GetSatisfaction is a website that provides a possible alternative for both companies and customers to resolve online customer service queries.
Get Satisfaction allows users to post feedback about their experiences with a company or to simply ask a question about products or services, and allows companies to respond directly and publicly.
How does it work?
Consumers who have a problem related to a product or company can search for that organisation on Get Satisfaction then ask a question or search for exisiting answers on the same topic.
For instance, the BBC page lists a number of active topics to do with the company, as well as the option to ask a new question, rate the company, give praise or share ideas for improvements.
Anyone can answer questions asked by users, but employees of specific organisations are identified as such, as well as 'official reps', whose answers carry more weight:
Customers can then comment on and rate replies, while problems that have been solved are marked as such.
For companies, Get Satisfaction offers them a chance to get more valuable customer feedback, to see what people are saying about them, and also to build an open customer service environment.
Other useful tools have been provided for companies to make the most of the site to improve their customer service. There are widgets that can be placed on websites to make it easier for customers to share ideas and give feedback.
The 'overheard' function is another tool, which monitors mentions of companies by Twitter users:
The basic services are free to use for companies, but Get Satisfaction offers paid for premium services which give management views and moderation and more editorial control over what appears on the site.
Plenty of companies have got involved on the site and have employees answering queries, including Twitter, Dell, Apple, Microsoft, Google and others though some, Facebook for example, have questions waiting to be answered.
Get Satisfaction is no substitute for providing excellent customer service through your own website and contact centres, but it does offer a useful method of dealing with problems that may not have reached you otherwise.
It also offers a way of getting some useful feedback on products and services, as well as enhancing your company's image as one that is open, transparent, and prepared to speak directly to customers.
Online Customer Service Briefing - June 2008