How a Customer Community Improves Customer Experience
Customer experience is aligning marketers, product managers and support staff to think about meeting customer expectations to keep customers happy and get new ones through digital word of mouth. When in the past marketers focused on messaging and brand, today they are thinking about developing advocates who will share positive customer experiences. Support teams, instead of focusing on shortening handle times and cost per interaction, are starting to think about how to deliver support in a way that boosts NPS scores.
How can a Customer Community Help Deliver a Better Customer Experience?
By Identifying and Encouraging Advocates
Your strongest brand advocates are going to seek out your community to evangelise about your products. A community allows you to identify these users and encourage their advocacy, creating strong bonds between you. This doesn’t just reinforce their own loyalty, it also allows them to counteract negative users and disproportionate outrage with their own positive experiences. These interactions will even spill out of the forum into other social media.
Creating Value Through Social Bonds and Sharing of Best Practises
Whether you sell barbeques, video games or marketing automation software, the utility of your product is increased when people know how to use it. Scaling the sharing of best practises is difficult; even the best marketing teams don’t have infinite resources. A community allows your experienced uses to to share their knowledge with new customers. This creates a huge knowledge base about your product, ready for any prospective customer to google. What’s more, as they share they continue to build social bonds and strengthen their ties to your product.
Providing a Search-Engine Friendly Self-Serve Support Channel
Surveys show that millennials will only make a call or send an email as a last resort. They’re much more comfortable looking things up themselves on Google. A customer community feeds into this need by building a huge knowledge base that far exceed what your can enter into a knowledge base application. This deflects tickets from your call centre and saves you money, while giving your customers the all important self-serve channel that they need.
Giving Prospective Customers a Sense for the Customer Experience
In this new world of ‘show me, don’t tell me’ a prospective customer can get real insights from reading interactions in your community. The community provides more nuance and breadth than can be found on review sites or social media searches. Some companies might be hesitant to accept the transparency that comes with a public community, but those that do will be rewarded. Prospective customers will invest themselves in you if you give them the chance to learn more about you through the community.