Community Forums and The Holiday Season

2 minute read

December 4, 2014

Community Forums and The Holiday Season

Community Forums: Question & Answer Community to the Rescue

A community platform can be an integral part of your customer service strategy during the holiday season. Here are a couple of ways that a community can help your team and customers have a happier holiday time:

1- Your community is always open to help customers. If you have a vibrant active, community, you likely will always have members online. The idea of overtime shifts or timezones for your support staff can almost disappear. Your strong community brand advocates can answers questions, as your staff can take on a community management role, overseeing these interactions.

2- Reduce support tickets and post-holiday blues. During the holiday period, questions may arise, but rather than waiting for a response from your team, you can direct them to the community for answers. The turnaround will likely be quicker than waiting for your overloaded team to respond. Even better, the post-holiday blues of your staff will be reduced by not having to face a pile of support tickets in the new year.

3- Having a mobile-ready community can help customers at the point of sale. With the proper mobile-ready platform, your community can handle shoppers considering your product or service, rather than seeking hard-to-find staff. You can create a QR Code Sticker on your product packaging and direct users to areas on the community where they can get help. With a simple scan from their smartphones they quickly get answers to their questions, and you get rich data too.

Making the Community Strategy Work

Having community members be your brand advocates is not something that happens by magic. A strong Community Manager/Management plan can help cultivate these relationships. It should not be something you only consider during the holidays, but rather something you should be working on all year long. It also doesn’t hurt to reward them for their contributions. While they may not be paid employees, these brand advocates play an important role in making a community support forum work effectively.

Another thing you want to consider is to have the proper content ready. If you have been paying attention with your analytics, and also the kinds of questions that keep repeating themselves, you want to ensure those answers are prominent in your community for those looking for answers. Some communities use a forum message to direct users to this content. Some place certain discussions as stickies or announcements. Some even create a help category to make the process for finding this info easier. Whatever you choose, it should hopefully be something you have been cultivating over the months, rather than a feverish mad dash to the finish.

Community Helps You Do More With Less

Customers can be demanding and want instant answers. A solid community platform can be part of a total solution to keep your customers happy and ensure your team is able to do more with less over the holiday season.

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Adrian Speyer

Written by Adrian Speyer

Adrian Speyer is the Head of Community and Lead Evangelist for Vanilla by Higher Logic. Besides spending many years in digital marketing, Adrian has been building communities of all sizes for over 20 years.

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