Scaling up an integration ecosystem on a budget

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Unlike the cheese, no piece of software stands alone: rare is the company whose product is used in isolation. Your users are using your tool in conjunction with many others to get a single “job” done. Simply having an API doesn’t mean your job is done. These users want seamless integrations not a link to developer docs. But how do you as a business justify the expense in building out a robust ecosystem of integrations?

In this talk I’ll cover how we at UserVoice justify, plan, prioritize and build high quality integrations as well as 11 key things we've done (or not done) that have allowed us to scale up our ecosystem on limited resources.

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Scaling up an integration ecosystem on a budget

  1. 1. Scaling up an integration ecosystem on a budgetRichard WhiteFounder, CEO@rrwhite
  2. 2. three goals
  3. 3. three warnings
  4. 4. hi
  5. 5. We are... 241 people in San Francisco & Raleigh who want to enable you better help and understand your2 users all with less effort than you thought possible.34@rrwhite
  6. 6. UserVoice is...UserVoice is a true multi-tenant SaaS, freemium platform that helps companies scale not onlytheir customer support (by driving self-service) but also customer insight (through proactive userengagement).
  7. 7. UserVoice is...UserVoice is true multi-tenant SaaS, freemium platform that helps companies scale not only theircustomer support (by driving self-service) but also customer insight (through proactive user 35,000engagement). people have logged into their UserVoice admin console the 127% YoY last 30 days. @rrwhite
  8. 8. Our historyFounded in 2008, and the originators ofthe now ubiquitous Feedback Tab, whatmakes us special is how much we careabout the end-user interface. We knowthat communication starts with users, notwith surveys or flying banners.We’ve had a little help along the way inthe form of $3MM in capital raised fromBaseline Ventures (our lead), WTI,Betaworks, Founders Fund, TAG, TektonVentures and an assortment of amazingangels.
  9. 9. Our history 363Founded in 2008, and the originators ofthe, now ubiquitous Feedback Tab, whatmakes us special is how much we care people see a UserVoiceabout the end-user interface. We know widget every second whichthat communication starts with users notwith surveys or flying banners. is ...We’ve had a little help along the way inthe form of $3MM in capital raised from 943MMBaseline Ventures (our lead), WTI,Betaworks, Founders Fund, TAG, Tekton people every month acrossVentures and an assortment of amazing 170 different countries andangels. 43 languages (translated 110% YoY courtesy of UserVoice users) @rrwhite
  10. 10. Our customersAre not ITSM & traditional contact centers.They are predominantly technology companiesand often SaaS platforms, games or mobileapps.We work with everyone from startups tobusiness units of Fortune 500 companies. Mostsales are self-service, credit card & month tomonth but we do work with annual billing,invoices, training and higher level accountmanagement.
  11. 11. 120,000 UserVoice sites that have been setup 170 countries where there’s an organization using UserVoice@rrwhite
  12. 12. Helpdesk Launched May 2011Easy to use & (self-service) setup - Customers can get setup in hours, not days or weeks.Designed for simplicity but has the backend to handle complicated routing and queuing.Inspector - Answer messages quicker and more carefully by having the complete social context of whoyou’re talking to.Game mechanics - Our leaderboard drives friendly competition amongst customer teams to respond quicklyand comprehensivelyTicket system emails look like normal emails. End-users never know they’re being tracked. Theres noticket # or reply above this line, People bristle at the notion of being “in a system” - they want humanconnection.
  13. 13. Helpdesk Launched May 2011 A YEAR AGOEasy to use & (self-service) setup - Customers can 1MMget setup in hours, not days or weeks.Designed for simplicity but has the backend tohandle complicated routing and queuing. tickets have been handled byInspector - Answer messages quicker and more UserVoice Helpdeskcarefully by having the complete social context of whoyou’re talking to.Game mechanics - Our leaderboard drives friendlycompetition amongst customer teams to respondquickly and comprehensivelyTicket system emails look like normal emails. End-users never know they’re being tracked. Theres noticket # or reply above this line, People bristle at thenotion of being “in a system” - they want humanconnection. @rrwhite
  14. 14. Helpdesk Launched May 2011 NOWEasy to use & (self-service) setup - Customers can 5MMget setup in hours, not days or weeks.Designed for simplicity but has the backend tohandle complicated routing and queuing. tickets have been handled byInspector - Answer messages quicker and more UserVoice Helpdeskyou’re talking to.1MMcarefully by having the complete social context of who per monthGame mechanics - Our leaderboard drives friendlycompetition amongst customer teams to respondquickly and comprehensivelyTicket system emails look like normal emails. End-users never know they’re being tracked. Theres noticket # or reply above this line, People bristle at thenotion of being “in a system” - they want humanconnection. @rrwhite
  15. 15. FeedbackLaunched April 2008Feedback forums are the unique UserVoiceway of helping customers get and respondto inbound customer feedback at scale.Feedback is a natural, and highlysuccessful, way to engage large numbersof otherwise passive users who wouldn’tcontact companies for support.Scalability - Get feedback from thousands ormillions with the same level of effort.Frictionless feedback - 80+% of those who givefeedback will provide an email address andsubscribe to updates. This works wonders forpre-sales engagement.Response rates double that of newsletters.Permission based marketing at its best. Users areopting into updates on other user generatedcontent.
  16. 16. UserVoice is everywhere users areWe provide the most comprehensive and robust set of tools to help our customercommunicate with their users where they already are: in-app.Complete set of APIs, Push Notificationsand SDKs make it easy for companies tointegrate UserVoice into their business.Instant Answers - All embeddedexperiences drive customers to self-servicetheir issues. Up to 40% (and higher onmobile) of requests are resolved throughsuggesting a relevant knowledge basearticle or existing forum post.Feedback tab widget - Embed a completecustomer portal directly into a website with acouple lines of code.
  17. 17. UserVoice is everywhere users areWe provide the most comprehensive and robust set of tools to help our customercommunicate with their users where they already are: in-app.Complete set of APIs, Push Notificationsand SDKs make it easy for companies tointegrate UserVoice into their business.Instant Answers - All embeddedexperiences drive customers to self-servicetheir issues. Up to 40% (and higher onmobile) of requests are resolved throughsuggesting a relevant knowledge basearticle or existing forum post.Feedback tab widget - Embed a completecustomer portal directly into a website with acouple lines of code.Mobile optimized - All of our interfaces areoptimized to work on desktop and mobileweb. (22.5% of our usage is mobile web)UserVoice for iOS - A native customerportal directly inside your iPhone or iPadapp.
  18. 18. NEWIn-app engagementThe next generation in (meaningful) in-app userengagement: bundling together customer satisfaction,product feedback and support to create engagement ratesthat blow away traditional VoC or Helpdesk solutions.Combined with a robust analytics system to give you acomplete view of your user base from 10K feet down toindividual users.New features debuted at UserVoice Summit 2013: Instant Answers Satisfaction Surveys SmartVote Touchpoint SDK & Analytics
  19. 19. NEWOur data & partnersData in UserVoice is valuable at both an individual level as well as at an aggregate level (for targetingwhole segments of users). We provide the universal record of user activity to complementary tools. CRM Partners Product feedback Informs potential upsell conversations Support tickets Satisfaction scores Help solve issues which reduces Used to help inform potential rescue sales churn and improves satisfaction. Support tickets Sales and support in sync - efficiency gains Product feedback Insight into product improvements to reduce churn Marketing Automation Partners users Satisfaction scores All UserVoice activity Insight into product improvements Helps inform lead scoring for improved conversion and customer segments to target targeting - people who submit feedback or support to reduce churn tickets are more engaged in the self-serve buying process. Helps to identify brand advocates. Usage & conversion data: User activity, LTVs, etc. - (help analyze and refine which feedback and Internal Collaboration Partners user segments to pay attention to) Real-time product feedback Helps make entire team aware of front-line product deficiencies driving dissatisfaction
  20. 20. usersLive Chat Social / MobileProduct Collaboration CRM Marketing
  21. 21. our process
  22. 22. OUR THINKING usersThe value of integrations Live Chat Social / Mobile Product Collaboration CRM Marketing@rrwhite
  23. 23. OUR THINKING usersThe value of integrations Live Chat Social / Mobile Customer retention Product Collaboration CRM Marketing@rrwhite
  24. 24. OUR THINKING usersThe value of integrations Live Chat Social / Mobile Customer retention Co-marketing & press Product Collaboration CRM Marketing@rrwhite
  25. 25. OUR THINKING usersThe value of integrations Live Chat Social / Mobile Customer retention Co-marketing & press Product Collaboration CRM Marketing New distribution channels@rrwhite
  26. 26. OUR THINKING usersThe value of integrations Live Chat Social / Mobile Customer retention Co-marketing & press Product Collaboration CRM Marketing New distribution channels Closing new customers@rrwhite
  27. 27. A HUMBLE OBSERVATIONMost integrations arecrap@rrwhite
  28. 28. A HUMBLE OBSERVATIONThe integrator’s dilemma@rrwhite
  29. 29. A HUMBLE OBSERVATIONThe integrator’s dilemma Optimize for quantity or quality?@rrwhite
  30. 30. A HUMBLE OBSERVATIONThe integrator’s dilemma Optimize for quantity or quality? Pushing failure down the funnel.@rrwhite
  31. 31. A HUMBLE OBSERVATIONThe integrator’s dilemma Optimize for quantity or quality? Pushing failure down the funnel. No right answer. We chose quality.@rrwhite
  32. 32. A HUMBLE OBSERVATIONThe integrator’s dilemma Optimize for quantity or quality? Pushing failure down the funnel. No right answer. We chose quality. Can we have both?@rrwhite
  33. 33. OUR PROCESSWrite the user stories fora new class integrations.@rrwhite
  34. 34. OUR PROCESSWrite the user stories fora new class integrationswith actual users.@rrwhite
  35. 35. OUR PROCESSWe try to build the firstintegration in-house.@rrwhite
  36. 36. OUR PROCESSWe try to build the firstintegration in-house. Validates that we have the API / platform tech to support it.@rrwhite
  37. 37. OUR PROCESSWe try to build the firstintegration in-house. Validates that we have the API / platform tech to support it. Quality of APIs is a considered when picking our first partner.@rrwhite
  38. 38. OUR PROCESSWe lean on others tobuild N+1 integrations@rrwhite
  39. 39. OUR PROCESSWe lean on others tobuild N+1 integrations This is how we hope to achieve quality and quantity.@rrwhite
  40. 40. OUR PROCESSWe lean on others tobuild N+1 integrations This is how we hope to achieve quality and quantity. We need to have a great set of APIs & integration tech.@rrwhite
  41. 41. eleven things
  42. 42. THINGS THAT MAKE US HAPPYUse your own damn API@rrwhite
  43. 43. THINGS THAT MAKE US CRYOur first hackathon@rrwhite
  44. 44. THINGS THAT MAKE US HAPPYUse your own damn API@rrwhite
  45. 45. THINGS THAT MAKE US HAPPYA dedicated API engineer@rrwhite
  46. 46. THINGS THAT MAKE US HAPPYSDKs for a multitude ofprogramming languages@rrwhite
  47. 47. THINGS THAT MAKE US HAPPYAn API for provisioningaccounts@rrwhite
  48. 48. THINGS THAT MAKE US HAPPYWeb hooks@rrwhite
  49. 49. THINGS THAT MAKE US HAPPYWeb Service hooks@rrwhite
  50. 50. THINGS THAT MAKE US CRYSupporting Bidirectionalsyncing (between us andless awesome APIs)@rrwhite
  51. 51. THINGS THAT MAKE US HAPPY“External ID” support@rrwhite
  52. 52. THINGS THAT MAKE US HAPPY“External ID” supportticket  =  findTicket(                      :title  =>  “Help  me”,                      :user  =>  “sidson@uservoice.com”)updateTicket(ticket.id,  {DATA})@rrwhite
  53. 53. THINGS THAT MAKE US HAPPY“External ID” supportticket  =  findTicket(                      :title  =>  “Help  me”,                      :user  =>  “sidson@uservoice.com”)ticket  =  findTicket(                      :external_id  =>  123,                      :external_app  =>  “salesforce”)updateTicket(ticket.id,  {DATA})@rrwhite
  54. 54. THINGS THAT MAKE US HAPPY“External ID” supporttickets  =  findTickets(                        :external_app  =>  “salesforce”,                        :filter  =>  “no_external_id”)@rrwhite
  55. 55. THINGS THAT MAKE US HAPPYUpsert support@rrwhite
  56. 56. THINGS THAT MAKE US HAPPYUpsert supportticket  =  findTicket(                      :external_id  =>  123,                      :external_app  =>  “salesforce”)if  ticket  doesn’t  exist    createTicket({DATA})else    updateTicket(ticket.id,  {DATA})end@rrwhite
  57. 57. THINGS THAT MAKE US HAPPYUpsert supportupsertTicket(    :external_id  =>  123,    :external_app  =>  “salesforce”,      {DATA})@rrwhite
  58. 58. THINGS THAT MAKE US CRYIntegrations involving thewords “on” & “premise”@rrwhite
  59. 59. THINGS THAT MAKE US HAPPYIntegrations thatdon’t involve anyAPIs
  60. 60. thanks

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