For an online community, developing close relationships and even friendships is an expected outcome, but sometimes it just does not happen. Not every community will have that kind of camaraderie, and perhaps not every community should have one. In communities built by customers, these relationships are not what the customers are looking for and it is not what they need. Managers of online communities should recognize groups where members primarily look for information and collaboration with intelligent people, and steer the community towards enforcing those kinds of interactions.
- When it comes to customer communities, it’s okay if your members aren’t always building close relationships.
- Within customer communities, some members simply have no need or desire to become close with others.
- Through a survey, inquire about what your members do want, rather than what’s important to you.
“In almost every member survey I’ve seen, access to information, collaborating with smart people, and seeing what others are doing, ranked higher than building friendships and feeling a sense of belonging.”