'United Breaks Guitars' Sparks New Customer Complaint Model (video interview)
Musician Dave Carroll always has had a passion for customer service. So it's not surprising that in the wake of his highly popular "United Breaks Guitars" video on YouTube, he's become a one-man band in support of companies treating their customers fairly.
"We call our customers fans in the music business," he says, "but I've always respected the fact that people chose to come see my shows and buy our products and I always care that they like the product that they have."
When Carroll was approached to join in a new Web-based customer service program that seeks to connect customer and companies to resolve complaints before they escalate, he jumped at the chance. In this second of four video segments from my interview with him (first segment: "United Break Guitars" Made Dave Carroll a Customer Service Celebrity), he explains the concept behind www.gripevine.com:
Given his desire to serve his fans well, Carroll says he's always surprised at encountering bad customer service from other companies.
"When United Breaks went viral, I received 10,000 emails from people. A lot of them were saying 'congratulations' but a lot said ... here's something that happened to me. So it occurred to me that I'm not alone in this and millions of people in the world have had bad customer service experiences and would like not to have them again."
Carroll did create a website two years ago with which he intended to collect customer service stories. He said he never quite figured out what to do with the community once it was built. So the timing was right when entrepreneur Richard Hue and website developer Chris Caple approached him to become a partner in Gripevine. It's just coming out of beta testing now.
He says customers like using social media because they get a high level of happiness in terms of results and because it's fairly easy to voice what's on their mind. "And companies everywhere are realizing, too, that if you want to be relevant you have to be where you customers are and speaking their language. "That means companies are going to be embracing social a lot more," he says. "This gives them a fighting chance of managing their reputation in a really new world for everybody."
"United Breaks Guitars" -- song 2
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