About 18 months ago I wrote a post on generosity, the secret weapon of a community manager. And since that time one of the best places that has emerged for conversation about Community has been the Facebook Community Manager’s Group.
The conversation above is a great reminder of the power of community, of the obvious (and not-so-obvious) tricks of the trade that allow community-minded people to provide great service to their customers and to maintain their professionalism at the same time.
The suggestions from community managers (and like-minded folks) fall into two main camps:
- Understanding and communicating with the people involved in a conversation;
- And having a plan that extends beyond the hair-trigger time of clicking “send” or “post.”
Communication doesn’t involve just making sure the right words are in place; it also includes “listening”, “patience”, and “assuming good intentions.” I’d add to this list “placing yourself in the customer’s shoes” and “trying to look for the solution, not the problem.”
And tactics need to include something beyond what you’re doing at the moment. This group suggested “Planning”, “Work-from-home”, and “Strategy” as important tools in the Community Manager’s toolbelt.
So what’s the secret weapon for a Community Manager, really? The willingness of the community of other community managers to provide advice, friendship, and suggestions.