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While it wasn’t made very clear during its outages over the past several months, Twitter has been using the online customer service site, Get Satisfaction to respond to customer complaints. Now, the two are going to work hand in hand with one another to handle customer inquiries about other companies.

Technically, Get Satisfaction is teaming up with Summize, a great Twitter message search and tracking utility, to launch its new “Overheard” feature. (We previously pointed out how useful Summize was during the recent Chinese earthquake news that spread through Twitter.)

For companies that choose to use Overheard, the service will scour the public Twitter stream using Summize to find when that company’s name is mentioned. These tweets (Twitter messages) will then be piped into the Get Satisfaction support network. Here they can be used just as if the question were asked or the comment made on the site itself. Others can respond to these messages, and Overheard will alert the user on Twitter that their question is being answered on Get Satisfaction.

Initial Overhead partners include Comcast, O’Reilly, Seesmic and MyBlogLog.

Get Satisfaction also has a service called “Help Center” which can be placed directly on customer’s own sites. This allows for a more fully branded version of the service Get Satisfaction offers.

Utilizing Twitter seems like a good idea for next generation customer service. Comcast has already received some good press when it saw Mike Arrington of TechCrunch’s tweet about his displeasure with his service and worked with him to fix it. Unfortunately, most companies would have absolutely no idea how to do this — if they even knew what Twitter was at all. The more straightforward customer service angle that Get Satisfaction is taking with Overheard should help companies better understand such power.

Get Satisfaction raised $1.2 million in seed funding last September.

[Disclosure: Get Satisfaction was developed by a team led by Thor Muller, who is an advisor to VentureBeat.]


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