One thing that has always interested me is the power of word-of-mouth. Word-of-mouth marketing is what keeps business owners up at night, and it’s the reason that “the customer is always right“.
Why? Because every business owner – whether they like it or not – is in the customer service business. If you enjoy a better than average experience at a restaurant or hotel, you are probably going to be inclined to tell someone about it. If you have a bad experience? You’ll probably tell even more people.
Gripe is an application that enhances your power of word-of-mouth. In this article, I’ll explain why it’s beneficial to use Gripe, as well as show you how you can utilize it to get your complaints resolved.
Really? I Have Power?
The picture I painted above was the way things used to work. Back then, business owners could live with themselves knowing that you might only tell less than 10 people about your bad experience. It wasn’t worth their time and money to try to do a better job.
In today’s world, we all casually walk around with a large audience in our pockets. I’m not talking about the contacts in your phone, either. With today’s smartphones, we have the ability to connect with an enormous amount of people through social networks.
Now, if you tweet something out, or share an experience with your online friends, everyone can see it. Everyone. Think friends of friends and beyond. Your experience, good or bad, goes on the public record. That’s power.
So What Is Gripe?
Here’s the line from Gripe’s website:
Gripe lets you share public praise or complaints that get to the business for response, while being spread by your friends, followers and beyond!
Gripe is a free, location-aware application that uses online word-of-mouth power to help get complaints in the real world heard and resolved. By resolving gripes businesses earn public cheers that spread through a customer’s friends, followers and beyond.
This, essentially, gives businesses incentive to help you, solving your problems in the quickest fashion. With Gripe, there’s no longer a need to “cause a scene” or “give somebody a piece of your mind” in the front lobby of a fancy hotel.
How Does Gripe Work?
Allow me to give you a simple walkthrough of how to use Gripe.
The first thing you want to do when you open the app is log in using your Twitter or Facebook account. Gripe allows you to check off your membership in review sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor, FourSquare, CitySearch and Gowalla (more coming soon).
Then, select Find a Place and your phone will use its GPS to locate the places and businesses in your area.
If the place you’re looking for isn’t listed on Gripe, you can add it. Just go to Create a new place… and enter in some basic information about the desired location.
Now here comes the fun part. Once you’ve located your place, you can Start a Gripe or Share a Cheer. If you aren’t impressed with the service you’ve been getting, gripe about it!
Try to be as detailed as you can in your Gripe. This way, when management sees it, they will know exactly what it is going to take to make you happy. Gripe also has camera integration for adding photos.
You can also see your Gripes on the app at any time, and if they go unresolved for a while you can tweet them out or share them on Facebook. Others will be able to comment on your gripes.
Based on the accounts you import into Gripe, others can see just how much reach and influence you have. You’ll be surprised how many connections you actually have when they’re all added up.
No one wants to see someone with that kind of reach saying something bad about their business. Expect a resolution to your problem sooner rather than later. And if the place you’re at isn’t aware of Gripe, be sure to explain to them how it works.
Where Can I Get Gripe?
The more people on Gripe, the more powerful the network becomes. Will you be using Gripe to harness your word-of-mouth power?
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