invantive Cloud, Get My Report or Valuta Tools.
  • No deep integration with other Odoo apps.
  • Agents are automatically set to offline after not using Odoo for 30 minutes, whether active in another application or not. This period can not be configured.
  • No concept of availability hours.
  • Fatal usability translation errors in Odoo labels (for instance “Verlof” as translation of the verb “Leave” to leave a channel); increases training and implementation costs.
  • No automatic translation for interactions integrated like on Crisp, to make it easier to bridge between agent language and chat user language.
  • UI errors like “Archive” by default only being available in List mode.

Massive Jump in Customer Dissatisfaction

The percentage of dissatisfied chat users grew for a few percent to approximately 25% when using LiveChat. This was mostly due to:

  • missing notifications,
  • multiple conversations of same chat user not being merged,
  • missing context of chat user on Odoo registered data,
  • a too complex chat window,
  • lacking collaboration features where multiple agents support a user.

It seems that Odoo LiveChat for release 17.0 is only suitable for companies were most users work almost continuously within Odoo and use the Odoo website as their foremost sales channel.

Besides a massive jump in customer dissatisfaction, the switch from Brevo to Odoo LiveChat also led to considerable additional labor costs, since agents had to follow up missed chat sessions and too early ended sessions by phone where possible to avoid further decreases in customer satisfaction. Per chat, the labor costs went up by approximately 500%, which may be reduced once agents would have gotten better accustomed and trained to handle the limitations.

The massive jump in customer dissatisfaction led to the choice to replace Odoo LiveChat again by Brevo for the next three years.