UserVoice offers a hosted way to harness the innovation and ideas of customers and potential customers that replaces email.
San Francisco based UserVoice improves the signal-to-noise of user opinion by allowing the moderation of the ideas of one person against the opinions of the many. UserVoice allows users to voice opinions, suggestions, and complaints. The video above demonstrates how it works (it’s difficult to pigeon hole) but think focus groups for companies that can’t afford focus groups, with elements of a forum and even Digg style voting thrown in for good measure.
For companies, UserVoice offers an open and transparent process for customer feedback to any company. The system also allows site owners to ask the community more directed questions (e.g. by a poll) about how users like a new feature or what they think of a specific idea.
I first saw UserVoice when I interviewed Guy King for CushyCMS (post here), King loves the service and although I didn’t video it, he spent 5 minutes showing me how they were using it. It’s always a good sign when people not involved with the company spontaneously evangelize a product. CushyCMS’s UserVoice page here and the official demo page for UserVoice can be viewed here.
The service is completely free during the public beta. UserVoice competes with SalesForce (IdeaExchange) and GetSatisfaction.