Got Get Satisfaction?

Get Satisfaction is an intriguing step ahead for customer service. Not only is the site blessedly free of the muzak that many of us have endured while waiting endlessly to talk to a customer representative, but it has also taken the collaborative approach that is one of Web 2.0’s hallmarks and applied it so that users of a product can obtain customer support in the truest sense of the word.

Users of this site support each other, using it as a forum to share ideas, discuss problems and propose solutions. It also provides a welcome sense of not being alone in a particular predicament.
The design aids in this with its “I have this problem too” button so that they can be notified when an effective solution is proposed. Site users can also mark any successful solution with a star so that others will know that it really works. Users can also propose ideas to any companies that happen to be wise enough to have employees interacting with their customers.

Not that the design is without flaws. The “how it works” link is at the bottom of the page where it is harder to find for the people who need it most, those who are less comfortable with technology. Also, the page is a bit cluttered, it’s a lot for the eye to take in all at once.

Twitter has been very savvy in its use of the site. The company has responded to some user suggestions and has been wise enough to post alerts about dates when their IM service will be down for revamping. The company has 14 employee representative, including the CEO and a co-founder, and they do interact with and give the indication of “listening and participating” as the site puts it, though they reacted faster when fewer customers were involved.

But this site does not work as well for companies with a lower profile, as Greenbox demonstrates. This company, which “provides simple hosted software for cause-based non-profits,” has almost no participation, despite the efforts of its official rep to generate discussion. He’s started three out of six topics and only received replies from one user. Without a community of users, a company representative is just shouting into the ether.

The site can also backfire on a company. As PR professionals well know, communicate badly or communicate the wrong message and there will be consequences. Twitter is facing a backlash about their handling of a user reportedly dealing with cyberbullying . Discussions around that have devolved into griping. When companies do not participate fast enough (or at all) their portion of Get Satisfaction seethes, despite the well-intentioned and well-worded company-customer pact that Get Satisfaction has crafted.

Get Satisfaction is a great way for companies to find out what people are saying about them and their products. It can help them shape their PR by knowing what their users’ s concerns and desires are. If the site continues to grow in popularity, it should force companies to get real and it will definitely motivate them to get busy.


1 comment so far

  1. Brave New Worlder on

    Thanks, Abby. Didn’t know that Get Satisfaction existed, and I’m going now to take a look.

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