UserVoice, a startup that provides customer service solutions for businesses and organizations, announced a $1 million equity funding Friday, bringing the comany's total investments to $2 million. The funding was led by Baseline Ventures, with help from Western Technology Investment, The Accelerator Group, and Tekton Ventures, among others.
As to what UserVoice's "empowerment" actually is, their strategies to help companies interface more effectively with their clientele are complex and far-reaching. That said, they have three general payment plans that sum up what they do pretty effectively.
The company has a Feedback plan, which entails UserVoice collecting customer feedback and helping companies to respond; a Help Desk option, where the company creates a more effective, centralized location for companies to address customer issues, and a Full Service package, which is an integration of the two previous plans. Each plan also has a scaling system, where companies with smaller customer bases pay according to a sliding scale.
One of UserVoice's more interesting initiatives is their develoment of Instant Answers. This is a customer support solution that delivers relevant articles from a company's knowledge base simultaneous to real-time typing of said customer questions, by way of search engine technology.
So when a user clicks on the "email the company with your question" link and starts typing his or her question, Instant Answers runs the verbiage from this question against their knowledge base and pops up possible answers to cut off complaints before they're even sent. The Instant Answers demo indicates that up to 40% of user questions could be answered thusly, greatly reducing emails to be sifted through by employees.
Other interesting customer interface solutions include widgets to be placed on company websites and a Facebook app so that customers can submit input on how to improve service or products.
Founded in 2008, the company boasts 75k sign-ups with their service, and 40 million user interactions through their system. Based in San Francisco, UserVoice is now expanding to open an office in Raleigh, North Carolina. UserVoice's clientele include companies like HootSuite, Seesmic, and Posterous.
Interestingly, though not surprisingly given the company's claim to fame, UserVoice will host a fireside chat on Monday Nov. 18, where CEO and founder Richard White can field questions from interested parties and interact with potential clients. Should be interesting, if for no other reason that to watch an expert in responding to feedback do his thing.