Corporate blogs tap customer expertise

Sometimes when you’re publishing a corporate blog, the person in charge just plain runs out of ideas temporarily. That’s a good time to consult with other experts to get a fresh perspective.

You can tap experts within the company. You can talk to some of your vendors. You can even talk with one of your customers about a particular issue they might like to see addressed. As long as you have customers, you’ll have no shortage of experts on your products and services!

Let’s look, for example, at a widget company. Say your blog writer writes about things like how the global labor situation affects your manufacturing processes, the need for building reserves of qualified workers, and so on–these kinds of things would also make good customer newsletter stories. Always, of course, with the precaution that such topics are handled in just the right way.

Now one day your blog author is stumped. This could be a good time to have him or her call a couple of your best customers and ask them what are the most important issues for them on an ongoing basis. If it’s delivery times, there’s a good topic. Ask them to describe the best experience they’ve had with you on that issue. Then ask them to tell you about a time when it wasn’t perfect–and then talk about what your company does to address that issue.

That’s what building trust is about–addressing both the good and the bad openly. It worked for IBM in the mid-20th century. The story goes that they didn’t actually make the highest quality computer equipment in the world at that time. But if you had a problem with their equipment, they’d parachute a team of troubleshooters onto your front lawn to help you address it. They’d kill you with service.

Your corporate blog costs a lot less to run than a team of parachuters, but you can use it just as effectively to impress your customers.

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