Devo said it Best “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

25 02 2008

A San Francisco start-up called Get Satisfaction is the latest online ombudsman to try to mediate customer service complaints.
New York Times: LINK

Get Satisfaction allows people to post feedback about their experiences with any company they choose, and it encourages companies to visit its site, www.getsatisfaction.com, to respond publicly. Since September, when the site began, people have posted complaints or comments regarding 2,000 companies, and 40 percent of the companies have answered, at no charge to either side.
The Internet is rife with sounding boards for the disgruntled, who have their choice of blogs, sound-off sites like Yelp and Epinions, and dedicated customer service sites like Get Satisfaction, PlanetFeedback and Complaints.com.
All this venting can bring about some productive results — happier customers, resolved disputes — but it remains to be seen whether the sites that serve as intermediaries can actually turn a decent profit.
Complaints.com and PlanetFeedback make money from advertisements; the founder of PlanetFeedback, Pete Blackshaw, said in an interview that he made little money from the site but ran it mainly as a hobby. Matthew Smith, the founder of Complaints.com, said his site was profitable, but would not offer specifics.
Get Satisfaction, which is backed by venture capital and aims one day to be financially stable, has little if any revenue and has not decided if it will sell ads; rather, its goal is to persuade companies to buy the software it has developed. The software helps companies communicate with customers. It also organizes data about the people talking about their products and what they are saying.
For now, companies that want to use Get Satisfaction can grab a free application, or widget, from its Web site and put it on their own sites. The software code in the widget then directs customers to the dialogue on Get Satisfaction. As with many start-ups, Get Satisfaction hopes to build an audience first and make money later.
The company asserts that the Internet can lead to better customer service dialogue — if people make reasonable complaints, customers can help one another solve problems. It can also make companies more open to acknowledging their mistakes and to fixing them…

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