UserVoice built a customer support software around forums, and makes accessibility its primary focus. While social networks have become a primary channel for customer complaints, the forum format might still be useful.

The forum format might still be useful for customer feedbacks to brands

Since a few years, customers have been using social media as a major channel to talk to companies, provide feedback, or complain about customer service. But interacting with a brand through Twitter or Yelp for instance has become a little overwhelming and a lot of startups are building dedicated platforms for customer feedback. UserVoice is a customer service solution, which has created online feedback, help desk and knowledge base software. The San Francisco-based startup built its software upon the forum concept, where users provide ideas on how to improve a product, and can vote up the best ideas, while limiting these votes so people focus on the most important ideas. It focuses on positioning its clients towards where their clients are - they offer a website widget, iPhone support, Facebook app and developer API.

What matters is to push customer feedback to the right teams

This aim continues with its most recent development. Newly integrated with enterprise communications tool Yammer, the platform now features a “service hook,” which pushes feedback from the relevant monitored group - customers or staff - into the Yammer Ticker stream. The customer can easily give feedback through the web, mobile and Facebook options, “[but] it can be a challenge to keep these ideas moving and on your radar,” says UserVoice CEO Richard White. With the Yammer Ticker integration, “that feedback is always where your team is.” The Service Hook comes with all UserVoice products for free, and compliments the SugarCRM service hook and Inspector, which gives contextual information in a sidebar of the support ticket.

The forum is a good format for constructive criticism 

Entries to the customer service category are frequent, and most choose one side of the customer-company relationship to improve. Sites like PublikDemand give customers a louder voice in a grassroots, organized approach, while enterprise-leaning startups like Nevahold give brands robust, multichannel support to monitor customer feedback. UserVoice however emphasized the forum to target the point where the two sides meet in constructive criticism. The consistent integration with relevant technologies, as well as UserVoice’s multichannel support of customer feedback, may poise the company to stand out in a crowded CRM market.