July 18, 2008

Get Satisfaction – Customer-Driven Customer Service


After spending an hour waiting on hold for the customer service from your cable company or cell phone carrier, you know first-hand how valuable – and rare – good customer service can be. One website, Get Satisfaction, has created a seemingly impossible solution to this problem: open and free conversations between customers and company representatives.

Get Satisfaction users discuss issues for over 2,500 companies and growing, from Apple to Twitter. A surprising advantage is that a company doesn’t have to participate to be part of this customer-driven site. About half of the companies on Get Satisfaction are added by customers, without company participation. Often, however, businesses will join in on conversations, and this is where honest communication between customer and company begins. In fact, many businesses have started using Get Satisfaction as their official customer service communications tool.

Why does Get Satisfaction work so well? As the founder of the site suggests, a company’s best customers often know more about a product and can provide more help than customer service representatives or online documentation can. Many customers are passionate about helping others solve problems – and often, these conversations focus on solutions, rather than problems alone. A surprising side effect is that even large companies, like Comcast, become more personal on Get Satisfaction. Using this forum, customer service truly does start to feel like a service.

Practical Uses:

  • Seek out and find companies that have embraced Get Satisfaction before you make your next big purchase
  • Create a no-cost customer service forum for your own business
  • Leverage Get Satisfaction to communicate feature requests for your favorite web services like Flickr or YouTube
  • Obtain technical support for a new digital camera using Get Satisfaction’s easy-to-use forum

Insider Tips:

  • Use the dashboard feature to view all the issues you’re following
  • Enable notifications, to see responses to your posts through email
  • “Follow” questions that you’re interested in to receive updates

What we liked:

  • When posting a new issue, Get Satisfaction helps you craft your question in a way that will get the most responses from other users
  • The site can notify you via email when others respond to an issue you created or have been following; you can also view responses on your Get Satisfaction dashboard or via RSS feed (really simple syndication).
  • Users get icons that look like cupcakes – a sweet and personal touch

What we didn’t like:

  • We couldn’t find anything not to like about this site


Company Info:

  • Launched: September 2007
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, CA
  • Founded by Lane Becker, Amy Muller, and Thor Muller
  • Web site:


  • Free

Submit a Comment