Customer Service 2.0 – People Powered Customer Service

Satisfaction_logo_2  Nick Gonzalez at TechCrunch highlights the $1.3M round raised by Satisfaction Unlimited as they develop what might be considered a Customer Service 2.0 model for customer support powered by a company’s customers or users.

The founding team of Satisfaction has a strong track record of launching interesting services. With the trio of Thor Muller who co-founded Rubyred Labs and led Frog Design, Lane Becker who co-founded Adaptive Path and help create MeasureMap, and Amy Muller who co-founded Rubyred Labs, Violet and led Frog Design,  I suspect we’ll see Satisfaction emerge as a thought leader in ways to leverage the crowdsourcing model.

Nick writes:

"Customers are a hidden source of product specialists that corporations have been slow to tap. They usually become very knowledgeable about products they love and can often solve problems an understaffed support department doesn’t have the resources or will to solve. It’s no wonder crowdsourcing your customers has become a popular and lucrative business. – just see our recent coverage of PowerReviews and Bazaarvoice).

Satisfaction Unlimited is another one of the companies tapping this knowledge base by helping young companies crowdsource their support amongst their customers. They’re doing it through a network of corporate discussion boards that let customers ask questions, propose ideas, submit problems, or just chat. Satisfaction is currently powering online support for a couple notable properties (Twitter, Pownce, Slideshare) and is now opening up a public beta to even more companies. They’ve also just raised a $1.3 million round from First Round Capital, O’Reilly Alphatech Ventures, Jeff Clavier, Adaptive Path, Mike Brown, and Jason Schultz."

Other entries in this space include PowerReviews, BazaarVoice and Jive Software.  So far it appears as if Satisfaction has seen early traction with emerging players.  Their blogs and framing of the service indicates that their eye is on the crowdsourcing opportunity linked to the large enterprise market that is typically the turf of companies like Jive Software.

Congrats to the Satisfaction team.  Overall, we should expect to see the Customer Service 2.0 space emerge on a number of different fronts that leverage the collective intelligence of customers.

Comments

  1. Hi, Bruce! Thanks for the kind writeup. I wanted to take issue with one aspect, however — we don’t see ourselves as competing with sites like PowerReviews or Bazaarvoice, as they’re companies that are very directly selling consumer-facing enterprise services to large manufacturers like Dell.
    Whereas what we’re doing with Satisfaction is much more consumer-oriented, centered on breaking down the silos between organizations rather than selling software into those silos. There’s absolutely a market for those business services, but we believe there’s a new and equally (or much more!) interesting market to be found when you recenter services like customer service around the *customer*, rather than around the company.

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