Although employees have (or should have) the goal of providing a great experience and easy access to relevant information to customers, the information they need in a community is about stuff that customers, frankly, don’t care about—HR stuff like payroll, expense reimbursement, insurance issues, and the like. And, while specific employees—especially customer-facing employees—should know what’s going on in customer blogs, this is typically a small portion of the entire staff. Not everyone on your payroll needs to be involved in a customer support community, or an innovation community, or…whatever it is that customers want to “commune” about. Their jobs, while always in support of making customers happy, albeit often indirectly (good HR policies make employees happy; happy employees stick around longer and can provide better customer support, for example), are not intended to solve all customer problems. Most employees will not become more productive by knowing about a workaround for an absent feature in the product. Nor will customers become more loyal to your brand because you offer a dental plan.
The key to effective communities is to understand the goals of the community and decide who should participate. So, based on Matthew’s insights, we will get off the “everyone should know and participate in everything” soapbox and concede that instead of converging, disparate communities may just collide.
Communities and Customer Communities Converge?
Can a Single Social Technology Support Both Internal and External Communities?
By Matthew D. Lees, Senior Contributing Editor, May 13, 2010