In this age of social media where brands are flocking to Twitter and Facebook to engage with the customers and make their presence felt, is there really a need for an enterprise tool for online customer care?

BubbleIdeas, a Singapore-based startup, believes so. It’s a web-based enterprise communication terminal, or an “online customer care” as they call it, where consumers can provide direct feedback and receive customer support from companies.

One of the 50 startups at echelon 2010, BubbleIdeas was started by former PluggdIn writer Arvind Nigam as CEO, and Praveen Kumar Sinha, who was one of the early employees at SlideShare, as CTO.

In our interview with Nigam, he shared about product features, how BubbleIdeas will help companies to reduce its cost, and more importantly how BubbleIdeas compares itself to social media sites.

Q: What’s the main pain point you are addressing for your customers?

We simplify communication between customers & organizations.

Communication between customers & organizations has largely been in form of emails till date. One-to-one. Organizations would undertake cold calling, carry out expensive surveys and also deploy significant investment to receive phone calls at a call center to handle volumes. Traditionally this engagement with the masses has been expensive, inefficient and the processes always worked in hindsight.

We provide a clean & lean platform for communication between masses and the organizations.

On BubbleIdeas we manage different forms of messages that come into a company and segregate them into specific verticals. These messages are converted into prioritized insights such as powerful ideas, disagreeable ideas, heated debates, inconclusive mentions etc. etc. where people who are potential customers can share their 2 cents with the company and other customers. The social & intelligent way.

Q: A lot of enterprise companies are wary about using Social Media due to the fear of negative feedback, how do you plan to counter that for BubbleIdeas?

We assist at three levels over here:

1. We provide several forms of controls to the company with which it can keep the hygiene on, without compromising on relationship with customer. The application is designed to handle profanity automatically and also lets companies and customers exchange their messages privately.

Now here is the bet. If you look at the web today, you’ll find that it is full of negative rants against some companies and that too on web properties which are totally out of control of the company itself. By deploying BubbleIdeas, the enterprise clients can ensure that their customers talk to them directly rather than go on to other websites which are out of their control. This helps them prevent an irrepairable damage.

2. We search & index the social web to collect data around a company or brand which brings out the sentiment around the web. This helps the companies in understanding the core issues and guides them into taking decisions in favor of themselves.

3. We also recommend social media consultants & web experts, especially to large enterprise/Government, who consult the companies to leverage the best of BubbleIdeas and the social web by helping them tide over negativity or PR issues which might crop up during the course of the deployment. These experts guide them on managing the web equation smoothly.

Q: Why did you choose to go for an enterprise-centric approach rather than consumer-centric approach like UserVoice?

Well honestly BubbleIdeas is a much larger software solution and its real use-case is enterprise or Governments only. Our solution is meant for situations like when you have a million customers but cannot listen to what the masses are trying to say. You utilize BubbleIdeas to figure out the sentiment of the crowd by enabling them with social tools & semantics to bring out the voice of the people.

That said, it is not out of place to mention that BubbleIdeas is not a purely enterprise solution. Our front-end UI/UX is completely consumer-web oriented while the back-end is more serious and business like. We sit in between consumer-web & enterprise-web.

Q: Does BubbleIdeas have any integration with Twitter or Facebook – a place where a lot of online chatter happens?

Yes. We do integrate in terms of sharing with friends & tweeting. But then if you have something to write to a company, you don’t go to Facebook  do you? You’ll still go to the corporate website of the company and try to find “contact us” page.

BubbleIdeas will be releasing the beta version of the product on Dec 1.