Last week, Microsoft began signaling that it was going to drop the UserVoice platform for responding to customer feedback. A number of Office 365-related UserVoice forums were closed with no advanced notice, as noted by Tony Redmond, Office 365 expert and owner and principal of Redmond & Associates Consulting.
After receiving questions, the company is now relaying its plans via a statement from a company spokesperson, acknowledging that Microsoft will be dropping the UserVoice feedback sites on a product-by-product basis throughout the 2021 calendar year.
“We are always striving to better serve our customers, including how we can improve the tools and processes for collecting feedback. We are leveraging 1st party solutions and are evaluating enhancements and standardizations to improve and streamline how we communicate with customers and collect their feedback,” said the spokesperson.
The spokesperson noted that Microsoft already has moved away from the O365 UserVoice site, but noted that the company has “a variety of channels that allow customers to communicate with us.” Among these channels are Windows Feedback Hub, Microsoft Community, Microsoft Tech Community, Microsoft Store and Microsoft Q&A, as noted on a Microsoft support page. (Microsoft dropped UserVoice in favor of other channels for Windows users in 2015 or so.)
In September 2020, Microsoft officials told IT admins that they’d be changing the user feedback controls for Microsoft 365 Business subscriptions. IT pros were given the opportunity to join a preview program under the Office Insider program to test these management controls for Office apps. Officials said their goal was “to centralize all Microsoft 365 under one set of (feedback) controls.”
According to the Microsoft 365 Roadmap, “Feedback from your organization coming to the admin center” is listed as a March 2021 deliverable with limited worldwide availability. This feature, the roadmap says, “enables admins to view feedback submitted to Microsoft by organizational users about their experiences with Microsoft 365 applications. The new feedback view will be under the Health node in the Microsoft 365 admin center.”
I’m not sure how long Microsoft has used the UserVoice platform as a way for users to send ideas and suggestions to the engineering teams, but Microsoft is cited as a customer case study on the UserVoice site.
I’ve asked Microsoft if (and how) the company plans to migrate existing UserVoice requests and feedback to its various new channels. No word back so far.