Most Brands Want An Online Customer Service Channel, Not A Genuine Community

July 4, 2011Comments Off

Do you want a genuine community or a customer service channel?

Neither is bad, but each is unique. A genuine community effort involves bringing together a group of people who share a strong common interest and building relationships between them. All efforts are focused on building those relationships between members. An online customer service channel helps customers who have questions about your products/services. 

You need to be clear about which you want. 

It's confusing. Both communities and customer service channels share many of the same tools (forums, blogs, member profiles). Many of the successful brand communities right now are customer service channels.

The difference is relationships. If you don't want members to build relationships with each other, then you probably want a customer service channel. There is nothing wrong with a genuine community, nor a customer service channel. The problem arises when organizations aren't sure which they and want pick an approach between the two.

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