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Publik Demand Gives Customers A Voice With Twilio


Publik Demand CEO, Courtney Powell

When I flew home to Maryland last week, I dealt with some downright awful customer service. Not your run of the mill flight attendant, tired from the holiday travel insanity. This was exceptional. I tweeted about my experience and quickly got a response from the airline. I was surprised to say the least. Everyday, customers encounter horrible customer service and tweet about it, file complaints, leave voicemails and get no reply. Publik Demand is hoping to change that.

CEO Courtney Powell founded Publik Demand as a free service to give customers a leg up when filing complaints with businesses. She personally struggled with Time Warner Cable for 3-months, going back and forth about a modem she never had and a $900 charge for not returning that modem. When the dust settled, Courtney realized two things. First off, she never wanted to hear hold music ever again. Secondly and most importantly, customers need a better way to get big businesses’ attention, and get their problems solved.

Demanding Attention

Publik Demand is equal parts cornerman and crowd-powered megaphone. They walk you through the best-practices when filing a complaint, and then use community support on social media to make sure that complaint is heard.

When Elizabeth McCormack posted on Publik Demand about a $100 credit she was never refunded, her call quickly garnered some attention. Sprint responded on Publik Demand, and resolved the issue with Elizabeth quickly.

Publik Demand uses Twilio powered hotlines so customers can report issues, and record their voice. They can also post a complaint on Publik Demand’s board and recruit friends and family to support it on Facebook or Twitter.  If the company doesn’t respond, Publik Demand will pressure them to resolve the issue through social media .

Letters of Complaint? Just Send A Text

When I was on the plane dealing with some seriously bad customer service, I couldn’t call my airline to report the attendant. If they overheard my complaint, that would make for an extremely awkward in flight experience. Luckily, Publik Demand are working on an easier way to report bad customer service.

Text 2 Complaint will allow users to file a complaint via Twilio SMS. If you’re on you second connecting flight and don’t want to write a letter, or make that (risky) phone call, you can always send a text. Courtney is hoping that lowering the barrier between customer and business interaction eliminates customer service problems and helps businesses reach out to communities and solve problems in the same way Sprint handled Elizabeth McCormack ‘s problem.

To learn more about Publik Demand (or log a complaint) visit their website here.

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