If you have a company website with a forum or comments section please be sure to review and moderate those sections. You should be doing this at least daily if not more regularly depending on how busy your site is.
2 Big reasons to review and moderate your website:
- Sales – Someone may be asking about giving you money. This is a good test to see if your company is going to be profitable. Take advantage of this.
- Support – Someone who gave you money may be asking about their purchase. This is another good test to see if you will be profitable by preventing refunds. Also people in the sales process may see the interaction here, or lack thereof, and decide to give, or not, you money.
What to do as a moderator:
- Professionalism – Use business language, format, and spell & grammar check anything you put on your website. If you need to brush up on these things google grammar and start reading. There are podcasts and videos galore as well. I like lynda.com for a lot of reasons and their business courses are really good.
- Be Helpful – Sometimes people don’t know what they are trying to say in regards to your product and what they do say may make zero sense. Understand that there is a good chance that they don’t know as much about your product or business as you do and do your best to help them. If you need clarification ask for it. In some cases you can prefill your various forms to ask for important information up front. This helps speed up the resolution of the problem and makes people happy and want to spend money.
- Always try to chime in – The great things about a website is that anyone can access them and participate. There is a chance that you will have customers who visit your website regularly and help other customers with their questions. This can save you a lot of time and effort but you should always review the answer to ensure it is correct. If you need to make a correction do it gently so as to not alienate the helpful customer. If the answer was correct initially it still looks professional to chime in and let everyone know you are around and ready to help as well. This also makes people happy and want to spend money.
- Take control – There is a lot to be said about moderating your website but the most important thing is to always take control of the situation. This is your company and therefore your livelihood. You created it and will be responsible for anything that happens to it. If someone is posting abusive language or just acting strange you need to figure out what is happening and then take action. Github is a software company that allows developers to post their software on it for collaboration with other developers. Their site is absolutely monstrous and requires a team of in-house moderators to set the tone of how people will act on their platform. A few years ago things were getting out of control regarding sexual harassment. Github took the reins and addressed it head on. You can read more about that here – Fusion – How GitHub fixed its problems
If you are going to let customers post anything to your website you are responsible for everything that goes on there. It can be a huge help to your company or ruin it.