Collaboration on Backlog With External Users in Jira

March 29, 2018
#How To#Jira
9 min

You can find a lot of information about how team collaboration delivers results and helps organizations meet their goals. At the same time, companies should not overlook their collaboration with customers and partners. This type of cooperation refers to the way a company uses customer feedback to improve its performance, service, and products.

In this blog post, we will highlight different solutions that will help you share Jira projects, collaborate on backlog, and effectively interact with your external users (clients, contractors, partners, or colleagues from other departments).

Issue overview

For example, your company is looking for new opportunities to collaborate with your customers on your current projects in Jira.

As a project manager, you have a lot of projects with different customers. Some of your clients are rival companies. This means that you do not want them to know about each other so that they could access only their projects. At the same time, you also cooperate with your colleagues from other departments that are non-Jira users.

Of course, you want to keep all the required information in a single well-prioritized backlog. Because by always working in priority order in the same Jira instance, your team can maximize the value of the product or service being developed.

You want to get timely feedback from your colleagues and customers to optimize everyone’s workload and product delivery.

So the key takeaways are the following:

  • Collaborate on your projects together with external users in your Jira instance.
  • Allow your customers/partners to create new issues, prioritize them, and share ideas with non-Jira users.
  • Get input and feedback from customers, stakeholders, and partners right in Jira.

Now let’s find the best solution to this challenging task.

Options to choose from

Shared instance in Jira

If you want to give your clients access to the work stream, you can create a shared Jira instance. Given how much sensitive information can be kept in your Jira instance, the first thing you need to do is to make sure that your system is as secure as possible.

Your Jira administrator will need to think over the structure of your projects, create groups and roles for all the external users, and more.

However, making each customer a new Jira user can be not very scalable for some companies. Except that you’d need to administer your Jira for external users, every user of your shared Jira instance will count towards the Jira license.

Jira support & feedback forums

Another solution is to install the Customer Case app for Jira Cloud that allows you to communicate with external users or within departments via web portal or by email. This app helps you facilitate external collaboration through ticketing, backlog sharing without making each customer a licensed Jira user.

The Customer Case add-on allows you to manage the interaction of external users between themselves and with internal Jira users.

Your customers can discuss the existing ideas and add new ones. They just need to sign in with the help of their Google, Facebook, or Jira accounts. Your team will get notifications about any issues your clients experience with your products or services.

You can create private or public forums for your clients, colleagues, and contractors. Any user can post new ideas to the public forum, vote for the existing ideas, comment and watch them. Users can also sort ideas by status, priority, and popularity.

customer portal in Jira

If you want to receive feedback on the same product from several rival companies, you can create a separate private forum for each company. Your clients can easily work with ideas using Jira or Customer Case portals.

So Customer Case – Jira Support & Feedback allows you to organize the interaction with your external users avoiding issues with Jira administration and licensing.

Jira Service Desk capabilities

With Jira Service Desk, your team can take your customer service to a whole new level.

This solution provides you with bundled customer service templates, built-in email support, and suggested business automation rules.

jira service desk

You can group customers from one company by their domain and create a private portal to get timely feedback from them. So your clients from this company can easily share information with each other. However, Jira Service Desk might not be suitable for gathering customer feedback and collaboration on requests from users of public projects (where users can not be grouped).

Jira Service Desk integrates with Jira Software and Confluence that extends the functionality of your customer service portal. However, some organizations may find its pricing a bit high.

Resume

If you organize the process of collecting feedback with the help of a shared Jira instance, your business will benefit. However, your administrator needs to make sure that everything behind the scenes is running smoothly when it comes to permissions and licensing issues.

Customer Case – Jira Support & Feedback enables gathering valuable information from external and internal users that can interact with each other in many ways. It can be helpful both for your private and public projects.

Jira Service Desk is a useful solution for the companies that interact with the employees of their partners or contractors and can easily share their tasks and ideas with each other.

Of course, it’s up to you to decide which of the suggested options to choose from.

Please, tell us about your way to get feedback from your external users. You may also ask us any questions you have about Jira Service Desk and Customer Case for Jira Cloud. Feel free to comment below.

How to Improve Your Customer Service and Make Your Product Even Better

October 10, 2017
#How To#Jira
6 min

The main idea of customer service is helping people. Yeah, as simple as it sounds. At the same time, provision of your clients with good customer service before, during, and after using your products is a much more painstaking process. It minimally requires both an operational support system and an intuitive feedback platform.

Constant changes in business and technology landscapes are continuously changing the look of corporate IT support systems. The days when companies were differentiating between IT teams support and customer service support have gone.

There are a lot of helpdesk offerings on the market nowadays. In this article we’ll talk about the solution from Atlassian – Jira Service Desk. This modern and flexible service desk for technical support teams was first launched in 2013.

Jira Service Desk was initially designed as an IT support system, but it is continuously evolving to comply to the changing market needs. Today you can improve this support solution with lots of apps for better and up-to-date customer service.

Once you have launched a robust helpdesk system in your company, you still need to have the other important part of customer service – a convenient feedback platform. Why is it so crucial to get real-use feedback from your customers? Well, feedback is the cheapest, the most powerful, and still the most used management resource for further product improvement and development. It allows you to better communicate your ideas and help you to understand how other people perceive your product or service.

Feedback also has a very strong motivating and energizing effect on your team and people involved into the product development. It can impact both their product vision and perfomance. Feedback can also help with improving satisfaction of your customers, because people like to feel involved in making something better.

Combination of support and feedback

If you’re already using Jira Service Desk as a support system you have an opportunity to get a powerful feedback platform based on it. Of course, we’re talking about Customer Case. As Carolin Clark noticed in her article you can create forums for customers to comment and upvote on issues with the Customer Case add-on. Customers will be excited to have the opportunity to contribute, and service teams can be on top of the most frequent feature requests.

Customer Case combines both support and feedback forums united under a centrally accessible customer portal. Here is an example of one of these forums:

Users get intuitive interface for feedback submission on forums, voting on ideas of other users, and commenting on the offered solutions.

There’s no doubt that Jira Service Desk is a very powerful solution with lots of settings and customizable behavioral patterns. For those who need a simple but powerful tool to provide timely support and collect feedback about your products and services – Customer Case will be the right choice.

If you haven’t moved to Jira Service Desk due to its pricing or complex setup, take a look at Customer Case. This app allows you to efficiently use your license seats, so you can save money on the license for Jira Service Desk. You can install this app on your Jira Core or Jira Software, and let all the users work with support tickets or feature requests without any limitations. They can interact with customers, contractors, and suppliers through the forums or emails, respond to them, and track progress in Jira. At the same time all your customers can get in touch with your Jira team on the forums or by email.

Resume

The market today abounds with good solutions that can help you communicate with your customers and enrich your products with useful and high-demand features. The key is pretty simple: you just need to organize a support system or set up a feedback platform.

We at StiltSoft sincerely believe that the key to successful interplay between your team and your customers is in combining channels of getting timely support and receiving up-to-date feedback.

Do you agree with this point? Or maybe you have your own recipe of successful interaction within your business? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

3 Handy Ways to Communicate via Email in Jira Cloud

September 28, 2017
#How To#Jira
11 min

Nowadays email is one of the most-used channels for communication with customers. It’s quick, handy, and multifunctional. These characteristics define the importance of putting this channel to its proper use.

Agree that the world of technologies is moving more and more to the Cloud these days. The quality of Cloud products is increasing, as well as our requirements to them. While working on customers’ issues and ideas about your product you may like to take advantage of email for interaction with end users. The main idea of this article is to show you a few tools to combine email communication with one of the most popular issue tracking software – Jira Cloud.

If you are running Jira Cloud and need to configure communication by email, standard Jira MailHandler can be insufficient for your needs. The good news is that you have lots of ways to boost your Jira with apps from the Atlassian Marketplace. In this article we’ll name three apps that can help you to accomplish this objective. Here they are:

  1. Email This Issue
  2. Customer Case
  3. Enterprise Email Handler

Let’s take a closer look at each of these apps.

Email This Issue

Email This Issue is a tool that expands collaboration in Jira Cloud and helps you to keep in touch with all related users inside and outside your company.

By using this app you can do the following:

  • Send emails with issue details to your external and internal users, issue participants, and specific user groups by email.
  • Attach files to issues or comments by email.
  • Send automated notifications to internal or external recipients about issue events or workflow transitions.
  • Compose and send emails manually within Jira.
  • Append system-related data or custom fields to email subject, body, sender’s address, and comments.

The add-on has pretty rich functionality, but how to set it up? Let’s find out. After installation of the add-on you’ll see the Email button for every issue:

This button indicates that now you can send emails right from the issue. Click it and you’ll see the email screen. You can specify recipients, email subject, attachments, message text, and template of the email here:

Another convenient feature of this add-on is its notification system. You can define notification scheme with several options:

You can also create templates for your emails right in Jira:

For production usage you have to configure SMTP Servers for outgoing emails and POP3 or IMAP for incoming. By navigating to the administration section of the add-on, you can further fine tune its settings and adjust to your corporate needs. For the details on this, see the add-on documentation.

Email This Issue is available on the Atlassian Marketplace.

Customer Case

Customer Case is a full-fledged support and feedback system for interaction with internal and external users of your product. Intuitive and quick activation of the email communication is one of the benefits that this app can offer you.

Customer Case utilizes a mailbox to which you forward all the incoming emails from your corporate support email address. You needn’t set up any POP or IMAP servers, all these things are done automatically by Customer Case. In the mailbox settings you can select the forum for posting requests and adjust the From Email and From Name parameters for attributing all the outgoing emails to your company.

The specifics of Customer Case are a system of support and feedback forums incorporated into a single customer portal. Emails delivered to the allocated mailboxes are automatically converted into requests or replies and published on the corresponding forum as support requests or ideas. Here is an example of one of these forums:

This way your customers and new users can leave their feedback and get timely response. And that’s when you need to have a sustainable email communication channel for receiving notifications about new issues and informing your customers of progress on their requests.

Moreover, your Jira users get notifications about all the tickets created on Customer Case forums. They can start progress on an issue or leave a comment on it by email. Customer Case embeds a separate tab for posting replies to customers and preserves the native Jira tab for internal team collaboration on requests.

In addition to email communication, your customers can reach you on the dedicated portal and submit their requests through the web-interface. For logging in to Customer Case, they can use their social accounts on Facebook or Google, or create a personal account on the fly.

Free trial of Customer Case for Jira Cloud is available right now on the Atlassian Marketplace. Learn more about this functional tool on its documentation or demo site.

Enterprise Email Handler

Enterprise Email Handler is one more good app that provides extended email integration with Jira Cloud.

Once you install the app you can set up end-to-end configuration of Enterprise Email Handler:

  • Inbound: Create issues from emails.
  • Outbound: Send email notifications when issues are created, updated or commented.
  • Inbound/Outbound: Process emails, create issues and send emails.

This add-on offers pretty rich capabilities for text or HTML templates customization, including usage of images and CSS. Templates and CSS can be bundled into Themes for further export or import.

The add-on also has free integration with Hipchat, SMS, and Slack communication channels.

Enterprise Email Handler provides you with a full-fledged toolset to fine tune email coollaboration to your needs. You can see the documentation of the add-on or install a trial version from the Atlassian Marketplace.

Which one to choose

There exist a lot of ways to interact with your customers and in-house users by email in Jira Cloud. Some apps like Email This Issue and Enterprise Email Handler provide flexible setup with lots of configurable options. The others like Customer Case provide the ready-to-use solution operating out of the box with the simple and quick setup. But all of them are designed for running a support system with the primary email communication channel within your Jira Cloud.

No matter which tool you choose, the key objective is to have a place where your customers can get timely response and updates on their support tickets and feature requests.

Which tool would you prefer? Share your opinion with us in the comments below.

Three elegant ways to create HelpDesk in JIRA Cloud

March 1, 2016
#How To#Jira#Collaboration
1 min

Are you working in a company that produces something or provides services of some type? If so, you understand that your revenue mainly depends on the level of satisfaction of your customers. The level of customer satisfaction depends on the quality of your products or services, but, unfortunately, nobody can guarantee the supreme quality all the time.

So, on this step you may need to have some tool that will allow your customers to submit their issue reports to you for evaluation. The market of HelpDesk tools is dynamically growing, so there is a variety of platforms that will help you to resolve all customers’ issues. “But which tool to choose?” – you may ask yourself and get no answer though.

In this blog post we will try to evaluate capabilities of JIRA Cloud as a HelpDesk platform and offer you three ways of how to build HelpDesk system on its basis. So no more talks, just action!

Continue reading “Three elegant ways to create HelpDesk in JIRA Cloud”

JIRA & Customer Case vs Get Satisfaction

December 17, 2015
#Jira
24 min

The new marketing tendencies dictate the necessity of establishing close relationships with your customers and users of your products and services. If you haven’t done this yet, it’s high time to look for some solution. Today’s market offers a variety of customer satisfaction platforms so you can always choose the solution depending on the size of your company, audience and initial investments.

In our recent blog posts we have already compared the integration of JIRA Cloud and Customer Case against IdeaScaleUseResponseUserEchoHunchBuzz and UserVoice. In the current blog post we continue comparing them against the last rival – Get Satisfaction. Both solutions will be compared by different functionality and usability parameters.

Get Satisfaction is the community building tool that allows you to create the entire workspace for interactions, discussions and conversations with your customers and users. It helps you to turn a new stream of customers’ insights and ideas into action and start getting more profit from your products or services.

Customer Case is the the add-on created by StiltSoft team for JIRA Cloud ecosystem. It allows you to reveal the unlimited capabilities of JIRA Cloud as a robust customer community platform and use all the available features for collecting user feedback, processing the submitted requests and setting them to production in one system.

In this blog post we will compare these two solutions 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
  • Pricing
  • Login Capabilities

Get Satisfaction provides users with a capability to log in to the community portal with their social accounts on Facebook or Google+. If having no social account, users can create a new Get Satisfaction account from scratch by entering their name, email and password.

Customer Case provides the same login options. Besides using the social accounts on Facebook or Google+, your visitors can create personal accounts right in Customer Case. The number of customers registered in Customer Case does not anyhow affect the JIRA license, so you will not have to pay for your customers. Your employees can log in to Customer Case with their JIRA Cloud accounts, so they will not need to create a separate account. The status of company employees is highlighted with the EMPLOYEE marker.

For each forum you can define the set of available login options.

System Structure

Get Satisfaction creates the community portal that falls into categories. Each category can represent a separate project created for your products or services. Categories can be also grouped for better navigation.

Once the visitors access the community portal, they will see the full list of conversations opened by your customers and visitors. Conversation can be further divided into questions, ideas, problems, praise and announcements.

The administrator of the community can add categories and assign ideas to the appropriate category for better and easier navigation among them.

Installation of Customer Case add-on on your JIRA Cloud leads to creation of the feedback portal with the alias like company.customercase.com. The ‘company’ name is fetched from the JIRA Cloud company account looking like company.atlassian.netCustomer Case allows you replace the default domain alias with your branded URL, so you can quickly and easily re-map online community portal to your custom domain. Instructions on how it can be done you can find here.

Upon creation of the customer feedback portal, you can start adding new feedback forums on the basis of JIRA projects. No extra fees or subscription limitations are imposed to your feedback portal and you can create as many as needed forums for your products and services.

Feedback forums are further exposed to your customers, and all the ideas and feature requests left by visitors and users are stored in JIRA projects.

Creation of a feedback forum is a simple and quick operation, it just requires selection of the JIRA project for aggregation of ideas, entry of the forum name and description.

Each feedback forum receives a unique URL which you need to share with your customers or publish on your website for quick access to the community portal. You can easily regulate your forums, update their names and description or delete them if no longer needed.

Additionally, you can create private feedback forums with the access restrictions set for specific email domains or email addresses.

Management of Ideas

Get Satisfaction allows you to submit different types of feedback, or conversation (this is how it is called here), as follows:

  • Questions
  • Ideas
  • Problems
  • Praise

While submitting the feedback, the user first writes the initial request and the system tries to find the already submitted feedback items and prompts the user to select among the matched values. If nothing related is found the user proceeds to feedback submission.

By default, the user can enter the short title, select the appropriate conversation type, enter detailed description, set the sentiment level and associate it with one of the available categories.

getsatisfaction_conversation_creation

Once the conversation is posted, the user becomes automatically its follower and his vote is left for it instantly. The user can perform basic operations on the conversation, such as editing or deleting. Additionally he/she can keep conversation on the topic by leaving comments.

Users and members of the community can browse the whole list of conversations or select the category they are interested in.

getsatisfaction_conversations_list_viewing

On any feedback forum created in Customer Case you can find the list of submitted ideas. Ideas can be further filtered by status or category, and sorting can be performed by the recent activity, number of votes or creation date.

Submission of a new idea is a quick and easy procedure, which requires entry of idea summary and description. The visual text editor will help you to apply the necessary formatting and highlight the required text snippets, embed links or images into your ideas. If needed, you can attach some files that will help you to express your idea.

Other customers and visitors of your feedback portal can post comments for their ideas or ideas of other people, or become watchers of specific ideas for receiving updates on any progress there. Your employees working as agents in Customer Case can quickly transition between JIRA Cloud and Customer Case by using the available capabilities.

Besides working with Customer Case as a feedback collection platform, you can also use it as a full-fledged HelpDesk system for processing customers’ issues and tickets.

Idea Moderation and Management of Idea Statuses

Get Satisfaction provides administrators and content moderators with the dedicated section to review and manage the submitted conversations. The set of available actions is quite rich and allows you to perform multiple operations, as follows:

  • edit, remove or close conversations
  • archive or unarchive them
  • email conversations to some people
  • merge conversations with the already submitted topics
  • add notes or tags
  • post the official response
  • make the conversation private

The moderator gets a section to manage all the submitted conversations, view them, filter or sort out the irrelevant ones. The moderator has a capability to adjust the view of the list with conversations by adding or removing unnecessary columns and further save this view.

The conversation moderator can also suspend a capability to submit conversations for particular users if they post too much stuff or spam.

Customer Case provides a separate section for viewing all ideas submitted on a specific feedback forum and see the details of each request.

The available sorting and filtering options will help you to put order to your list of ideas and see the recent or popular ideas, or find ideas having a specific status or associated with a particular category.

Moderation of ideas can be performed in bulk or individually. The moderator needs just to open the required ideas and select one of the available action:

  • add internal comments visible to other agents or external comments visible on the feedback forum to your visitors
  • edit or update the idea summary or description
  • delete or move the idea to another feedback forum
  • add links to some external web sources
  • add internal JIRA labels
  • clone the idea
  • attach files or screenshots to the idea
  • start progress on the idea or reject it

The list of bulk 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

As far we know, Get Satisfaction does not provide a capability to manage conversation statuses so you can only use the default statuses.

Customer Case uses the built-in workflow capabilities of JIRA Cloud. You can manage idea statuses by modifying the project workflow, this allows you to create any workflow and tailor it to your actual needs. With the available flexibility and customizability in workflow management, you can quickly adjust transitions and configure your ideal workflow in a blink of an eye.

Voting System

Get Satisfaction allows users to leave votes for conversations they like. Only the logged in users can leave votes, as well as take them back if needed. Users can follow topics or they become followers automatically when they reply or comment the topic.

Customer Case allows your customers, as well as your service agents, to leave votes for interesting and useful ideas. Each user can leave one vote per idea, but the number of ideas you can vote for is not limited. The vote can be taken back by clicking the Remove vote button.

Notifications and Subscriptions

Get Satisfaction sends automatic notifications with conversation updates to all followers of the topic. Besides following single topics, the user can start following the whole category and receiving notifications about the activity in the specific category.

In the profile, each user can configure notifications he or she would like to receive from Get Satisfaction. Besides notifications about topics which the user posted or discussed, Get Satisfaction can send details about comments news and so on.

Customer Case sends notifications to watchers of ideas. Users start watching ideas after submission of their own ideas or when they click the Watch button for the particular idea. In this case, users will receive notifications about any activity on the current idea, such as submission of new comments, or change of the idea status. Besides native Customer Case notifications, moderators can configure the notification scheme for the feedback and receive the updates or digest of idea on a regular or scheduled basis.

Reporting and Analytics

Get Satisfaction is supplied with the dashboard showing the actual information about the community activity in breakdown by engagement, topics, users and leaderboards. Besides this the administrator can use the reporting wizard and select the appropriate metrics report. For each report it is possible to set variables, set the reporting period, and, finally, select the appropriate chart type for data visualization.

Customer Case takes maximum of JIRA’s reporting engine, which allows you output the series of data tables with required information or multiple pie or column charts with the relevant information abot ideas, their statuses and so on. An option to use JIRA’s JQL queries allows you to write custom and flexible queries to get the list of ideas over the specific period of time, within some category, with the particular status or number of votes. For example, you can get the list of ideas from Customer Case project with more than 2 votes.

You can easily save the entered JQL queries as filters and further use them for quick idea filtration or output of gadgets with reports on the dashboard. You can always configure appearance and parameters of your charts and customize to your needs or aesthetic preferences.

Customizations and Enhancements

Get Satisfaction allows you to customize some elements of the community. So you can customize and adjust to your design patterns the following:

  • Community header & footer
  • Community browser favicon
  • Community colors & labels
  • Community main column & sidebar

For now you cannot customize look of Customer Case with addition of custom HTML snippets and styles. By default, the system uses the JIRA project logo as branding. You can always vote for the idea of portal customization in the company’s Customer Case.

Widgets and Social Media

Getsatisaction supports two types of widgets – Engage and Legacy. These widgets allow your customers and visitors to quickly submit their feedback, share their problems, find answers to questions and view the recent activity and discussed topics in your community. You need just to configure the widget and copy-paste the provided code onto your website or any other web resource.

The platform also provides the rich social sharing capabilities that will help your customers to share ideas with their friends and colleagues.

Customer Case does not have widgets for quick idea submission from external resources, but StiltSoft team plans to add these features in the next releases of Customer Case. You can show your interest in them by voting for these features – widget support and social sharing.

Pricing

Get Satisfaction does not reveal the pricing for their two plans. The solution is available in two bundles Professional and Enterprise, details of them can be found here. Due to the company policy, you cannot try a demo of the product, so you purchase the pig in a poke without knowing whether this solution will fit your business. The only thing that can reveal the features is the demonstration of the product, anyway you will have to wait for some time before their support team contact you.

Customer Case is a handy and simple add-on that allows you to get the full-fledged customer community platform on the basis of JIRA Cloud. All you need is to have valid subscription for both JIRA Cloud and Customer Case and then you can start using the portal with feedback forums. The current pricing shows the monthly spendings for the junction of JIRA Cloud and Customer Case. The current subscription shows the number of allowed JIRA users who can be moderators or support agents in Customer Case, the number of visitors and users of the feedback portal is not limited, as well as the number of feedback forums.

Users
Customer Case (Monthly Subscription)*
JIRA Cloud (Monthly Subscription)*
Total Monthly Solution Price
10 users $10 $10 $20
15 users $20 $50 $70
25 users $40 $100 $140
50 users $100 $200 $300
100 users $150 $300 $450
500 users $200 $500 $700
2000 users $400 $1,000 $1,400

If using the yearly subscription, the final price will be less due to the yearly discount.

Conclusion

Get Satisfaction is a customer-friendly and customizable feedback platform with the tools and options available for efficient management of incoming feedback. Its pricing model and impossibility to start a normal trial period are the cons that can scare away a part of potential customers. If it is not a problem for you, you can discuss your plan with their support team.

Customer Case in bundle with JIRA Cloud is a multi-featured customer relationship management platform created for maximally simple and quick aggregation of user feedback with the minimal spendings. The user friendly interface and simplicity of use are the key advantages of this solution. The continuous updates and improvements added in Customer Case will help you to run much more efficient feedback collection campaign.

JIRA & Customer Case vs UserVoice

August 25, 2015
#Jira#Collaboration
25 min

Are you a large vendor who has thousands of customers? So you should be aware of your actual customers’ needs. Aren’t you? So is there any solution that can you help with this? Yes, there is. Customer Case with JIRA Cloud can become an excellent customer satisfaction platform for gathering and managing customer feedback and improving customer experience with your products and services. The modern marketing policies determine the necessity of close interaction with customers and increasing their loyalty to your brand. This can be achieved only with the community build tool and your continuous work on enhancing your support and communication channels.

In our previous blog posts we have already compared the combination of JIRA Cloud and Customer Case against IdeaScaleUseResponseUserEcho and HunchBuzz. In the current blog post, we want to match them against another customer community platform – UserVoice. These two community build tools will be compared against each other by multiple functionality and usability parameters.

UseVoice is a customer satisfaction platform working in the Cloud. It provides you with the set of tools to gather customer feedback, perform basic moderation of submitted ideas and indicate the current status of them. You can start a trial account.

Customer Case is the the add-on created by StiltSoft team for JIRA Cloud ecosystem. It allows you to smoothly transition from the issue tracking platform to the full-fledged customer community platform with convenient tools for collecting user feedback and moving them it to production without special manipulations.

In the current blog post we will compare both rivals 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
  • Pricing

Login Capabilities

UserVoice provides visitors of your customer feedback portal with a capability to sign in with their social profiles on Facebook or Google+, or quickly sign in with entering only their email addresses. If logging with email address, your customers and visitors will be prompted to complete registration on the online community portal. Anyway registration is quite simple and quick, so it will not take much time, just entry of the full name and password.

uservoice_login_form

 

Customer Case provides the similar set of login capabilities. In addition to sign-in with Facebook or Google+ accounts, your visitors can create personal accounts. The number of registered customers does not anyhow affect the JIRA licensing, so you will not get any additional expenses on customer accounts. Your employees using JIRA Cloud can log in to Customer Case with their JIRA accounts, so their user experience with Customer Case will be quite smooth and pleasurable. Their status of company employees will be indicated with the special marker.

You can also enable the appropriate login options for each feedback forum.

System Structure

UserVoice creates a community feedback portal hosted in the Cloud infrastructure of the vendor. Your customer community platform receives a default sub-domain, but you can change the domain alias to the appropriate one and force the secure connection for users and visitors.

Your feedback portal can be comprised of multiple forums that can be created for your products. Management of forums is quite simple and includes the basic operations on them, such as adding new forums, editing or deleting the existing forums. Optionally you can make forums and invite users to join the created feedback forums. Granting access permissions can be performed via SSO, email domains or IP addresses.

Once your visitors open your online community portal, they will see the list of submitted ideas.

uservoice idea listing

The administrator of the community can add categories and assign ideas to the appropriate category for better navigation.

After installation of Customer Case add-on on your JIRA Cloud, you get the client feedback portal with the alias like company.customercase.com. By default, the ‘company’ name is taken from the JIRA Cloud company account, which looks like company.atlassian.netCustomer Case provides you with a capability to change the domain alias, so you can re-map online community portal to your custom domain. Details on how it can be done you can find here.

After creation of the customer feedback portal is complete, you can start adding new feedback forums on the basis of JIRA projects. No additional fees or subscription limitations are imposed to your feedback portal.

The created feedback forums will be exposed to your customers, and all the submitted ideas by visitors and users will be stored in your JIRA projects.

Creation of new feedback forums will not take much time of yours, so all you need is to select the appropriate JIRA projects, specify their names and description.

You will not experience problem with this, so upon completion you will get a list of feedback forums, Each feedback forum will have a unique URL path with the mapping to the corresponding feedback forum. All you need is to share these URL’s with your customers on your websites and web resources. You can always correct the forum name and its description, or delete the unnecessary feedback forums.

customer case access restriction

Additionally, you can create private feedback forums with the access restrictions by specific email domains and email addresses.

Management of Ideas

UserVoice allows your visitors to add new ideas on the home page of your community portal. The system tries to match the entered idea title to the already added ideas, and your customers will get a list of possible matches. If nothing is found, your visitors can submit a new idea. Optionally, they can leave description. Idea submission is also available through the left sidebar, which also requires entry of the similar information.

uservoice idea management

Users and visitors cannot perform a lot of actions on ideas. All they can do is to delete their own ideas, view and filter ideas on the forums or leave comments for other ideas.

Management of ideas is performed in the individual way, without bulk operations. The following operations are available to the administrator:

  • posting official response to ideas
  • editing the posted ideas or deleting unnecessary ideas
  • marking ideas as spam
  • adding idea supporters, notes and comments
  • changing status of ideas

uservoice

The administrator can also filter ideas by categories, statuses and labels. When opening the idea, the administrator can add labels, view supporters, view the associated SmartVote polls and get insight into possible revenue from the idea.

Each feedback forum in Customer Case shows the listing of the submitted ideas. Visitors can filter them by status or category, or sort the submitted ideas by the recent activity, number of votes or creation date.

customer case idea listing

Creation of a new idea is a quick and easy procedure, which requires entry of idea summary and its description. The visual text editor can help you to apply the required formatting, embed links or images into your ideas.

customer case jira

All customers and visitors of your feedback forums can post their comments, vote for interesting ideas or watch the required ideas. Your employees have also a capability to instantly transition to JIRA and view the selected idea there right from Customer Case.

Besides usage of Customer Case as feedback collection platform, you can use it as an open-access HelpDesk system for collecting customers’ issues.

Idea Moderation and Management of Idea Statuses

UserVoice is supplied with the moderation engine, which is disabled, by default. The administrator of the online community portal can enable moderation for the submitted ideas and comments, as well as allow users to flag the content as inappropriate. There are also options to enable Akismet spam filter and enable the profanity filter.

All the submitted comments and ideas are not posted until the administrator approves them in the special section of the customer feedback portal. After approval ideas and comments become visible on feedback forums, all the spam items are stored in the dedicated section until the administrator deletes them permanently.

Customer Case also has a moderation section where the support agent can instantly find all the ideas submitted on each specific feedback forum and view details of each item.

Here you can filter ideas by category or status or sort them depending on the recent activity, creation date or number of votes left.

Moderation of ideas can be performed with a group of ideas or with individual ideas. On the list with ideas, you need to open the appropriate feedback item and then select the necessary action, as follows:

  • add internal comments visible to other agents or external comments visible on the feedback forum to your visitors
  • edit or update the idea summary or description
  • delete or move the idea to another feedback forum
  • add links to some external web sources
  • add internal JIRA labels
  • clone the idea
  • attach files or screenshots to the idea
  • start progress on the idea or reject it

jira cloud issue

The administrator can also use the following bulk operations:

  • 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

UserVoice allows the administrator of the portal to manage idea statuses. It includes adding new statuses, editing or deleting the existing statuses, or re-ordering them. Creation of a new status requires entry of the status title and selection of the color. Optionally, can disable voting for the idea when the current status is applied. No workflow for idea statuses is available.

uservoice

Customer Case deals with the internal capabilities of JIRA Cloud. Management of idea statuses is performed through modifications in the project workflow, so you can always create a flexible workflow and add custom transitions for the associated idea statuses during work of your team on this or that idea.

jira cloud workflow management

Voting System

UserVoice allows your visitors and customers vote for the ideas they like, they can also take back their votes from the ideas they have already voted for.

uservoice voting

Customer Case is also bundled with the voting engine that your customers and visitors can use to vote for ideas. The user can leave his or her vote for any idea on the feedback forum, as the number of votes is not limited so your visitors are free to vote for all the ideas they want.

idea voting in Jira

Notifications and Subscriptions

UserVoice allows visitors and users of your customer feedback portal to select which notification types to receive:

The administrator of the portal has also a capability to select which notifications to receive, as follows:

  • moderation requests
  • new ideas
  • new comments
  • new notes
  • new user feedback
  • status updates
  • status updates on watched ideas
  • comments on watched ideas
  • daily digest of all activity on the portal

Customer Case notifies your visitors and customers when they become watchers of ideas. They start watching ideas after submission of their own ideas, commenting the idea or when they manually subscribe to some ideas. In this case, notifications about any activity on the ideas, such as addition new comments, or update of idea status will be sent to their mail boxes. In addition to Customer Case notification, administrators of the customer feedback forums can configure the required set of scheduled notifications about ideas through the built-in JIRA email subscriptions.

Reporting and Analytics

UserVoice is equipped with the reporting engine that allows you to get the generic statistics about activity on your feedback portal, such as number of users, ideas and so on. The activity thread keeps you updated on all events on your feedback forums.

uservoice dashboard

User Insights reports provide you with the mechanisms to compare new vs existing users, posted ideas, days of user activity, page views and some other information.

If you decide to use Customer Case, you will be able to take maximum of the JIRA’s reporting engine for output the series of data tables with required information or multiple pie or column charts with the relevant information. JIRA’s JQL queries can help you to get only the data you actually want to evaluate. For example, you can get the list of ideas from Customer Case project with more than 2 votes.

jira cloud idea filtration

You can always save the entered JQL queries and store them as individual filters for usage in the future, generating reports on their basis or viewing charts on your JIRA Cloud dashboard. You can fine tune appearance and parameters of charts and adjust to your needs or aesthetic preferences.

jira cloud reporting chart

Customizations and Enhancements

UserVoice allows you add minor updates into the design and look of your online community portal. For example, you can upload your logo, set colors for background, text and links, set redirection to the appropriate feedback forum or replace the existing styles and scripts with your own markup.

 

As of now, Customer Case does not offer special options to adjust look of your user community portal. By default, the system applies the JIRA project logo as branding. You can always vote for the idea of portal customization in the company’s Customer Case.

Widgets and Social Media

UserVoice allows you to show the feedback widget on your websites. All you need is to configure its look and insert its code onto the required pages of your website. And that’s all. The widget rotates the submitted ideas and allows visitors of your websites to vote for the ideas they are interested in.

With the help of social sharing functions, you can tweet some idea or put a like and share the idea on Facebook.

Customer Case does not provide any widgets for quick data access and usage from external resources, but StiltSoft team plans to have these features in the next releases of Customer Case. You can also support them by voting for these features – widget support and social sharing.

Pricing

UserVoice is a Cloud customer satisfaction platform that will release you from additional expenses on maintenance and infrastructure support. The key difference between packages is the number of supported accounts and monthly usage of your community portal, as follows:

  • Basic ($499 per month) – 3 administrators, 10k users, 40k API calls and 40k portal page views.
  • Premium ($999 per month) – 10 administrators, 25k users,100k API calls and 100k portal page views.
  • Enterprise (determined individually)  – 10+ administrators, 25k+ users, 100k+ API calls and and 100k+ portal page views.

Customer Case is the add-on for JIRA Cloud that transforms it into the customizable and flexible customer community platform. You need to get subscription for JIRA Cloud and Customer Case in order to start using the portal with feedback forums. We will provide the monthly prices for both systems. The pricing indicates the number of allowed JIRA users who can be administrators or support agents in Customer Case, the number of visitors and users of the feedback portal is unlimited, as well as the number of feedback forums.

Customer Case (Monthly Subscription)*
JIRA Cloud (Monthly Subscription)*
Total Monthly Solution Price
10 users $10 $10 $20
15 users $20 $50 $70
25 users $40 $100 $140
50 users $100 $200 $300
100 users $150 $300 $450
500 users $200 $500 $700
2000 users $400 $1,000 $1,400

In case of the yearly subscription, the resulting price will be less due to the yearly discount.

Conclusion

UserVoice is a rich-in-features customer feedback management platform that provides you with a set of tools to gather feedback from users and measure customer satisfaction with your products and services. This system will be a good solution for large companies, as the pricing for small companies will be the main disadvantage.

Customer Case together with JIRA Cloud is a multi-functional customer relationship management system created for gathering client feedback and rapid transition of submitted ideas to development process. The intuitive interface and helpful features will be a good experience for administrators of feedback forums and visitors of your community portal.