People tend to want to help each other, when given the chance. I've stood in many lines where people started conversations to share information about products and services they liked. I've even swapped some of those stories while riding elevators in hotels during conferences.
While these dynamics are part of the natural way in which we connect in person, we have been faster at implementing ways for people to offer peer support online. You've probably already participated in forums and listserv conversations about a company, a product or a service where other members offered advice and tips. Blogs are a perfect tool to assist other professionals with their questions and needs, too.
Thor Muller and Lane Becker are taking online support to the next level. Believing that everyone has expertise in something, especially the products they use every day and love, they are creating a destination for customers to receive online service. They want to give you a place when you can log your questions about a product, talk about a problem, or share an idea you have with a company. And they will make it easy for you to get the response you need.
As Thor said in a recent comment about the imminent launch:
We believe that there’s a big shift in how value is created around products and services. Not long ago people assumed that most if not all value was created inside companies, and we “consumers” were there to pay to receive such value. Today, however, the smartest companies recognize that much of the value they can deliver is paradoxically created *outside* their businesses, whether it is Google leveraging expert links training their algorithm, or Lego (and Dell) using its users to define the next generation of its products, or Tivo quietly encouraging its customers to train each other on those extra cool hacks they can’t mention for fear of alienating partners.
As we see it, great customer service -- even the hand-holding, time-is-of-the-essence type -- is increasingly more likely to come from passionate customers than it is from inside the corporate monolith alone.
I sat down with Thor and Lane to talk about their vision for Satisfaction, a company they co-founded with Amy Muller to provide people-powered customer service for absolutely everything. Our conversation is the subject of this week's post at FC Expert blogs.