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- Date Established
- Minsk, Belarus
Using UseResponse is like purchasing your first home. The realization that you can repaint, knock down walls, and add on a few extra rooms is an incredible sense of freedom. You worked hard to have something that was truly your own, and now, you are the king (or queen) of your castle.
Shortly after this sense of freedom comes the opposing sense of responsibility. There is no HOA to mow your lawn; that job is now yours. There are fees and licenses to get that you didn’t see coming. The roof leaks, and you have to fix it, whether you budgeted for it or not.
In the same way, UseResponse is yours, with all its freedom, and with all its responsibility. While they do offer some help along the way, you are The Man. This Russian-based, English-supported software is one of the very few licensed (non cloud-based) Help Desk solutions on the market.
There is no shame in renting for a while. But if you’re ready to take on ownership, UseResponse is your rite of passage. Read our full report for the details.
Table of Contents
UseResponse offers a fairly standard 15-day trial. This demo is a sample environment which is auto-populated with sample data, and hosted on their server. License fees are as follows:
- Corporate Package: $499.00
- Support and upgrades: $199.00 per year, first year is free.
- Branding removal: $299.00
- Setup: $50.00
Web-hosted or Licensed:
Licensed, and hosted on your own server.
Hardware and Software Requirements:
The very technical list of server requirements lives here:
UseResponse tech specs
Specific Size of Business (or Company Size):
UseResponse markets themselves to the whole gamut of users, although I would suggest that the software has inherent upper and lower limitations. Therefor, I would not recommend it for startups or enterprise-sized businesses.
Ease of Use:
I began my demo of their software from my iPad. The website switched to a mobile-friendly interface, which appeared to use conventions commonly being implemented by mobile apps. In short, I was immediately optimistic. With more and more businesses going mobile, this can often be a make-or-break issue for software developers.
The use of the software itself was… middling to my optimism. I was neither impressed, nor terribly disappointed. Was it easy to navigate? Yes. Could it be better? Yes. For example: after trying out features (upvoting, downvoting, leaving comments, starting a new feature request, moderating threads, etc) I found myself several pages away from the “home screen,” with no obvious way to get back. Clicking on a seemingly unrelated graphic in the upper left corner (of a penguin in a hammock, saying “coolness”) was actually the link back to the home screen.
Also, after my session timed out, the page arrayed itself in a narrow column of pure text. Clicking my mobile browser’s refresh button brought the graphical UI back.
The UE from a web browser was almost identical in appearance, but It was easier to navigate. However, not everything does what you expect it to do. Under the “Ideas” tab, there is a text box where you can submit your own feature requests. But instead of simply doing that, it searches for that feature first, and if it isn’t found, you are then directed to a separate page where you have to input your request again in order for it to actually be submitted. This reduces duplicate requests, which is good for the admin in the long run, but is a bit clunky for the user.
Admin moderation entails a lot of navigation. For example, rather than being able to reclassify a feature request from “Under Consideration” to “Planned,” I had to navigate through several pages in order to do this very basic task. This kind of thing gets very tedious for a moderator who uses the software on a daily basis.
In short, everything works, but not with finesse. It’s not the razor-sharp piece of programming that I see in its competitors. You can carve a turkey with a jigsaw, but is it the right tool for the job? Probably not.
As for the ease of implementing this software on your server, I wholeheartedly recommend paying the $50 to UseResponse for their setup assistance. The tech-savvy businessperson can probably figure it out for themselves, but I’d rather pay the reasonable fee and know it’s being done the right way, the first time.
The most useful feature offered in the Free package is API integration, which is its sole saving grace. This version is so sparse on functionality that you would absolutely have to use API integrations (and several of them) to do anything of consequence.
The Corporate Package includes:
- User Response Categories: Users can categorize their own feedback, enabling quick organization and admin reporting. By default, the categories are: Ideas, Problems, Questions, and Thanks. These headings can be custom tailored to your needs.
- User Response Voting: Popular ideas and feedback can be upvoted, which helps to eliminate duplicate responses. Downvoting can also be enabled.
- User Ranking: The most active users earn a higher ranking. This allows you to get to know your market segment better, and to select members for a Customer Loyalty campaign.
- Comments: In lieu of a user forum, Comments allow users to respond to one another and refine their suggestions.
- Analytics: Get reports on your users and trends, and organize them into easy-to-read graphs.
- Social Media: Get feedback and provide support from right inside Facebook, Twitter, and the Mobile App.
- Chat Widget: Engage with your customers instantaneously with live chat. Customizable with auto-greetings and offline messaging features.
Integrations and Add-Ons:
There are currently only four modules on the UseResponse website. Each of them seems simple enough that, in my opinion, they ought to be standard equipment with your $500+ software purchase.
In their own words:
“You can customize interface using our themes or create your own. All you will need is just basic CSS knowledge to make your custom theme based on the default system themes we offer.”
They say “themes” with a bit of expectancy for the future. There is currently only one theme available, and all it seems to do is widen the viewing area of the widget.
Customer Service and Technical Support:
UseResponse openly states that users on the Free plan are deprioritized in their support system. Those who wish to purchase the $199/year support package will have access to support and upgrades for that year.
- Phone: (516) 874-2876
- Email support
- Twitter feed
- Facebook page
Although I was only testing their software under a demo environment and not their Free Plan, I had a very positive experience in dealing with their customer service. I expected a longer wait time, due to the demo status of my account. I sent a series of emails and received replies each time within a few hours, and the information provided to me was relatively clear and concise.
Negative Reviews and Complaints:
User feedback was very sparse, and most of what I found was unquantifiable. (To simply say “it’s great!” or “no way” is not a review that I can take to the bank.) the list below is comprised of my own findings:
- If you operate multiple online storefronts, you will need to purchase a separate license for each website, and install it on a separate server. This can become very difficult to manage from a technical standpoint. Incidental costs (redundant servers, additional licenses, redundant support plans, for example) can make this extremely prohibitive.
- Maintenance and security are entirely up to the user. If any problems arise, you’re largely on your own. There is a support credit you can purchase for $200, but this cost will invariably come at a bad time (when there’s already a problem at hand) and applies only to the software, not to your servers.
- To properly compare pricing with their competitors, I’d have to opt-in for everything they offer (setup assistance, technical assistance, white branding.) I would also have to consider the cost to maintain each server that it is installed on. As such, UseResponse totals $1050.00 to start up, with $200 recurring yearly for continued tech support, plus the costs to maintain my own servers. This does not include web design to make up for a lack of available themes, compared to competitors.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials:
Of the user reviews that had something useful to say, this is a good cross-section of the most common feedback:
- Perfectly solves my need for customer support.
- Great Product!
- Great all-in-one support suite.
Security is managed by you, or your network administrator.
The reason that people finance anything is to get something nicer or more timely than their immediate budget allows. Subscription-based SaaS (essentially, financed software licenses) tend to cost more in the long run, but are often a better product with better support in the meantime. Software being licensed with a one-time fee can leave the user feeling left on their own after the purchase is made.
This is how I felt with this software. On my own to develop modules and API add-ons. On my own in web design. On my own maintaining my servers. Chances are, your average business administrator does not have an alternate identity with superpowers in these areas. Yet, however much these things are needed is circumstantial, depending on the unique business model using the software.
As with most aspects of business, it all boils down to this: do you want a product, or do you want a service? Neither answer is wrong; it’s a matter of preference. If you want a HelpDesk solution in the same way that you want an appliance, UseResponse is your product. But if you want a solution that has a more personal touch, I recommend looking elsewhere.
UseResponse will appeal to those who would rather own a product, rather than lease it, in order to have full control (and responsibility) over something that provides a critical function of business. If this sounds like you, then UseResponse is a perfect fit.
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We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.
We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.