Working on the cultural aspects of a community, it’s helpful to interview people who work closely with a company’s customers.
People who spend hours with folks on the phone and in person (or even in e-mail exchanges)have great insight to offer for an online cultural framework. They know what most customers ask about, what they express as needing from the company, and even how it’s possible to turn around a skeptical attitude. Because they represent the company to customers in every interaction, they have a sense of the demeanor with which people approach the brand, and they are in many ways the culture bearers for the company in real time. Their assessment of where the customer is coming from reveals clues toward a successful conversational framework online — the who, what, and when of a company’s participation.