Making You Money by Helping You Delight Your Customers

What is the name of the site(s) and URL?
UserVoice – http://www.uservoice.com

A brief synopsis of the website / application ?
UserVoice knows that the best way for companies to succeed is for you to delight your customers. In order to please customers, companies need to offer quality products and services as well as undeniably awesome customer service. With that in mind, UserVoice provides simple, fun, humane communication tools that make it easy to gratify your customers. UserVoice tools include:

UserVoice Feedback – Understanding what your customers want is essential but can be time-consuming. UserVoice Feedback cuts through the noise by gathering prioritized feedback so you know exactly what your customers want. Feedback keeps your customers engaged and get quantifiable feedback.

UserVoice Helpdesk – UserVoice Helpdesk makes it easy and – dare we say – fun to track and respond to customer issues. Helpdesk is a simple-to-setup, holistic tool that saves you and your customers time.

UserVoice Full Service – UserVoice Full Service combines our Helpdesk and Feedback tools to allow you to resolve customer issues, understand what your customers want, and keep them engaged, all within one easy-to-use package.

Why did you start this company?
We started UserVoice to solve several pains that small companies experience – because we were experiencing these very pains! In 2006, while working on startup Kiko.com, Richard White (now UserVoice CEO) was consumed by collecting customer feedback. He wanted to know what people thought of the product, but it involved hours of combing through countless forum threads, blog comments and emails and resulted with very little to show for his efforts. It was like running on a treadmill and still getting fat. Richard, knowing that there could be a better system, put together UserVoice Feedback to make it easy to collect prioritized feedback from customers. The next challenge Richard faced was providing support for his customers. Every system the team tried to use was either a hassle for customers or a pain for employees. This birthed UserVoice Helpdesk, with the intention being that the two systems could work hand in hand to be the best way for small companies to engage, help, and understand their customers. Why’d we build these tools? Because we needed them, and we felt other people did too.

Was your company started on a shoestring budget or funded?
UserVoice was started on a very small friends-and-family round in February 2008, and didn’t seek funding until December of that year. The only round raised to date has been a $800k round in March 2009.

Who is your competition, and what do you do better?
We compete with other companies that offer customer feedback solutions or customer support ticketing systems. Our largest competitors include:

GetSatisfaction.com – GetSatisfaction uses the crowd-sourced model for both feedback and support, but we strongly feel that crowd-sourcing your support is bad for your business for several reasons.

  1. Most of your customers probably won’t stand up and support your product.
  2. It creates distance between you and your customers
  3. You aren’t interacting with your customers so you don’t have a true sense of their experience with your product.
  4. Many support issues must be private (you don’t want to crowd-source something with your credit card number in it!).

We feel that the most important aspects of customer support aren’t achieved through crowd-sourcing.

 

ZenDesk – They are one of the largest customer support platforms on the Web. We differentiate in several different ways.

  1. UserVoice Full Service has an integrated feedback engine in additional to customer support to offer a complete solution for customer engagement.
  2. We have a much simpler and friendlier user experience for end-users and employees.
  3. We have built in game mechanics that makes customer service a fun job for employees.
  4. We’ve built an Instant Answers system designed to help customers find help before they ever send you a message.

Why would a small business, entrepreneur, freelancer, etc use your product?
Every company, no matter how big or small, needs to engage with their customers. You may have a great product or service, but communicating with your customers through UserVoice will give you the insights you need to improve your offering. Don’t guess what you think your customers want; ask them!

Every company also needs to offer some form of support. Whether you’re a one-person shop or a large company, UserVoice Helpdesk makes it quick and easy to track support issues and deliver fantastic service.

Do you offer free online or offline tools?
All of our tools are online, and we do offer free trials for Feedback, Helpdesk and Full Service.

Are there different pricing levels?
Yes. We built our pricing to scale with your business. If you are a one person business, you can get our Full Service (Helpdesk + Feedback) for just $5 a month. As your company grows and you have needs for additional users and features, our product can scale with you.

Do you have a blog that keeps users updated?
Yes. We frequently update our blog (http://blog.uservoice.com) with great ways to better understand your customers as well as product and company news.

Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn or ? Provide exact URL of each
http://www.twitter.com/uservoice
http://www.facebook.com/uservoice

How long have you been in business?
We’ve been in business since 2008

Number of current users? Estimated yearly growth?
Currently, over 55,000 businesses use UserVoice and we are on track to grow by over 80% over the next year.

How do you see your company in the next 2-5 years (more products or services?)
We are fully committed to creating products and services that will help businesses rock at improving their products and delighting their customers.

How many employees do you currently have working with you and/or freelance contractors?
Currently, UserVoice consists of 9 employees.

Are you looking to hire more people or contractors? If so, what positions and skills are you looking for?
Yes, we are hiring! We’re always on the lookout for great designers, developers and engineers. You can see a current list of what we’re hiring for at: http://uservoice.com/about/jobs

What other web based products would you recommend to entrepreneurs, business owners, or freelancers?
There are a lot of great web-based products out there that we love and would recommend to others. Here are our favorites:
EchoSign – great for legally signing documents electronically over the Web. No faxing, no scanning, no printing.
MailChimp – good, affordable e-mail marketing and list management tool. We use it to send out our newsletter and other company e-mails to our users. Plus they have a cute monkey.
Campfire – group collaboration and chat tool by 37signals. It’s a great tool for businesses and freelancers who are working on the same project but aren’t in the same location.
AskYourTargetMarket – create customer surveys to a specific target market. Very easy to get results from just the people you’re interested in hearing from.

 

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