Tech companies must make use of an ever-expanding arsenal of different tools to maintain competitive advantage. Peer-to-peer community support now plays an integral role in customer relationship management. To put it bluntly, they’re becoming inseparable. That’s why you need a community platform that can be integrated with your other platforms - i.e. CRM and contact software, allowing you to make better use of data to drive business results while providing a smoother experience for your staff and customers.
Here are four ways you can benefit from building an integrated community platform:
Less Administration on Support Tickets
Given the central role of peer-to-peer support forums and knowledge bases in managing customer relationships, it’s common sense to integrate these processes.
When everything works together, repetitive workloads are slashed to a minimum and productivity is enhanced. Your support staff doesn’t need to waste time logging into multiple systems to respond to a query – instead, all the information is right there in front of them, presented in the familiar interface they use every day. Furthermore, Support Managers won’t need to spend so much time updating and maintaining multiple databases.
If your team is spending time on tasks that can easily be automated, you’re wasting your money.
In addition to reduced administration costs from ticket deflection, an integrated community platform will allow you to share information between applications – not held in separate silos. Since there’s no need for inefficient, repetitive data entry, the chances of human error (as well as the knock-on effect on operational costs) is greatly reduced.
Consistent User Experiences
Making life easier for your support team makes life easier for your customers. . Single sign-on, branding and mobile integrations will allow you to replicate the branding of your company.
User behavior on community sites is like a party: people arrive, see what’s going on and, if it’s fun, they stay. Essentially, users are exploring and contributing. The user experience of the community needs to accommodate each of these levels of user behavior. In other words, everyone can enjoy the same, consistent user experience they’re used to without having to learn multiple applications and procedures.
Data-Driven Actions and Insights
Studies show that customer intimacy is one of the most important sources of competitive advantage. That’s what makes online communities such a powerful tool for learning about your customers and solving the problems they face. Integrated platforms bring everything together under one umbrella, giving your staff easy access to all the information they need to offer more effective and personalized support.
Every digital activity generates data. In fact, there’s so much data in the world today that the term ‘big data’ has become one of the biggest technology buzzwords of the time. The challenge lies in making sense of all this data by visualizing and translating it into actionable insights.
For example, you might use Hubspot to automate new member onboarding emails. And Hootsuite to monitor brand discussions across multiple social platforms including those on your own branded forums. That way, there’s much less chance of missing something important or giving your customers the impression you’re out of touch with their needs.
By thinking about your community support platform as a core business process and integrating it with your wider technology infrastructure, you’ll have easier access to the metrics you need to report success and align your community-building efforts with your corporate goals. You’ll be amazed by the sort of actionable information you can glean from integrating your forum software with your analytics platform alone.