Simon decided to shift HomeDepot.ca’s focus away from products and conversion to building compelling content. Simon’s strategy was to empower his customers, giving them both a reason and the tools to form a community and build an online knowledgebase on their site.
Since Answer Depot’s launch, the community has grown to become one of the biggest online resources for everything from BBQs to power tools.
Simon specifically highlighted a story about one of his top contributors, Gloria, who posts 15 product reviews per day. After following her activity for weeks, Simon noticed Gloria’s participation suddenly dropped. He reached out to her to understand the problem and discovered that Gloria had a negative service experience with Home Depot. He was quick to rectify the problem, which not only inspired Gloria to continue reviewing, but also propelled her to write about her new, positive experience on over 60 blogs. Her reaction: “I’m madly in love with Answer Depot!”
Simon boiled down his presentation into seven tips for creating a healthy online community:
- Nurture (be an advocate for customer-centricity within your organization)
- Invite (reach out and engage your customers)
- Integrate (multichannel connectedness)
- Reward (recognize your top customers and vendors)