Customer Service and the Web 2.0 platform

November 15, 2008

I am looking for ways to improve customer services of some existing web platforms. Using ‘’ might be a good way to do this! Below I present an overview of this exiting platform, and indicate some key benefits.

To be clear: I have not had any real experience yet with using in this way.

Does a New Website Hold the Secret to Great Customer Service?

Summary of this interview with CEO of Thor Mueller – with my comments on some of his quotes added:

  • ‘Launched in September, 2007, the site provides forums where customers discuss problems with products and services of 2,500 companies from Apple to Zappos — whether the company participates or not. (…) We’ve got companies large and small that are actively participating, ranging from Comcast and Google and Paypal to more up-and-comers like Twitter and Timbuk2.’

GetSatisfaction is a viable platform – well known startups such as Twitter use it; it is also used by large companies such as Dell and Microsoft.

Some companies have their own employees acting on it; whereas e.g. the Facebook entry on GetSatisfaction is completely run by volunteers. Dell using GetSatisfaction for customers services on 18 different products (as of november 2008)

  • ‘The problem with traditional forums — which in many cases worked quite well over the years — is that they’re often difficult to search or the answer is buried way, way down.’

This is what I see when setting up communities, e.g. by using – is a great platform, but has limited capabilities for customer services. could be used by a group of experienced users from the specific Ning community to help out new users of the Ning community.

  • ‘Our proposition is different; it’s a neutral space. We call it a Switzerland between companies and customers, and it’s designed for positive outcomes.’

The proposition of GetSatisfaction enhances the attractiveness of your community, by offering this neutral space.

  • ‘… In a very basic way, we’re seeing that customer service is the ultimate way of creating word-of-mouth marketing and creating lifetime value with customers.’

‘Word-of-mouth’ marketung is the primary driver for growth of online communities; enhancing it with a customer service platform can enable such growth.

How it works

Key benefits

On Get Satisfaction for Your Company:

  • ‘Create and retain passionate users’
  • ‘Get users involved in improving your products and services’: this is the most important benefit when using it for a type of community
  • ‘Reduce customer churn and repetitive support tasks’


  • GetSatisfaction support OpenId ; this makes the barrier of entry lower (easy authentication mechanism)
  • ‘Our feedback widget allows you to collect customer input on any page of your site.’ – this means you can have a tight integration of GetSatisfaction on each of the pages of you site.

Comparison with other customer services platform

Comparison with older ways of online support (FAQ’s etc)

‘Customers helping customers: The first step is to use Web 1.0 tools like a FAQ or knowledge bases to enable customer self-help – this is a fairly standard operating procedure for the vast majority of contact centers. However, beyond this there is an opportunity to allow customers to help each other through forums, wiki product manuals (e.g. see Moto Q wiki), customer-led support (Second Life does it), or online problem solving venues (e.g. see’

Possible downsides…

… to using as complementing a community; however I do not yet know how serious these downsides are:

  • users have to create yet another account (although the OpenId support makes this a less serious downside)
  • spam messages on your GetSatisfaction forum
  • (for Dutch users): the site is in English, not in Dutch

Government use

From Brian Solis on TechCrunch (‘Is Obama Ready To Be A Two-Way President?‘)- he mentions the idea of using GetSatisfaction:

‘Other opportunities to engage with citizens online include:

– Launch a social network at and/or

– Create a citizen feedback and collaboration page at GetSatisfaction

What do you think?

It would be great if you would contribute your thoughts, either by posting a comment on this post below, of @replying on my twitter account! Thanks!


What is Web 2.0?

July 12, 2008

Tim O’Reilly:

…. the internet as Web 2.0 is displacing Microsoft Windows as the dominant software development platform,

…. the competitive edge comes from aggregating the collective intelligence of everyone who uses the platform….. ‘

‘Web 2.0 is a transformative force that’s propelling companies across all industries
towards a new way of doing business characterized by harnessing collective intelligence, ….


Wikipedia’s definition of Web 2.0

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Your favorite books on Social Media (Web 2.0) are?

July 12, 2008

Your favorite books on Social Media (Web 2.0) are?

What are your favorite books on Social Media (Web 2.0)? My favorites are:
– Web 2.0: A Strategy Guide – by Amy Shuen – ‘Business thinking and strategies behind successful Web 2.0 implementations.’
– The Tipping Point by Malcolm Bradwell – ‘… that magic moment when ideas, trends and social behaviours cross a threshold, tip and spead like wildfire…’
More of my ideas on Web 2.0 at:

Q/A on LinkedIn



Katherine Coombs

Senior Innovation Manager at Lloyds TSB

see all my answers

Best Answers in: Change Management (1)

This was selected as Best Answer

I am reading Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff. It’s interesting, but to be honest I dare say that it would be impossible to write a futureproof book about Web 2.0 in the Web 2.0 world! Content and views change so often, and behaviours change, and new websites are launched that I suspect that the best sources of information aren’t going to be books but are going to be digital blogs.

Ralph Bernstein

Web Manager at Productivity Press

see all my answers

Best Answers in: Business Development (1)… see more, Supply Chain Management (1) see less

Naked Conversations, by Shel Israel and Robert Scoble. It’s a book about corporate blogging.

Messages from Ralph Bernstein (1):

Kelly Rusk

Digital marketing and social media enthusiast

see all my answers

Best Answers in: Internet Marketing (2)… see more, Direct Marketing (1) see less

I’m also reading Groundswell and loving it. Though I will disagree that they are focusing on theories and strategies to adapt to changing technology so it will be relevant for years to come (though the examples may get out dated)
What’s interesting is right before I read the Cluetrain Manifesto, which just hit the 10 year mark. The funny thing is there are so many similarities between the two.

Daniel B. Honigman

Social Media Coordinator/Strategy, Chicago Tribune

see all my answers

I liked “Wikinomics” by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams. It talks about the sheer social and economic force of collaborative media.

Baseer Mohammed

Owner, Future Consulting Inc

see all my answers

Interesting question. I am traditionalist (is it a real word) Dale Carnegi’s good old book still holds true “How to win friends and keeping them”

Most interesting book on Social Media (Web 2.0) seems to be: Groundswell, by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff.

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Web 2.0 and Management

Forrester Research: ‘Top Enterprise Web 2.0 Predictions For 2008

February 3, 2008

Forrester Research: ‘Top Enterprise Web 2.0 Predictions For 2008

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:’The enterprise Web 2.0 market, which includes (…)
blogs, wikis, and social networking within the enterprise,
was a growing force in enterprise software in 2007.

(…) it will continue to gain importance in 2008
as an increasing number of firms look to enterprise Web 2.0 tools…
… to solve long-standing information worker problems. (…)

Microsoft SharePoint will “steamroll” Web 2.0 market, plus eight more predictions from Forrester:

“IT departments taking a leadership role in enterprise 2.0 deployments will look at SharePoint first,” Young writes. ”

Some of the other predictions of Forrester:

  • ‘Web 2.0 will make it big in the enterprise.
  • RSS feeds will become substantially more popular
  • Businesses will be more willing to buy social networking platforms
  • Midtier vendors, rather than start-ups, will pour into the enterprise Web 2.0 market
  • Trial deployments will spread through more of the enterprise’

More reading:

Web 2.0 overview

Gartner on Web 2.0

What is Wikinomics?

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What is Wikinomics? ‘How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything’

January 5, 2008


This is a great book that describes the impact of the new Web 2.0 internet, with all the new possibilities of mass collaboration.

It is written by Don Tapscott (Author), Anthony D. Williams (Author) .

Tapscott and Williams clearly show the major impact the Web 2.0 will have on Corporations.

‘From these principles Tapscott discusses the following actors:

  • Ideagoras the creation of open forums where ideas are freely shared and developed (…)
  • Prosumers who are a rising group of customers who will both produce and consume new products and services.
  • New Alexandrians the ‘librarians’ who will bring people together (..).
  • Platforms of Participation which is where the wiki economy will happen.
  • Global Plant Floor recognizes that manufacturing has become more open and able to support mass customized products.

Here are some useful reviews on Amazon.

Video interview with Don Tapscott (at ‘Authors at Google’ :


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Web 2.0 and Management

Facebook presentation by Mark Zuckerberg (CEO)

December 29, 2007

video_photo_01.jpg is the largest Social Networking site; with some 58+ million active users.

This is a very interesting interview video with Mark Zuckerberg (CEO) at the web 2.0 Summit 2007; with good explanations of the ‘Social Graph‘ concept that is central to Facebook (and to LinkedIn, MySpace, etc).

It is one of the most important new platforms, which may well be able to compete to large platforms such as Amazon and Google.

Great video with Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook) explaining the newest developments at

He talks about further opening up the platform to third party developers and how to make money on his platform. He is speaking for some 800 developers at the f8 Keynote in San Francisco. Currently there are more than 10000 Facebook applications.

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Understand how Web 2.0 tools can improve your project management

December 23, 2007

From: Web 2.0 and project management

Old Approach, New Model for Projects
A project manager can set up a project wiki page in a minute. A number of wiki service providers are available, however or seem to standout. Once a project wiki page is created, a PM may invite project members and stakeholders into the wiki page, a people’s page is created identifying everyone’s role and contact information. Subsequently team members may setup blogs, which act as personal diary pages posting comments and photos. Finally project applications maybe added such as calendars, file cabinets, meeting agendas and other services.

The following figure shows a proposed model for a project wiki page.

project wiki diagram

This model promises to improve project delivery by streamlining communication and focusing the team on real project issues. But most importantly, it is a model that promises to boost project quality assurance by reducing errors and provides for better risk management. The project wiki becomes a live project office to some extent. ‘


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