Today San Francisco-based UserVoice, an online customer service platform, and Crittercism, a mobile application management (APM) platform, announced their partnership to provide mobile developers a full suite of services to provide real-time user support, crash reporting, and feedback. By allowing both their software development kits (SDKs) to automatically communicate and share data between each other, the companies hope to bring customer support and user experience reporting to mobile.
“We recently launched UserVoice for iOS and everything we did on the web boiled into an SDK developers could put into their iPhone and iPad app. Most people on mobile apps have been using mail links where if you need feedback or support it just brings up the mail link,” said Richard White, CEO of Uservoice in an interview with BetaKit. “Mobile is where the web was four years ago…so now companies are trying to do customer service on mobile but they’re having a hard time scaling it.”
The partnership aims to help mobile app developers provide an alternative to the most common form of iOS feedback: positive or negative App Store ratings. Instead of giving an app a negative review if a user finds a bug or error, they can use Crittercism to report crashes and bugs, and provide other feedback.
Although Crittercism originally launched to provide both a customer support and app monitoring solution, the company believes its biggest value add is helping developers quickly identify and diagnose bugs, provide metrics, and prevent app crashes. Launched in 2008, UserVoice provides companies with everything from feedback forums for their users to provide feedback and share ideas to what it calls an ‘Inspector’ tab that aggregates customer information. It can be integrated as a widget directly on websites, Facebook pages and most recently iOS apps where it has been integrated with more than 3,300 apps, with 270 of them currently in the App Store.
UserVoice’s ability to provide both customer support and user experience and engagement solutions are what the company believes set it apart from others in the space like Zendesk, Freshdesk, or GetSatisfaction. The company is thinking about debuting an Android app in 2013, and White also believes that mobile developers will soon have access to complete suites of solutions like the one demonstrated with their partnership with Crittercism, as opposed to individual SDKs. In terms of Crittercism competitors, startup Apptentive is also trying to provide in-app customer support, and raised $1.2 million in funding today to scale its product.
“We’re looking for more people to integrate with. One of the things we see in mobile is the lack of integration between SDKs, the SDKs in mobile is still very much in the infant stages,” White added. “If you go to web apps there’s all kinds of tools you can pull off the shelve and they work together great. Very quickly we’re trying to get a lot of guys like Crittercism and make sure that developers have suites they can pick from…they are not just open source plugins but supported by major companies that work together well.”