Brisbane startup Winja is a social platform helping businesses receive and resolve consumer complaints

- April 29, 2016 3 MIN READ

There’s a fine line when dealing with customer complaints, where the customer’s always right mantra is either managed or tossed aside. Now with social media complaints are harder to hide, minimise, and even manage. Brands don’t want the world to know about their poor services, bad quality products, or unsatisfactory customer experiences.

Social media gives customers a platform and a voice to tell companies and brands what they really think. This leaves brands scratching their heads to think of more transparent ways to respond to complaints and manage customer service issues.

Brisbane startup Winja is a social media platform for both customers and brands to shed light on poor experiences and product complaints in a productive manner. Essentially it encourages consumers to whinge – something most know how to do all too well – and companies to fix the problem.

Cofounder of Winja Chris Rozic said the platform is trying to address the marketing space for brands in the niche area of complaints to centralise each ‘whinge’, or ‘winj’, as the platform refers to complaints.

“It’s not just so much about a social media play just say, it’s about centralising it so it’s easier for both brands and consumers to post complaints, or Winj’s rather, in our platform and then drive meaningful resolution out of that complaint,” explained Rozic.

The idea came to Rozic and his cofounder Cos Luccitti through their experiences working in marketing, where they saw the social pages of brands bombarded by negative comments and brands ill-equipped to resolve or accommodate these complaints in a transparent way.

“In some cases multiple brands were being mentioned in complaints and there was no clear way for brands to deal with these type of complaints and customers were left wanting, and brands left without a clear strategy to manage their brand sentiment,” Rozic explained.

Consumers access the platform via either a web portal or the iOS app. The consumer’s experience of Winja begins with a complaint feed, which is posted by all users, based on the time of post. Users can interact with each others Winj by commenting in the thread, liking the Winj to show support or sharing the Winj on social media via Facebook or Twitter.

Complaints towards a business or brand can be made on the platform by identifying the business with a handle. Currently Winja has 250 pre-created business pages across multiple industries. These businesses have a claim over their page and can manage their business details and billing.

Winja works to target two marketplaces, consumers and businesses. While typically complaints are perceived to place a damper on businesses, the Winja platform aims to change this perception and offer help to manage consumer issues.

Businesses and agencies subscribe to Winja For Business, a model which also gives businesses access to data generated within the platform.

The pricing is tiered and starts from $9.95 a month, which monitors customer complaints in the Winja Feed, provides advertising campaigns, options to send marketing offers to customers, and monitor keyword, competitor or hashtag mentions.

For $49.95 a month businesses have access to all customer data, including the Customer Analytics and Retention Tool that helps drive marketing and customer management. This tool provides access to reports of customer interactions with their brand, competitors, and industry on keyword, hashtag and business handle analysis; age, location and gender analysis; campaign Analysis; and sentiment analysis.

“I see this is an opportunity to change the way businesses look at customer complaints and grow the relationship with the customers online. Instead of it just being a rant and rave by a customer and pacifying it with just, thanks for your complaint, shoot us an email here, it’s a legitimate rant and rave about what went wrong and then a business working with the customer to pacify it,” Rozic explained.

“Then there’s other users being able to see what happens, so then it builds your brand credibility. I see it being a play on brand help…it centralises all your negative sentiment about your brand, however it empowers you as a business to act upon that as an opportunity to retain customers and also develop new customers at the same time.”

While the appeal for businesses is quite straightforward, it may prove more difficult to get consumers on board; after all, they have so much fun complaining to brands on Twitter and Facebook already. Of course, having another avenue to complain might just be appealing.

The startup is currently offering businesses a free 90 day trial to the platform, with the goal to get 1,000 paid customers on board over the next 12 months.

Image: Cos Luccitti and Chris Rozic. Source: Supplied.