Can Web 2.0 help your business?

7 Dec

Everyone is talking about Web 2.0, and how beneficial it is to their business.  You keep hearing that your customers demand it, your competition has it, and your business needs it.  The only real question you have is – what the heck is it?

The first iteration of the internet saw companies treating the web like little more than a more visually impressive newspaper.  The companies created the ads, posted them on their site, and waited for people to check it out.  There was no opportunity for the customer to interact with the site; it was just a one-way delivery of information.

Then Web 2.0 happened.  Here, we see websites that allow – some willingly, some cautiously – user generated feedback.  This provides the customer with a vehicle to interact with the companies and brands that they support.  And forward thinking companies understand that Web 2.0 can bring them more loyal and engaged customers.  For a more detailed explanation of Web 2.0, check Tim O’Reilly’s site here

Seth Godin wrote the secret to running a successful business:

– Ask your client what they want

– Give it to them

– Ask them if they liked it

– If they did, do it again

This is a great model for your business to use if you want to benefit from Web 2.0, but only if you want to hear what your customers are saying.  But it will take more than just doing it once and hoping that it takes off.  You’ll need to provide value, and then share this with your customers.  Then you need to provide an opportunity for your customers to share their thoughts, and you need to respond to this – not moderate it.  Be happy that your customers are providing you the feedback to make your product better.  They are doing this because they want you to make something that they can use, love, and share. 

And isn’t that the kind of customer that you really want?

-jason

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