Satisfaction: People-powered Customer Service

Satisfaction is a relatively new site (I believe still in beta) that offers “people-powered customer service”. Their site says:

Satisfaction‚Ñ¢ is a new way for customers and organizations to work together to get answers, solve problems, and create new and better products & services.

For both customers and companies, customer service has never been easier (or more fun).

Take a look at this thread (via Brian) and try to think of why I may be excited about it. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

(Hint: It has nothing to do with Twitter.)

  1. It’s open.
    No longer do customer service requests have to go to vague email addresses (do you know who actually reads support@ubercorp.com?). Now, your request can be out in the open. People know it has been asked. They can echo their thoughts if they have the same issue. They can offer help if the original poster was simply missing something. But it is out there. You’re not alone. Lots of people need customer support.
  2. It’s on a third party playing field.
    If you posted a question on Ubercorp’s site, they maintain it. They monitor it. They can make your question go away. They can ban your account if they don’t like the question. Here, if you ask a tough question, you won’t just go away. You have a community behind you.
  3. It works both ways.
    The user “goldtoe” is from Twitter. Satisfaction allows him to officially be listed as a Twitter representative. So, if this was done on a blog, the ranter could simply remove comments from the company defending itself. In this case—and this is a testament to goldtoe—there is not ranting here. This is a great dialogue. Which brings me to…
  4. Conversation is stressed—not rants.
    A user is suggesting a feature. The company says they’ve been thinking about that feature, but aren’t sure which is the best way to implement it. So, get this. He asks the community. Really, who knows what users want more than… users?

Obviously, that’s not it. But I’m loving checking the site out so far. I’ve used it to peruse some iPhone conversations. Haven’t contributed yet, but I’m always slow to do that.

I hope to one day have a Satisfaction page that I need to monitor…

Update: MUCH better assessment of Satisfaction by Jeremiah.

2 Comments

  1. On August 3rd, 2007 at 5:20 pm mark said:

    Adam,

    So this is a discussion facilitation site? How would you contrast this with a convential 3rd party threaded forum? For instance, perhaps a site like Notebookreview.com? Or even forum.thinkpads.com (not owned / sponsored by IBM or Lenovo, yet dedicated to the products?) What is lacking in those scenarios, is direct company participation. It’s all customer based. I agree satisfaction looks different, but I think it’s trying to accomplish the same idea. Right? Please do clarify my misunderstanding…

    I’m personally interested in how we (everyone) can evolve the old model of seller/buyer, producer/consumer, company/customer, into more of a partnership.
    I suggest partnership, because so far, individuals and companies are still just using social media as a new way to perpetuate conventional self interested thinking. Monitoring – what are they saying, blog posting for PR, customer’s posting to get help, or making noise to try to leverage a change in policy, or to get some concession. etc. (I’m painting with a big, sloppy generalization brush here , I know)

    The breakthrough could come where the producing/consuming ecosystem of the world becomes more obvious to everyone and we stop trying to manage solely to our individual (or collective) self interests. (again, the big generalization brush – no personal indictments) The partnership idea implies a symbiosis that goes beyond the transaction at point of sale.

  2. On August 4th, 2007 at 10:50 am Adam Darowski said:

    How would you contrast this with a convential 3rd party threaded forum? For instance, perhaps a site like Notebookreview.com? Or even forum.thinkpads.com (not owned / sponsored by IBM or Lenovo, yet dedicated to the products?) What is lacking in those scenarios, is direct company participation. It’s all customer based.

    I think you answered the question right there. What I see that is different is that they allow the company to “officially” join the discussion.

    I agree satisfaction looks different, but I think it’s trying to accomplish the same idea. Right?

    I’d say it is doing it in a far more wide-reaching (more companies and conversations) and organized way. It’s really easy to jump from company discussion to company discussion.

    Not to mention, something has to be said for the implementation. Satisfaction is just … slick. Something you can’t really get from just an off the shelf forum (unless it is highly tweaked). Let’s face it, forums have way too many features that just aren’t used.

    Things like the emoticons in Satsifaction are really taking off. So, people enjoy using it.

    Maybe that leads to more realistic discussion instead of flame wars…