Google Sites For Customer Collaboration

Google Sites is a ready-made environment for an intranet to store your knowledge base.  Anyone on your team can collaborate with others in a secure area around files, process, content and numerous other internal pieces of information that helps your team get things done.

There is also great opportunity to enhance your customer experience by using Google Sites to create a secure or public access site for your service delivery.  In our Google Apps consulting, we have implemented many different types of strategies and solutions.  Here are a few which can help you leverage Google Sites for increasing customer loyalty and revenue:

  1. Project management.  You can set up a Google Site with specific external user access to track items related to a project.  A checklist of outstanding action items, a blog for ongoing communications and a file storage area can all be pages within the site.  You can build individual pages as necessary.  Keep the design simple and easy so that everyone adopts the tool.  Your customer can set up notifications to see what work has been done.  Every project may require different combinations of pages depending on what you are delivering.  Customize the look and feel to create a rich experience for your customer.
  2. Reporting and dashboards.  If you are managing any type of metrics for your customers, you can create a Google Site which acts as a home base for ongoing reporting.  Use this to give your analysis.  Combine it with Google Spreadsheets as well.  This becomes a historical ledger for the value you created.  The collaboration can be a strong point of partnering with your customers.
  3. Requirements and scoping.  If you are engaged in defining a problem or bringing together multiple groups of people to explore an issue, then creating a securely accessed Google Site that shares your findings and thoughts consolidates the group’s thinking.  They can add their thoughts to a stream of messages and help build the picture you may be seeking to define.  This can work for consulting work or sales.
  4. Sharing private value.  You may have some marquis customers that you want to share value with over time.  Keeping your information consolidated and using Google Docs in conjunction with your Google Sites, you can design an extranet for special customers.  They can find special white papers in a file manager, executive briefs, analysis and special news content.  Think about how information can be consolidated and used to bring heightened and precise value to your specific customer or set of customers.

As you can see, Google Sites can be extended to collaborate with customers in a way that increases your value perception.  By building secure access sites that are custom designed, it shows great care and design.  The value of this asset can grow between you and your specific customer or exclusive audiences.

What do you think of using such strategies for your customers?

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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