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Salesforce’s Chatter is the social collaboration tool with the highest customer satisfaction.

That’s a key takeaway from G2 Crowd’s new Grid for Social Collaboration tools, the first Grid report for this category. It scored 14 business products based on G2 Crowd’s customary metrics of customer satisfaction and business presence, in this case based on over 325 reviews from business professionals.

Four social collaboration tools ranked in the top category of Leaders — Salesforce’s Chatter, Microsoft’s Lync, VMware Socialcast, and Citrix’ Podio.

To qualify, each had to score highly in customer satisfaction and have a “substantial market presence.”

“What we found is that, in general, many of the communications-related features (e.g., discussions, status updates) were rated higher than content management (e.g., document collaboration) or productivity features (e.g., task management),” G2 Crowd cofounder Tim Handorf told VentureBeat by email.

The second-highest category of High Performers also had a high satisfaction level from customers, but exhibited a smaller market presence. In this grouping: Wrike, Slack, Flowdock, Central Desktop, and Confluence.

Interestingly, three of the most visible social collaboration tools — Microsoft’s Yammer, IBM Connections, and Jive — were ranked in the third-highest section of Contenders. Cisco’s Jabber also placed here. In the bottom category of Niche was Bitrix24, which users dinged for a confusing interface.

Measured only by user satisfaction, Slack and Wrike were close behind Chatter.

A static version of the G2 Crowd grid on social collaboration tools; the dynamic version is here.

Above: A static version of the G2 Crowd grid on social collaboration tools; the dynamic version is here.

Image Credit: G2 Crowd

Handorf said that the user comments showed “mobile use is a core part of these platforms’ experience,” and that overall satisfaction was closely related to adoption rates.

“Reviewers who had a negative experience with the products tended to cite low adoption rates,” he said, such as only some workers using the tool or the tool not offering “enough to change their already existing communications process.”

He also pointed out that comments showed a “fairly clear breakdown of which products seemed to be geared more at the enterprise (Lync or IBM Connections) versus small businesses (Flowdock).”

G2 Crowd said that user comments included praise for Chatter’s integration with email and file-sharing capabilities, ease of use in Socialcast, and the deliverables area in Podio. At least one user cited Slack’s fast response to suggestions for product improvement, and others noted Wrike’s extensive device integration and Central Desktop’s handling of versioning and email threads.

Social collaboration networks for businesses are on the rise. A Gartner report in January of last year found that half of large organizations will have “internal Facebook-like social networks” by 2016, and about a third of those will be “considered as essential as email and telephones are today.”

G2 Crowd defines social collaboration as a platform — onsite or cloud-based — that allows employees to connect with other workers, manage tasks and create teams, communicate through instant messaging, and enable document collaboration. The business software review organization determines market presence from data relating to vendor size, market share, and social impact.

The full report, with more details on satisfaction ratings, feature comparisons, deployment, and other areas, is available from G2 Crowd for $599.

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