On the face of it, Satisfaction is just another Web 2.0 community web site, this time focusing on consumer help. Dig a little deeper though, and you’ll find some very important differences. First off, the design makes it very easy to find answers fast. You want help with your digital camera, simply enter in the search terms and the dynamic Ajax search will start giving you results immediately. No waiting around for a page refresh of results. It’s slick and very inviting.
The next cool feature is that you can add any company that is not already on there, at which point you become a sort of Joe Public sponsor of the discussion for that company. Not only that, but employees of the company can join (claim) the discussion forum and start to respond to customer queries in real time, thereby adding value and expertise to queries and problems. It’s a great idea and once it gets enough traction I can see it becoming a mandatory part of any organisation’s customer relations strategy, if they want to keep their customers happy of course.
Of course there will always be firms who don’t want to talk to their customers, but they will inevitably disappear as we demand more responsiveness from our suppliers. It’s the conversation, baby, geddit? And companies will of course get the benefit of talking to and hearing back directly from their customers, which has got to be a good thing for the bottom line long term.
The rest of the site functionality lies in the usual community fare, but done well.
A quick look at a typical company/product discussion page reveals just how useful this service will become once it’s populated with lots of content. The search may be the key to opening up the treasure, but it’s the details that will turn it into a kind of Wikipedia for consumer relations. Information on the company’s products, latest questions, problems and answers from users, a personal dashboard summarising your community activity, etc etc, all wrapped up in a delicious Ruby on Rails candy coated design shell. OK, so there are a couple of broken bits (do a search for Sony and it tells you there’s no Sony company on the site, er but there is…) but these are clearly teething problems.
It’s a great application, and probably the first pure bred Cluetrain Manifesto application on the Web, which is fascinating. Definitely one to watch, and use as the need arises. Nice!
Satisfaction is people-powered customer service for absolutely everything. More specifically, though, it’s a place where communities of customers come together to answer each others questions, share ideas with each other or with an organization, report and solve problems and generally talk about about what matters to them around these products or services. When the organization or company is involved too it gives them a way to engage with their customers around the issues that matter to their customers most. Satisfaction provides a neutral playing ground where companies and customers can interact to everybody’s benefit.