The Internet has made a huge difference in the way customers air their beefs with companies. Now comes word of a new free site that says they’ll take your gripes right to a company.
The thing with complaining on the Internet is that there’s a certain backlash about it all if it’s done in the wrong way. On Consumerist.com, for example, people post their horror stories about businesses. But your fellow consumers stand in judgment of you and they’ll be rough with the justice if they think you’re a whiner, complaining about nothing like a spoiled brat.
One of the early pioneers of using social media to complain was the guy who did the ‘United Breaks Guitars’ video. After this disgruntled customer took to the web, United had to learn to fly right in terms of treating somebody fairly when they break their stuff.
Today the use of Facebook and Twitter to complain is routine. I recently read about somebody who was in a restaurant with a complaint and Tweeted it. Before the check arrived, the manager found out about the Tweets (by monitoring social media) and came by the person’s table to apologize for whatever was wrong. (Of course, the response time won’t always be so quick!)
Now a new site called Groubal.com is trying to organize all the social media gripes and says it will take your complaint to the company and demand an answer. Groubal even compiles its own Customer Satisfaction Index on companies. It’s like social networking for complaining, as people look for more and more effective ways to be heard in a busy world.