The 21st century has brought new challenges to the software vendors and made customers more passive and shiftless. Now more and more vendors realize a necessity of close communication with customers and this can be done in special community feedback systems. There are a lot of online solutions that allow you to collect feedback from users of your products and further use it in production.
IdeaScale is one of the most popular user feedback platforms available on the Internet. A rich set of features and options have proved this system to be the leading player on the market. You can take a tour or request a demo to see its capabilities in action.
Customer Case is the add-on for JIRA Cloud. The add-on is being dynamically developed by StiltSoft. The add-on allows you to combine powerful capabilities of JIRA Cloud for managing ideas and statuses with the online feedback forums for collecting user feedback and using it for enhancing the existing products and solutions.
Systems will be compared by the following parameters:
- Login Capabilities
- System Structure
- Management of Ideas
- Idea Moderation and Management of Idea Statuses
- Voting System
- Notifications and Subscriptions
- Reporting and Analytics
- Customization and Enhancements
- Widgets & Social Media
So let’s Mortal Kombat begin.
IdeaScale allows you and your customers to log in to the community portal with a personal account or with a social account on one of the following social networks:
Customer Case allows you to log in to feedback forums with Google+ or Facebook social account. Company users can use their JIRA accounts for sign-in. Users without social accounts can register a new account and map it to the appropriate email address. Registration is quite simple and will not take much time.
During setup of IdeaScale you create a community with its own name and enter URL of your community as subdomain of ideascale.com. Optionally, you can configure visibility of your community to other users and visitors.
After setup of the community you can add new communities if you need. Creation of new communities is available only for paid plans, so if you use free plan you will be limited to only one community with up to 5 campaigns in it. Communities are comprised of campaigns that can be further placed within groups for better structure. The administrator can define end and start time for the campaign, add the specific instructions for the campaign and set the campaign-specific configuration of voting, commenting and editing ideas. The administrator can also restrict access by IP mask for each campaign of the community. The list of available campaigns is displayed on the home page of the portal. Here the administrator can re-order campaigns, edit the existing ones and delete the no longer needed campaigns.
You can also use a custom domain for you community portal, but this option is available in the paid plan and is located in the settings of the community.
Once you have installed Customer Case on your JIRA Cloud, the add-on will automatically create a feedback portal with the URL similar to the following company.customercase.com. The ‘company’ part is taken from JIRA Cloud account, having the similar view company.atlassian.net. Customer Case allows you to set the custom domain for your feedback portal if needed. You can find details on how this can be done here.
Feedback portal allows you to create as many as needed feedback forums without any limitations depending on your JIRA Cloud subscription. Feedback forum is based on some JIRA project, which will be used for storing the submitted customers’ ideas.
You need to enter the forum name, enter description and select the appropriate JIRA project for storing ideas. Each newly created feedback forum gets a unique URL, which you can share with your customers to access the corresponding forum and add new idea, leave comments or vote for some ideas.
Management of feedback forums is pretty simple and quick.
Management of Ideas
IdeaScale provides a flexible mechanism for managing items and following the progress on them. Each registered user can submit ideas, comment them and associate with the appropriate category from the ones created by the administrator of community portal. While entering title of a new idea, the user can also view ideas matching the entered text. For better categorization and idea mapping, users can assign tags to the ideas with autocompletion.
IdeaScale shows the list of available ideas and allows users to filter ideas by status and sort them by multiple parameters. You can perform multiple operations on ideas, as follows:
- email an idea to your friend or colleague
- follow the idea and get notifications about updates
- add comments and tags
- report abuse or duplicate for ideas submitted by other users
- sharing an idea on Facebook or Twitter
The administrator of the community has some more capabilities, such as sending an email to the author of the idea, banning the member, pinning some comment to the top of the thread.
Customer Case also shows the list of ideas and allows you to filter them by status and category, which depends on the component defined for the idea in JIRA. Additionally, you can sort ideas ideas depending on the recent avtivity, number of votes and creation date.
The process of posting an idea has been maximally simplified and requires only entry of the idea summary and description.
Customers and visitors of your forum, can post comments, vote for idea and watch it.
Idea Moderation and Management of Idea Statuses
IdeaScale is equipped with the idea moderation mechanism, which allows the community moderator to review ideas pending approval. The moderator can filter ideas by campaign and idea status. Additionally, the moderator can perform batch operations on the selected ideas. The following actions can be performed:
- editing ideas
- merging ideas
- deleting ideas
- duplicating ideas
- disabling commenting for ideas
- selecting the appropriate status for an idea
Additionally, the moderator can also review the pending user accounts and users’ comments.
The administrator can also moderate ideas individually when viewing them on the community portal. It is necessary to point out that the moderation module is paid and you have to upgrade your free plan.
Customer Case has a little bit different way of moderating the customers’ ideas as it utilizes the internal capabilities of JIRA Cloud. By default, you can always view the list of all ideas submitted by your customers on the specific feedback forum in the dedicated project’s section.
You can filter the created ideas by status and category or sort them by recent activity, creation date or number of votes.
Moderation of ideas can performed in a batch or individually. While viewing the list of created ideas the portal administrator can quickly open the appropriate idea and perform the appropriate action on it, as follows:
- add internal or external comment visible on the feedback forum
- edit the idea summary or description
- delete or move the idea
- add links to some external web sources
- add internal labels
- clone the idea
- attach files or screenshots
- start progress on the idea or reject it
You can also perform the bulk operations on the selected ideas. The list of operations includes the following:
- edit values of ideas
- move ideas to another feedback forum
- transition ideas to another status
- delete ideas from the feedback forum
- synchronize ideas with some external system
- export ideas to Excel, XML or Word
- share the list of ideas with some user
Managing Idea Statuses
IdeaScale allows the administrator to manage idea statues and add new ones if needed. Not all statuses can be edited or re-ordered due to the internal workflow.
Customer Case utilizes JIRA capabilities of status management based on project workflows. For each feedback forum you can configure a unique workflow with its specific transitions and appropriate idea statuses.
IdeaScale allows you to vote for and against ideas, the same can be applied to comments.
Customer Case allows you to vote for ideas. Your vote is automatically added to your own ideas, but you can always take it. Voting for or against comments is not available for now.
Notifications and Subscriptions
In IdeaScale, users user can send emails to other users, follow their activity, users can also receive email notifications about progress on the subscribed ideas. Additionally, users can subscribe to the several RSS feeds:
- New Ideas RSS Feed
- Top Ideas RSS Feed
- New Comments RSS Feed
Administrators of the community have a capability to configure a plenty of email and notification settings, as follows:
- send digest emails on a weekly basis to users of the portal with notifications
- configure default notifications sent to the email and modify contents of the email body
- allow receipt of notifications upon system triggers, such as user signup
- manage default notification settings for key system events (notifications about own ideas, status change, approval of new members and ideas)
Each user of Customer Case starts receiving email notifications about once he/she becomes a watcher of an idea. Users become watchers of their own ideas and ideas that they selected to watch or commented.
In this case users will start receiving notifications about any activity on the ideas, for example new comment, or idea status change.
Administrator of the feedback forum can configure multiple notifications about the ideas through the JIRA subscriptions with filtered ideas.
Reporting and Analytics
IdeaScale is bundled with multiple reports that allow you to find out the following information:
- Campaign chart – the pie chart showing the breakdown of ideas by available campaigns.
- Campaign Leaderboard – the table with data about available campaigns (number of users, ideas, comments and votes).
- Campaign Timeline – the series of line charts showing distribution of users, ideas, votes, comments by week or month within the selected period of time.
- Idea Status Report – the pie chart showing the breakdown of ideas by status.
- Email Report – the series of data tables showing the the email activity on the forum (Broadcast Emails, Weekly Updated Idea Emails and User Sharing Ideas).
- Tag Cloud – the cloud of the most frequently used words in the
One of the most interesting features of IdeaScale is generation of the infographic report with the configurable charts.
Customer Case allows you to use the report generation capabilities of JIRA and get either the series of data tables with information or generate pie or column charts.
If you want to view the data tables, you can use JIRA’s JQL queries to output the ideas matching your criteria, for example, ideas from Customer Case project with more than 2 votes.
You can also save your JQL requests as filters, and further use them for adding charts on your JIRA dashboard. The set of charts is not limited and you can customize JQL commands to output the data interesting to you.
Customizations and Enhancements
IdeaScale allows the administrator to customize and adjust the community look and functionality to the actual company’s requirements.
The administrator can customize the look, modify contents of the main page including all the constituent parts (header, footer, branding, service pages) and configure community branding. Additionally, you can customize the global theme and the mobile theme for better display on mobile devices.
The module for customization of site behavior is paid, but it allows you to customize and adjust behavior, available actions, shown elements and display of particular data elements in the interface.
Customer Case does not provide any look customizations of feedback portals. By default, it uses the project logo as a logo of the feedback forum. You can vote for the idea of portal customization in the company’s Customer Case.
Widgets and Social Media
IdeaScale provides several types of widgets, which code you can embed on your web-media resources.
You can use the Campaign Widget allowing your visitors to browse Ideas from your campaigns, vote for existing ideas, and submit new Ideas right from your external website.
You can also take advantage of several other widgets:
- Feedback widget – lets visitors submit an idea to your IdeaScale community.
- Hot Ideas widget – lets visitors see a list of hot Ideas in your community, and submit a new idea as well.
- Recent Ideas widget – lets visitors see a list of recent Ideas in your community, and submit a new idea as well.
- Daily IdeaFix widget – displays one random idea from your IdeaScale community at a time and asks users to vote for it.
The community administrator can customize the look of widgets through modifications in CSS styles.
IdeaScale allows you to share information about the community on the following social networks:
You can also share ideas via Facebook and Twitter, or email directly to your friend or colleague.
IdeaScale offers three major pricing types:
- Lite (free) – includes 5 campaigns, company branding and etc.
- Small Medium Business ($2,500 per year) – includes 15 campaigns, company branding, one public or private community, custom URL, Google Analytics and etc.
- Enterprise (price varies) includes all features available in IdeaScale. For details see Pricing.
There also plans for educational and governmental institutions, which pricing varies depending on the requested functionality. A lot of modules in IdeaScale are also paid, so your customizations and adjustments of the community will also require additional expenses.
Customer Case works in integration with JIRA Cloud. You need to purchase both to get the system working. We will provide the one-month subscription for both systems:
|Customer Case (Monthly Subscription)*||JIRA Cloud (Monthly Subscription)*||Total Monthly Solution Price|
If you decide to use the yearly subscription, the total price will be smaller.
IdeaScale is a complex and quite flexible system with a rich set of features that may not be used completely by all customers. You can do much and configure almost everything, but this will take much time of yours. Availability of a free plan makes this solution attractive for small companies, but its main disadvantage is quite poor functionality with few options and settings.
Customer Case is a continuously developing solution for small companies needing a quick and simple solution for aggregating user feedback. Integration with JIRA Cloud makes the platform ideal for IT companies that can instantly proceed to the development of requested ideas and tracking progress in JIRA Cloud.