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Customer-powered support doesn't work  

When Paras Chopra posted this post attacking community-based support for startups, UserVoice tweeted in agreement, declaring that they are not, actually, a solution for community support.

They've now followed up with a blog post outlining some reasons why they themselves don't believe in community support, or, as they call it, customer-powered support:

  1. Very few of your customers are going to participate.
  2. It creates distance between you and your customers.
  3. You're not learning what's wrong with your products.
  4. Most support issues need to be private anyway.
  5. It requires the customer to know the product better than they typically do.

So, instead, get your hands dirty and do that customer support yourself, so you can both delight your customers and learn from them.

They'll be posting more on the topic in the coming weeks on their Understanding your customers blog. Luckily, you won't have to check it to get the good stuff, since I'll repost it here as and when. ;-) The first one is here, and advocates focusing on customer happiness rather than cost metrics (a point we've heard before.

More from the library:
7 startup post-mortems
Hand to wannabe "product guys"
What's the use of stories that aren't even true?