Reporting bad service – by SMS

1 February 2008

Cellular technology company Clickatell has teamed up with Don’t Go, a consumer advocacy website, to launch a new service that enables consumers to share their customer service experience – and complain about bad service – by SMS.

Clickatell said in a statement last Tuesday that the new service provides customers with the opportunity to report bad service using their cellphones in “a matter of seconds”, enabling organisations to take immediate action to deal with problems.

Founded in Cape Town in 2000, Clickatell specialises in bulk messaging services and SMS gateway connectivity, and is now headquartered in Redwood Shores, California.

Research used by the company shows that only a fraction of customers complain to businesses directly when they receive bad service, giving companies little chance to deal with problems directly.

Instead, consumers simply withdraw their support for the product or service and criticise the establishment to anyone who will listen.

“Businesses everywhere are challenged by not knowing the reasons why customers don’t come back to their establishment, other than telling the manager on the spot, which most people simply don’t do,” said Clickatell chief executive Pieter de Villiers.

“Customers everywhere carry cellphones which now can easily be used to provide honest customer feedback via simple text messaging in real time at the point of service.

“Don’t Go’s innovative feedback service is a prime example of how businesses everywhere can leverage text messaging to better interact directly with their customers and improve the overall customer experience.”

Don’t Go
The service is already being used by a range of organisations, including restaurants, hotels, airlines, grocery store chains, and many other businesses across South Africa, with more information being available at the Don’t Go website.

Don’t Go provides participating organisations with several service options for customer care to easily monitor and address service shortfalls. Companies advertise the service in their retail outlets.

Customers SMS the keyword “dont” to 34040, followed by the name of the company and their comment. Dontgo then sends the information via e-mail to subscribers at a nominal cost per month, while non-subscribers are called and provided with alerts at no cost on the first occasion.

Don’t Go also provides industry-specific service reports to participating organisations, which outline continued service problems and create the opportunity for them to establish a competitive service advantage.

“Our service is designed to help companies build and protect their brand through effective complaints resolution directly from the people who matter most – the customer,” said Don’t Go chief executive Moshe Sohaba.

“With ubiquitous mobile phone use around the globe, the ability to offer instant feedback using SMS makes customer service better.”

SAinfo reporter

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