Patrick Groome

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How to Cope With Legal Threats in Your Community

Posted by Patrick Groome on Feb 11, 2016 11:20:13 AM

3 minute read

(Note: This is not being written by a lawyer and does not constitute legal advice. Seeking professional advice on legal matters is always advised)

“You’ll be hearing from my lawyer” “I’ll sue you!” “I think you should be consulting your lawyer about now!” Have you heard any of these yet? You will. It’s the battle cry of the losing party in disputes all over the internet. Legal threats are a common weapon used in an attempt to intimidate and bully people into doing what the threatener demands.

The reason this is so popular is simple: it often works. Most of us have no real knowledge of the law and have no idea what does or does not constitute a breach of it. When someone else seems confident of their knowledge, it’s easy to assume that they know what they’re talking about when we don’t. Depending on the situation, capitulation can simply seem like a simple solution to a stressful situation.

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Topics: Product, News

Customer Experience = Control for Your Customers

Posted by Patrick Groome on Feb 9, 2016 10:00:45 AM

2 minute read

How was your weekend? Good, I hope. I had a pretty good one too, until a snag in my operating system left me unable to play any of my purchased videos. Since a weekend without Star Wars is unacceptable, I turned to the internet for help. The ultimate nightmare scenario unfolded: a question with no answer online aside from “contact our customer support line. It took 3 representatives a total of four hours to tell me that my problem was unsolvable and to give me a second number to call for a refund. As yet, I’ve not had the mental fortitude to try it.

The real problem here isn’t the error, or that it couldn’t be fixed. It’s that I was out of control for the entire experience. I couldn’t choose when to engage, and had to sit on the line while the poor rep tried desperately to figure out what the problem could be. This reached the point of parody when they were forced to remotely operate my computer to try and discover the problem. There’s nothing like seeing your mouse move of its own accord to reinforce the lack of control you have as a customer.

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Topics: Community, Marketing, Support, News

Don't Make Your Forum Into a Fortress

Posted by Patrick Groome on Jan 28, 2016 10:08:58 AM

3 minute read

Community managers work towards a variety of goals. One of the most common is the occasionally nebulous task of “increasing engagement”. Engaged members will contribute more, generate more discussion, give better feedback and are more likely to spread the good news about your community (and brand). There are as many suggestions on methods for this as there are community managers. I’m not going to pretend that I have The One Simple Trick You Need For Huge Engagement. What I do have is suggestions on how to ensure you’re not immediately shooting your community in the foot.

I recently uncovered a particularly frustrating moment in one of my own communities. A member who was excited about an expansion to one of his favourite games attempted to link to some official screenshots from the publisher’s forum. They were surprised to find that they were all dead links. A little investigation on my part determined that their software was configured to restrict linking. I was curious about the game, so attempted to follow the images  through to the source. I found that the discussion containing the images was also inaccessible to non-members. Clicking on the registration link then took me to a login screen with around ten required fields. I gave up at that point. If I didn’t have a professional interest, I doubt I would have lasted as long as I did.

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Topics: Community, News

Three Things I Learned From the #myCMGR Hangout

Posted by Patrick Groome on Jan 26, 2016 10:00:30 AM

4 minute read

I was recently fortunate enough to take part in the #cmgrhangout operated by mycmgr.com. The topic under discussion was the recent release of The Community Manager's Survival Guide. It was a great opportunity to talk with with a variety of experienced community managers about the issues presented. Here are a few of the things that I learned from the experience:

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Topics: Community, Marketing, News

Nominate Someone for Community Manager Appreciation Day!

Posted by Patrick Groome on Jan 12, 2016 10:00:08 AM

1 minute read

FACT: Community managers are awesome.

I should know, I am one. I’m also lucky enough to work with and meet community managers from all over the world. They’re one of the most motivated, enthusiastic and knowledgeable groups that you could ever hope to meet. Community managers are constantly sharing best practices, anecdotes and new data to help each other build and maintain great communities worldwide.

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Topics: Community, News

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