Get Satisfaction, itself a wonder to behold, announced today that it is now accepting requests for access to a beta API (Application Programming Interface). Satisfaction functionality will soon be available for apps and sites all over the web. Fresh off of a successful conference titled "Customer Service is the New Marketing," Get Satisfaction is becoming the hippest place for companies to engage transparently with their customers - whether they want to or not!New customer service site
Have complaints about the products and services at Twitter? Join the club - at Get Satisfaction! More old-school than that, a user of HP's photosharing service Snapfish, perhaps? You too can vent your gripes with the cool kids at Get Satisfaction. These are just two of a wide range of companies that have chosen to answer questions and complaints publicly on this website.
More than just a question and answer service, Get Satisfaction includes a bunch of smart, fun and helpful features.
Companies can opt-in to participating and be identified explicitly in conversations. Customers can signal that they share some one else's problem or question and get an email if it is answered.
The Digg guys tell people to discuss issues on Get Satisfaction. Facebook doesn't have any employees signed on to answer complaints there. Neither does Webshots, United Airlines, Linksys or Washington Mutual - though there are conversations going on about all of those companies on the site. I guess they prefer customers to complain among themselves.
To learn more about the thinking behind Get Satisfaction, check out this October interview with CEO Thor Muller at SocialMediaToday.
"Get Satisfaction is superclose," the company wrote tonight, "to releasing a RESTful API (including some very cool OAuth support) through which you can access almost all of our current features and functionality." They've already offer the ability for customers to broadcast their questions and complaints out onto Twitter or Facebook, and for companies to stick a Satisfaction RSS widget on their websites. What on earth could come next? Satisfaction has the ear of some of the most cutting edge Web 2.0 heads online, so there's probably some very interesting stuff on the way.
OAuth support means you'll be able to access user data on a wide variety of other systems, including most if not all that support OpenSocial, without asking for username and password.
Does that mean we'll be seeing the option to shoot your complaint thread about a company out to all your friends on MySpace or GMail? I wonder how many of the company's absent today will be showing up soon, post-API.