Just the other day, I said to my 10 year old daughter ‘trust is hard to win and easy to…
Online communities offer traditional businesses an opportunity to bridge the gap with customers and keep them connected to your company and your services through out the year. This is a benefit that customers appreciate because it allows them access to their peers and to the information they need in order to support their purchase around the clock.
Through the use of an online community, customers can be provided with a superior level of support. Especially with big ticket items or those that have a complex deployment environment, such as with technical products or consulting services, the customer needs more than just the annual conference to make the most of their purchases. Community creates ongoing opportunities to learn about the future and from those on-staff experts you pay so well to demonstrate credibility. Community offers a ready-made platform for thought leadership. Also, by having access to their peers they can tap into coveted hand-on experience when their projects encounter difficulties and learn a better way from others like them.
I have been thinking a lot about shopping lately. Granted it’s time for a new spring wardrobe, but more importantly,…
Business-to-business companies have always needed closer relationships with their customers than business-to-consumer firms. It makes sense, since strong relationships help generate repeat business. Most B2B firms expend significant resources on relationship-building assets such as highly trained sales forces, lavish trade show exhibits and sponsorships, focus group research, private seminars, white-glove service and support, and glossy customer-oriented magazines.
I am growing weary of all this social media silly talk about trust and friendship as it applies to professional collaboration online. I have online “friends” in my knitting community and my travel community, for example, but my professional networks do not yield friendships in the real, down-and-dirty, share a beer or drive me to the airport at 5am kind of way.
The rules of engagement for professional networks are different. The presumption of trust and the goals of achieving trustful relationships on professional networks should be reexamined. The current model of striving for trust online in professional settings is fundamentally unachievable. Nothing in the world will replace a good old-fashioned face-to-face handshake or a business dinner, where stories can be shared and the gritty nuances of the project and the politics are revealed. This is how professional trust and intimacy develops.