Sunday, March 12, 2006

What Business Bloggers Are Saying

The folks at BackboneMedia.com have put together a great white paper based on a survey they did with corporate bloggers. You can find the white paper here.

They also did some interviews with some leading corporate bloggers. Here's one about Maytag. Can you believe Maytag has a blog? Apparently they finally found something for that bored repairman to do.

Maytag has a reputation for customer service; surprisingly contra to their advertising campaigns they do get calls from customers. The new blog has helped answer customer questions and provide information quickly to individual customers. However the Maytag service organization is not part of the blog. It is not possible to schedule a service call through the blog. The main benefit of the blog was to provide another method of communication for customers to ask questions and for Maytag to respond and leave a permanent record of the response.

It seems that the blog is making it easier for Maytag customers to connect with Magtag over the Internet for those customers who prefer using the web. But maybe the biggest benefit to Maytag and their customers is that by responding to customer questions on the blog it is very evident that Maytag is very approachable. Petersen went on to say, "I am sure that we're getting more feedback than before the weblog, though. We did and do get some feedback through our normal customer service system, but not as much as we get through the weblog."

Product Development
The Maytag Skybox site did receive customer feedback on products. Specifically, Petersen asked for feedback on the display panel kit designs for their Skybox product. Customers gave feedback about the existing displays and made suggestions for other displays. Petersen said,"In some cases, folks just suggested what they thought would be cool for us to provide. I can't say that the assistance we received from consumers was revolutionary, but I do believe we created an easier way for consumers to reach us, so we heard from more of them than we would have before. And their input came directly to the design team - it wasn't filtered through anyone else. When I was there, I was the lead designer and project manager. Hearing from folks in that way was great."
Conclusions
It does appear that even with consumer product companies' product development
and research is possible through blogging. It was also interesting to hear that
customers were asking customer service questions.
I just think it's amazing how businesses with incredibly diverse business models, are utilizing blogs in very strategic ways. Put your thinking cap on, and imagine the possibilities for your business. ghostblogging@veritymedia.com.

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