Last Tuesday, 37Signals initiated a heated debate over Get Satisfaction and its people-powered customer service. Days later, Jason Fried provided a follow up post digging deeper into his concerns. Thor & Lane are friends, so it was alarming to see such outcry. No one likes being in the hot seat, but even so, had 37signals not said it, someone was going to eventually.
That in mind, there are a number of Web 2.0 products that join Get Satisfaction in facilitating people-powered services, such as SuggestionBox and Yelp. Any person can go to these pages and initiate discussion regardless of whether or not the company is involved. While empowering the user is an amazing proposition, it does not create a safe brand experience (as the 37Signals debacle clearly illustrates).
Different Than Get Satisfaction
We provide a Company-focused strategy, always have. When you visit a branded UserVoice forum, you can be assured that your feedback is going directly to a company or organization.
In our opinion, helping companies engage and build relationships with their customers is a much stronger value proposition for both parties involved. If you the user are going to take time out of your day to post feedback, there should be confidence that the company is indeed listening and able to respond.
For a company, they should feel that a third party destination is a safe-place for their customer interactions. So we offer seamless integration, single sign on (SSO), and fully branded pages that reside on your domain.
Custom Branding Examples
UserVoice does not serve to eliminate offsite dialogue entirely, but steps out of the way to give your company a place to point these discussions toward.
Which is entirely the point — building long-lasting relationships between companies and their customers.
Perhaps in this way we are similar to Get Satisfaction in destination, however, we believe a Company-driven initiative provides a better overall Customer Service experience.
Better because the company is actually listening.
In the next few days we’ll be unpacking more of the Customer vs. Company-focused debate. Please stay tuned.