Monday, May 26, 2008

Fighting to be the feedback tool of your choice

I've recently been using Uservoice to collect feedback from visitors to this blog on what you would like to hear about.

I've been seriously impressed by the marketing efforts made by Uservoice and their competition as a result of my use of Uservoice.

Interesting to note the story to date...

1. Gripnostril sent me a link to a site talking about corporates talking with their customers.
2. There was a link in there to Uservoice.
3. I set up a site, added a feedback tab to this blog and blogged about it

The subsequent activities have been interesting

4. I found thatan expat Kiwi called Marcus Nelson who works at uservoice was following me on Twitter - he pinged me a question making sure that everything was ok with my experience.
5. Independently, I received an email from the CMO of a competitor company to Uservoice, called SuggestionBox asking what I thought the differences were and offering me a 2 month free trial of their product.

I haven't tried SuggestionBox yet, but have added their Twitter feed so I can keep an eye out on it.

A couple of insights

1. It feels great to have a couple of companies contact me directly wanting to either make sure that everything was going great and actively (and personally) wanting my feedback.

2. It reinforces what I have been thinking about web marketing - there are no silver bullets - you have to get in there and just start talking with your customers.

3. It's a street fight out there for customers when you are starting out and these guys know it.

And I was just going to start to update where I was at in the list of feedback from readers and I notice that all the votes were re-set to zero. We'll see how Uservoice cope with that, otherwise that SuggestionBox trial is looking like a good idea.


Marcus Nelson said...

Hello Miki - thank you for your continued use of UserVoice. A short explanation of where your suggestions have gone: Anonymous posts expire after one week. Users who post are presented with a "notice" that their vote will expire unless they register their account.

This serves several purposes - it encourages customers to be involved and trackable to our host (most important for analytics, follow-up & future features). One way to overcome this requirement is to implement a single sign-on solution - which would interface with a host's pre-existing login system. Consider OAuth to be one such solution.

Without some way to substantiate a user's authenticity, the suggestion box platform would be too easy to abuse - so some solution or standard of tracking must be implemented.

We've had internal discussion for tracking anonymous votes; should they still be included, but only visible from the Administrator's Panel? Should they be included at all?

These questions and more are currently being discussed at specifically, please see: allow anonymous voting (w/ip and common pw, token) -- I would like to invite you to post any ideas you may have regarding this matter.

Thank you again for your involvement with our Beta phase - we look forward to reading your feedback & implementing your suggestions.


Marcus Nelson
Half Kiwi / Half Yankee
(would that make me a YankWi or a KiKee?)

BJ Cook said...

Hey Miki,
Thanks for recognizing the SuggestionBox platform as a true solution in the current feedback market. I've found that taking a true interest in the people who are evaluating multiple platforms is the only way that we can expect to build a great product. We are using our own SuggestionBox to listen abd let the community tell us what they want. When you do this you are creating authentic conversations and we've found people are very receptive to this.
You can't expect to build something and millions sign up as soon as you launch. You've got to put the time in with the community.
.Aybe that's why I'm at the beach on a holiday responding to your post. Have a great day and I look forward to hearing your feedback.

BJ said...

Just wanted to clarify some of the lovely mis-spellings above as I was sitting in the sand at Mission Beach on my Blackberry :) thanks again!

Miki Szikszai said...

BJ , Marcus

thanks for your comments - I am definitely going to do a deep review on this space. Watch this space for more