Community support site Get Satisfaction announces today a $10 million Series B funding led by InterWest partners and followed on by Azure, OATV and First Round Capital — InterWest partner Bruce Cleveland will be joining the board.This new influx of funds will be bringing Get Satisfaction’s total funding to $21 million to date.
In the same space as Lithium or Telligent, Get Satisifaction ambitiously wants to be the first place companies go to online to have conversations with their customers, wherever those customers may be. The company was founded in 2007 by Lane Becker, Thor Muller and Amy Muller who came up with the product after realizing that they needed a platform to provide support for their main project at the time, the hilarious Valleyschwag .
Since then Get Satisfaction has gone through some notable management changes; Co-founder Thor Muller stepped down as CEO in 2009 and Becker stepped down as president in 2010, handing over the keys to Web 2.0 veteran Wendy Lea whose task it was to turn the Get Satisfaction ideals of open community support into a real business .
Get Satisfaction operates under the premise that communications between brands and customers should be open and transparent. Across multiple platforms the basic forum components allow customers to begin discussions in one of four ways, Ask A Question, Share an Idea, Report a Problem or Give Praise. Companies can set up a Get Satisfaction page for free, and pay a monthly fee to claim and moderate the page, starting at $19.00.
Lea tells me that in a post Web 2.0 world, companies should engage with customers across multiple points of contact; For example the Get Satisfaction Facebook Fan page integration reroutes all conversations through the company’s main hub.
What separates Get Satisfaction from competitors is the fact that all interactions happen in an open environment and are all easily searchable by Google so customers wanting an answer to a question like “Does Mighty Leaf Tea have any fair trade tea?” can find the topic and Mighty Leaf page easily. The company provides value for its enterprise clients is through a direct data line to CRM services like Salesforce and Assistly, allowing brands to take actionable steps on the data unearthed by customer discussion, reducing research and support costs.
Get Satisfaction currently has over 58,000 communities in the network and 2,500 paying customers, running the gamut from giants Proctor and Gamble, to Adobe to startups like Zynga, Spotify, Flipboard and Mint.
Lea is sold on the larger vision of human-powered community, and tells me that Get Satisfaction is essentially the bridge between social systems like Facebook and CRM tools like Salesforce, engaging with customers on what amounts to a pyramid consisting of three levels; the service and support level (base), the idea level (middle) and the community of ideas level (top). Perhaps the most telling evidence of the company’s philosophy is their mascot JarGon, a robot which represents the corporate speak many companies use when communicating with customers, “We want companies to speak in an authentic voice,” Lea says.
Lea plans on using the funding to build out her team even further in order to focus on product innovation and strategic partnerships. The company currently has 39 employees and has made many notable new hires in recent months including star community manager Drew Olanoff. Lea tells me she’s planning on releasing a Get Satisfaction mobile app and new widgets this month and is “very interested” in acquisitions — So stay tuned for even more news here.