There are companies out there that are dedicated to helping users give direct feedback to app developers, and some others that are designed to send reports to developers that allow them to quickly fix problems with their apps. Without doing both, though, they are leaving developers at a disadvantage as to how best make their apps work for their customers.
Mobile support infrastructure provider Crittercism and customer service solution company UserVoice announced Monday that they will be bringing their areas of expertise together to finally offer a complete communication platform for developers.
Crittercism’s Application Performance Management (APM) platform is combining with UserVoice for iOS, which will allow app developers to not only be able to monitor their apps in realtime, but also have the ability to communicate directly with their customers on upcoming upgrades and support issues, all on one single dashboard. All developers have to do is install both Crittercism and UserVoice, and the two apps will be able to detect each other and share data.
In an interview with VatorNews, Richard White, CEO of UserVoice, said that giving developers the complete picture regarding how their apps are running is very important, since the top biggest reasons for apps to lose users are crashes and lack of user support.
What Crittercism does is it offers a real-time global view of app diagnostics and app crashes across iOS, Android and HTML5 on over 250million unique devices and over 18 billion app loads. The company raised $1.2 million in July 2011 from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Google Ventures, Opus Capital, Shasta Ventures and AOL Ventures. Crittercism also raised $5.5 million Series A funding round from Opus Capital, Shasta Ventures and Google Ventures in June 2012.
Developers using Crittercism can now insert a customer support contact form into iOS mobile applications. They will also be allowed to host feedback forums that allow users to create, discuss and vote on ideas to help prioritize order of importance.
Crittercism has an appreciation of the challenges that come with customer support, White said, making it a good fit to partner with UserVoice. Crittercism even has some experience with customer feedback, given that the company actually did offer a similar at one point, before completely dedicating itself to crash reporting. The company has an understanding of what would be important in providing such a service.
San Francisco-based UserVoice was founded in 2008 as a way to help companies interface more effectively with their clientele by sending direct e-mails. Now, mobile is what e-mail was four to five years ago, White said, and that is why UserVoice launched UserVoice for iOS in November. Since its launch, 3,300 apps have signed up, and 270 apps have installed UserVoice for iOS.
UserVoice only supports iOS at this time. While White says that UserVoice is mobile optimized for Android, there is no native app for the platform yet, though there could be one coming in 2013.
UserVoice has three general payment plans: a Feedback plan, a hosted tool for gathering and prioritizing product ideas directly from a company’s customers; a Help Desk option which involves a ticketing system that helps companies solve more customer issues in less time; and a Full Service package, which is an integration of the two plans.
The philosophy behind UserVoice, White said, is that it wants to be “the tissue that connected companies and their users.”
UserVoice has two tiers of customers: small and medium companies, which 10 to 100 employees, and the higher end users, including AOL and Microsoft, which typically are interested in the Feedback option, though White says that they are also beginning to see the value in the Full Service plan as well.
UserVoice has raised a total of $2.7 million, including $1 million round in November 2011, led by Baseline Ventures, with help from Western Technology Investment, The Accelerator Group, and Tekton Ventures, among others.
2012 Mobile App Review Survey
Apigee announced in November the results of its 2012 Mobile App Review Survey of over 500 American mobile app users, where they attempted to find out what the main reasons were that a user would rate an app with one star.
The survey found that fully 96% of American mobile app users say there are frustrations that would lead them to give an app a bad review and 44% of those surveyed said that they would delete the app immediately, and 38% said they would delete the app if it freezes for longer than 30 seconds.
18% of the responders admitted they would even delete an app immediately from their device if it froze for just five seconds.