“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around.” – Steve Jobs
In today’s relentlessly competitive business environment, there’s a struggle that remains a constant for all business. Whether we are speaking about Apple, Amazon and any of the global corporations, or we’re discussing a ‘mom and pop’ store and an entrepreneur beginning their journey. Those that are aware and plan appropriately will greatly increase their chances of success. Those who ignore or do not plan for this will inevitably fail.
What are we talking about I hear you ask? We are talking about customer service and the overall customer experience one feels when dealing with a company. How many of us have had an experience where we were happy with a product or service until there was an issue that required some attention by the company? When we do not receive what we believe to be satisfactory response to rectify the issue, our opinion of the company completely changes. It often changes to a point where we will actively reach out to inform other people about our bad experience.
A 2018 report revealed that poor customer service is costing businesses more than $75 billion a year. This is up $13 billion since 2016. The report claims, “Brands are failing to create the positive, emotional experiences that drive customer loyalty.” This has resulted in 67% of customers becoming ‘serial switchers,’ customers who are willing to switch companies and brands because of a poor customer experience. This particular stat has risen by 37% since 2016. Considering the huge range of choices available to us nowadays, especially thanks to the Internet, loyalty to any particular company is unnecessary.
For any business serious about ‘making it,’ so to speak, it’s imperative to understand the importance of rock-solid customer service. It is not about the customer always being right; it’s about treating customers like you’d treat your family. It’s about truly going out of your way for them and adding lots of value to the equation.
With this being such an important aspect of any business, it’s no surprise that there’s a large market supplying relevant solutions. A recent report looking at the global customer experience management (CEM) market size stated that by 2025, the market is expected to grow to over $32 billion, progressing at a CAGR of 22.9%.
As with most markets, there are going to be some anomalies and disruptors. One company develops a product or solution that changes how the business operates. GripeVine Inc. (GRPV | OTCQB) is exactly that. The team at GripeVine have developed a new online platform to meet all of the demands and on-going changes with managing the customer experience. In a world where social media is the norm, users now expect instant access to companies, while traditional customer service leaves consumers feeling frustrated and unheard. Consumers inevitably end up on social media venting their frustration.
This shift has led to a new category of ‘Social Customer Service’ where companies are stretched across many platforms trying to follow-up on issues and put out fires. GripeVine’s new platform gives companies a voice, creating a level playing field for companies and consumers alike. GripeVine CEO, Richard Hue explains,” social customer service is no longer about airing dirty laundry, but about creating ‘win-win’ situations, turning negative experiences into positive outcomes.”
The new platform connects companies directly to their customers allowing both to be heard equally. It’s going to change how consumers and companies connect. Companies can easily monitor and manage all social touch points in one dashboard, while the platform provides a proprietary solution to protect companies against malicious fake reviews, allowing them to maintain a positive reputation even when dealing with online complaints.
Consumers will benefit by having access to companies through their preferred touch points. As well as avoiding the dreaded email support model, or even worse dealing with an automatic telephone operator hoping to find someone on the end of the line. GripeVine also aims to save consumers social feeds by transferring public connections into private conversations and in turn positive resolutions.
The team at IBR were given a demonstration of the capabilities, usability and robustness of the new platform. As you can probably tell at this stage, we were completely blown away and have no doubt that GripeVine is about to make a huge splash with the release of the new platform early in 2019.
We’ll release our full report on GripeVine in the coming weeks, but rest assured, they have knocked it out of the park with their own upcoming release. Get long!! ??
David & the IBR Team
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