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.
Online communities have profoundly changed the way businesses build relationships with their customers. That said, many B2B executives have shunned them for years, dismissing them as something for the spotlight-grabbing B2C world. After all, B2C communities tend to be places of entertainment, characterized by talk about shared interests, unlike the ho-hum of business-focused communities.
It’s no secret that today’s always-connected B2B customers like to find their own solutions in their own time, rather than making lengthy telephone calls or waiting for a technician to arrive in person to fix a problem. In fact, a study revealed that a whopping 75% of customers prefer to use self-service support portals over calling customer service.
Providing positive customer experiences is important at every touchpoint, but for customer service, that need is critical. At the same time, customers are demanding more than ever. Research shows that the time businesses have to respond to customer queries is increasingly narrow.
In fact, a 2017 study found that 27% of customers expect to receive an instant response to email while 62% expect it within 24 hours. With the high volume of customer tickets coming in, keeping up with this expectation is as difficult as it is necessary.
It's very easy to fall into the trap of believing that customer support and community management are the same thing. At first glance, they’re both customer facing positions that require you to interact with those who are interested in your brand. That's not untrue, but that's where the similarities end. Each of these requires specialized skill sets and approaches to be done effectively.