How to start structural collaboration with your customers?

Last week, we organized a webinar about setting up Online Research Communities (MROCs) and how to structurally collaborate with your customers. In this session, we discussed tips and tricks for starting with these collaborations. Illustrated with 3 different community cases: Heinz, SBS & Sara Lee.

We have selected the 3 most important tips for you:

1. Structural collaboration is not ongoing per se

Aiming for structural collaboration does not mean that we immediately or always need a community that is always on. Structural collaboration is about working together with your customers almost every single day, for every important business decisions, across all departments of the company. And in our vision, structural collaboration is the end goal. But we will need a step by step approach to get there. And communities will be a tool that we will need along the way.

2. Start small, think big

To start this collaboration, it’s easier to start small, but have a long-term goal or strategy in mind. Then, you can grow the value of your community over time. This small start shows that structural collaboration is not something for the happy few. You can already start the collaboration with a low entry by shared moderation and starting with a lower intensity of community activity. Start off with a pilot project that is linked to the right business objectives and relevant for the key people you want to involve.

3. It’s an evolution, not a revolution

One of the key things to keep in mind when moving towards structural collaboration is to take it step by step. Growing the value of your community is an evolution, you can’t push it. You must make sure more internal stakeholders experience the benefits of collaborating with consumers and for this to happen. Its about convincing more people every single day.

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