Remember Dave Carroll, the dude who created a protest song, United Breaks Guitars, when his guitar was broken during a trip on United Airlines in 2008? His YouTube video became a massive online hit, and United was said to suffer some $180 million when its share price plunged from the bad publicity. Carroll’s experience would become a case study in social media – and customer service – history.
Well, Carroll is back, but this time he’s surfaced as a co-founder of – surprise – online customer complaint resolution service provider Gripevine.com. Gripevine.com is an online social media platform that basically allows consumers to publicly post a complaint about any company and have the complaint automatically channeled to the right authority within that company that have the power to help resolve the complaint. Companies can track complaints, via an enterprise dashboard, that can be integrated with internal corporate customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
It’s quite similar to customer community software platform GetSatisfaction.com – which was launched in 2007 – and like GetSatisfaction.com it aims to work almost like an online ombudsman to help mediate complaints between companies and their customers.
“At the end of the day, a company knows exactly what they need to do in order to get the complaint resolved to the satisfaction of the consumer; it’s just a matter of bringing it to their attention in an informative, precise and direct manner,” says Dave Carroll, who founded Gripevine.com with business partner Richard Hue. “We are in a unique position to level the playing field between consumers and companies by ending the negative stereotypes that are often unfortunately associated with customer service.”