Can Better User Feedback Help StudiVZ Rise Again?

By David Knight |

Could StudiVZ be on the rise again? The social network, once seen as Germany’s answer to Facebook – some would say a mere Facebook clone – has seemingly been on the decline for some time now. But it could well have helped arrest that trend thanks to the use of a ‘social support tool’ called reqorder, which improves interaction between a company and its users.

StudiVZ is short for Studentenverzeichnis, which means ‘students’ directory’ in German, and makes up the VZ Networks along with schülerVZ (for school kids), meinVZ and freundeVZ. It was launched from a Berlin flat in 2005 and quickly rose to prominence, being sold for €85 million in 2007. But in recent years it has reportedly been in decline, despite still claiming 16 million registered users across all the VZ networks (a figure disputed elsewhere).

But there is apparently an air of optimism surrounding the social network now, with a successful recent relaunch. And using reqorder, more than 6,000 suggestions were gathered for ways to improve and further develop the portal.

Reqorder is a social customer support solution from Berlin-based company Krauttools. It has helped focus the new VZ on improving how the feedback from users is utilised, with dialogue and active exchange essential. VZ can use reqorder to learn directly from the users about any issues, problems or ideas which have arisen from the new platforms, which can then be recorded and evaluated faster and questions can be answered more precisely and efficiently.

Philipp Kemper, CEO of Krauttools, said: “We are pleased that innovative companies such as VZ have recognized the potential of social customer support and are using it to improve their product and service quality.”

Maik Pätzold, VZ Networks’ customer advocate, added: “With reqorder, we have found a tool that opens up an efficient communication channel for our users.”

All well and good, but can improving interaction with users help studiVZ regain some of its former glory? It is certainly facing an uphill struggle as Facebook continues making gains in non-English speaking countries, an area in which it had up till now had only limited success.