UserVoice ramps up customer service tools

customer supportUserVoice may be best known for offering companies a way to collect user feedback and product ideas (it’s in the name, after all), but that’s not all the company can do. Two months ago, the San Francisco startup added a basic customer service product through a new package called UserVoice Full Service, and now it’s taking another step in that direction with the launch of a standalone HelpDesk product.

Naturally, UserVoice said both moves were responses to its own user feedback. Last year, those customers said UserVoice FeedBack would be even better if combined with customer service tools. So with Full Service, the company bundled the existing Feedback tool with a new service called HelpDesk. The big goal was “to create a simple tool that gave support professionals the functionality they needed to give great customer service without all the extra bells and whistles,” UserVoice said.

Not only does HelpDesk allow companies a way to answer customer questions and complaints, but it also offers an Instant Answers system allowing customers to automatically see other relevant answers as they wrote out their question. And it includes a gaming system of sorts, where customer support providers can earn points by answering lots of questions quickly, and earn even more points by winning “kudos”, which are special thank yous from customers who were satisfied with the service.

UserVoice said HelpDesk is enough of a hit that some companies don’t want to bother with the user feedback part at all and just want to use it as a customer service tool. So starting today, UserVoice is making HelpDesk available on its own, with pricing beginning at $5 a month.

Since the Full Service launch, more than 1,000 businesses have signed up (UserVoice Feedback is used by 55,000 companies overall), and they’ve served 60,000 customers who have delivered kudos to 50 percent of those businesses.

A company spokesperson told me, “Yes, Feedback and HelpDesk are natural complements to each other, but not everyone is ready to take that next step (collecting feedback in addition to delivering support). Every company agrees that they need to offer some sort of customer support. We wanted to give them a superior experience with HelpDesk and, in time, convince them to collect feedback from their customers as well — a change from within, if you will.”

UserVoice has raised $800,000 in funding from Baseline Ventures, Founders Fund, Betaworks, David Shen Ventures, Accelerator Group, and others.

[image via Flickr/lamont_cranston]