Thursday, December 13, 2012

People helping people

One of my beliefs is that people like helping people. I know it's hard to believe that some times when you watch the news, or some one cuts you off on the highway but I still feel that way.

Sure the driver that cut you off may have not been helping you, but he or she could have been bringing a kidney to the hospital and needs to get there quickly, or maybe they are a volunteer rescue worker and forgot to put on their light. I don't know, but I still think just because they aren't helping you at that time, doesn't mean they aren't helping someone.

Why is this even remotely important? Well one of the main reasons social network and collaboration works is because people like helping people. Many times simply posting a question will yield dozens of results from knowledgeable people willing to share their advice.

Smart companies are already leveraging this by creating community groups. Many times this can help reduce support calls (and money spent answering those calls). Even more importantly it helps build more engaged and loyal customers.

Tools like's Chatter, Yammer, Sharepoint and a host of other free tools are available to help build these community frameworks. People are willing to help. It will take time to build a vibrant community but in the future this will be "table stakes" as customers become more used to working with social businesses. Those businesses that aren't social will decline as the innovators grow.