Thursday, February 25, 2010

Organizing Information for Customer and Client Services

As stated in the immediately prior post, our belief is that communicating information and organizing content is more effective when it is done in context.  The correct context from our perspective is the process people are trying to undertake.

One such example where this can apply is in the organization and delivery of customer service and support information.  In the January/February edition of Credit Union Business - a leading journal for CU management, David Austin of Contextware is featured in an article that addresses the opportunity for credit unions to customize content for their small business customers.  On the surface, providing customer specific content makes perfect sense as the needs of a small business customer are very different from the needs of an individual or family.  The challenge for credit unions is two-fold: identifying the content to provide, and organizing that content in a way that it is useful.

In this credit union example, if web content is developed to focus on what a small business is trying to accomplish (the how-tos of a small business vs. a menu of services offered by the how-tos of the credit union) then the credit union will provide greater value to their members and develop greater affinity and loyalty with them.

By asking what their customers can benefit from, the conversation now quickly moves beyond just basic financial services and to the broader question of what can the CU provide to help their memberships' businesses grow?

The CU now becomes a truster provider of information and partner of the small business rather than simply a provider of financial services.  As a trusted partner, the CU now has differentiated itself from the dozens of other banks and financial institutions that the customer could move their business to.

What type of how-to content do your customers need?

(click here to access a pdf version of the publication - the story is found on page 43 of the journal - page 45 as seen through the Acrobat viewer)

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