An article in the latest issue of MIT Sloan Management Review, entitled “Enhancing Relationships with Customers Through Online Brand Communities”, gives four ways to improve online communication quality:
- Timeliness. Credible news from industry insiders gives readers a reason to come back.
- Relevance. Facilitate customer-to-customer forums. For usability, divide the forum into categories. On home pages, have a “search” option on the top of the page for easy navigation.
- Extend the conversation. MIT research demonstrated that in-depth interactions are appreciated by consumers. Forums with lengthy exchanges build consumer confidence in the brand, even if some of the exchanges are critical.
- Share more often. The article notes that “an increase in the volume of communication…reduces uncertainty and ultimately improves sales.” Product launches, promotions, and online focus groups are appreciated by consumers. Engaging consumers through social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) also helps with Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Article Source: “Enhancing Relationships with Customers Through Online Brand Communities”, Mavis T. Adjei, Charles H. Noble and Stephanie M. Noble, MIT Sloan Management Review, Summer 2012, p 22-24.
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