A tipping point has been reached with consumers and retailers as people look for instant gratification and interaction before, during and after shopping. 82 per cent of consumers will substitute and switch brands due to an out-of-stock product, say software firm SAP. With demand set to grow further across multiple channels, by 2015, all on-line retailers will be obliged to enable their customers to escalate unsettled complaints to a neutral third party for an on-line dispute resolution. We spoke to Youstice’s CEO and Founder Zbynek Loebl on how their app could help to simplify the process for retailers.
What was Youstice’s motivation to set up the company?
Youstice was founded back in 2012 as we discovered that there was no single solution to help resolve customer complaints globally in a quick and efficient manner. Teaming up with Juraj Ondris who was leading DanubiaTel Group, along with leading angel investor Esther Dyson, Youstice was created to help customers who find it difficult to claim against purchased goods and provide a simple application that enables customers and retailers to communicate directly and agree on a fair solution. There are literally millions of complaints from customers worldwide, which remain unresolved or unanswered, and with a new incoming EU regulation that calls for online retailers to introduce an option of neutral third party decisions, Youstice is entering the market to help retailers.
Does it work with online disputes, such as orders being cancelled for no reason by the retailer, dangerous products being sent and retailers overcharging consumers?
Youstice is a standardised application, which recognizes all basic types of complaints. For some specific types of issues – like the ones mentioned above – a customer can first select an issue, which is closest to his problem, and then describe it in more detail in the comments section.
Does the company feel that retailers are over-exposed on social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter? By that I mean, subject to criticism from customers?
The rise of social media has made retailers and customers more equal and it can actually be used effectively to solve some critical issues. On one hand, social media is a great tool for consumers and retailers to interact but on the other, it can often leave retailers exposed if disputes aren’t getting resolved.
It’s important to remember that customers usually only post something on social media or a forum when they cannot communicate effectively with a retailer – for example, if they cannot find the correct phone number or an e-mail to the company, or when his queries remain unanswered for some reason, which causes frustration. Situations like these can be avoided by giving the customer more options when voicing any issues. Youstice is a very simple tool that helps solve problems, even before they are escalated or posted on social media.
How will it help retailers to resolve customer disputes more quickly and efficiently?
There are a number of ways that Youstice helps retailers. Firstly, Youstice makes it possible to resolve claims online via a single web application, which takes just a few clicks – as opposed to making several phone calls or sending numerous e-mails. Here, all the issues can be solved via one tool, and the process is much shorter and less time consuming than the standard process of handling a claim. Secondly, retailers can access and manage all customer complaints in a safe environment, communicate with customers in their local language and address any issues directly. Lastly, because Youstice works across borders, it helps retailers expand into new markets and ultimately increases sales for retailers.