The Social Way to Give & Get Satisfaction

The social web tool for providing customer was launched in September, 2007, and is really gaining traction these days, as Twitter is one of its most active clients.

What is it? It’s a new way that customers and companies can use public forums to solve problems. Companies can pro-actively use the site as their main location to address customer service issues, or customers can create their own company discussions. More technically, it is a social web built with Ruby on Rails application that allows companies to outsource some of its customer service functions whereby company reps and the general public can both help others who are experiencing problems with a given company’s products or services.

Here’s how they describe themselves:

bq. Get Satisfaction is a direct connection between people and companies that fosters problem-solving, promotes sharing, and builds up relationships. Thousands of companies use this neutral space to support customers, exchange ideas, and get feedback about their products and services. Get Satisfaction is open, transparent, and free. You’re free to ask, free to answer, and free to start a new conversation. Everyone is invited and encouraged to participate: companies, employees, customers — anyone with an opinion, an answer, or something to say.

Here are some of the things I like about, that are also common characteristics of many social web applications:

* It is easy to use, like a good forum, so the abilty to start working in it is fast. Discussions are threaded, and there are visual icons to give a quick glance as to the nature of each discussion.
* The energy there is far more neutral than in a company-hosted site or a consumer-only site. Each of those tend to favor one or the other side of the conversation, and to invite flaming. So far, Get Satisfaction seems to attract more maturity and general interest in solving problems, which is not to say some discussions don’t get heated. They sometimes do.
* It allows both a company and a customer to start a discussion. In some cases, customers can help each other. In ideal cases, the company in question joins the conversation. This allows those people who love a product or service to not only evangelize it, but to directly support it. Companies take note: These are your most valued customers!

For more information:

You can read a very insightful interview with the founder over at FastCompany:
“…why customer service is the new marketing, why you should bring edge users into the core of your business, and how a company you might expect to get it (Facebook) and one you might not (Comcast) are taking very different approaches.”