Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Relationships Matter

I have just read an interesting entry from Dana VanDen Heuvel on Social Networks and what business value they bring.

My experience with online communities is that where they are set up as a social function primarily, you need to nurture your relationships offline to gain anything meaningful.

I have been a part of an online community based around a football team in Australia. I have developed some good relationships with fellow members over time and yes perhaps in the future something might come out of it business wise. But these relationships have developed over many a cold ale, etc.

Social networks are a great way of finding people who share common ground with you but I wouldn't trust them for business use.

It will be interesting to see if Dana can find concrete examples of peoplewho have had business success thanks to social networks. Read Dana's post here.

But all this gets onto a topic I am very passionate about - CRM (Customer Relationship Management). As the old saying goes, it is a lot cheaper to keep a customer and have he/she purchase from you again than to acquire a new customer.

Key to keeping a customer is good communication, through multiple channels.

Let's explore this further