“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” -Coretta Scott King
Online communities have become an integral part of an organization’s success. It is gaining immense popularity in terms of building customer relationships, inter-departmental collaborations, and fostering a positive work culture.
Communities are a great way of achieving user engagement and extracting maximum CSAT for repeat business. Business owners today are primarily relying on communities for achieving specific business goals. But what is it that makes communities indispensable for a business? Let’s find out.
Why are Communities Critical to Your Business?
Research shows that around 76% of global internet users engage with different content collaterals across numerous platforms. Online communities create a space for users and businesses to interact openly. A major advantage of this is that the need for tech support is reduced as queries are resolved instantly.
Here are a few benefits that online communities bring to the table. They:
- Enhance business-user relationship: Results from a study project that nearly two-thirds of customers will purchase goods from brands they trust. This fact emphasizes the need to build stronger and meaningful relationships with users. Be it via personal interactions or online forums, communities play a major role in promoting brand loyalty and ensuring customer success. A community with strong engagement metrics helps in educating users about their products and services. Therefore, brands must focus on building communities that render value and support to the members for long-lasting relationships.
- Give space for peer-to-peer suggestions: Communities are not just helpful when it comes to cultivating deep connections with users but also facilitate the smooth flow of information between different departments within the organization. Input from departments such as sales, marketing, HR, etc, can help in developing a better understanding of the customer’s expectations and needs. This helps in devising strategies that eventually lead to the attainment of business goals.
- Foster a B2H approach: A business-to-human (B2H) approach mustn’t be ignored. Involving users and employees in the identification of areas that require improvement creates a larger ecosystem. Let your customers talk to your business and develop a relationship. The customers, today, are well-informed, thus brands must focus on clearly defining their goals and help users make a decision. Keeping a humanistic approach will drive more engagement and help businesses convert better.
A customer’s journey consists of a lot of stages – from curating content for engagement to answering queries, it is all part of a business’s processes. The main role of communities here is to enable you to leverage your business operations by catering to the demands of users.
How Can Communities Fuel Customer Success?
The ultimate motive of a business is to generate brand awareness, retain customers, and increase sales. However, brands must inject efforts in order to achieve these results and fuel growth.
Customers, by becoming brand advocates, play a major role in determining whether the services/products being provided are true to their purpose or not. This feedback encourages prospective customers to make a decision.
Here are 3 ways in which you can leverage your online community to scale customer success and take the community potential to the next level:
1. Present fresh content and ensure easy accessibility: Provide users with relevant information by posting it in the community that will help them make a buying decision. This will lead to increased engagement, brand awareness, trust, and loyalty. Furthermore, generating fresh content will help amplify CSAT and enable you to achieve your business objectives. Ensure that the information being updated is easily accessible by the users for maximum engagement.
2. Create advocacy programs: Advocacy programs are a win-win to stimulate user engagement. Users are always curious to know about new products, features, and services. Feed this curiosity by inviting a customer expert for in-depth real-time interactions. Advocacy programs are a great way of obtaining valuable customer feedback and building deeper brand-user relationships.
3. Integrate your community activity with CRM: Engagement metrics are critical to ensuring customer success. Integrating your community with CRM will help you get a hawk-eye view of the ongoing activities and foster customer relationships.
This approach caters to the needs of a wider customer base. The availability of user-generated content, educational blog posts, videos, GIFs, etc, keeps the old customers engaged and attracts new ones which, in the long run, will help you scale better and be there for your customers every step of the way.
Businesses should focus on establishing long-lasting relationships with their users as they are always looking for more. A community, as an open space, has a lot to offer to both, the users as well as the community managers. Community members today, wish for brands to communicate with them and develop a more humanistic approach. Not only will this result in an influx of ideas, but will also greatly benefit marketers in making communities an indispensable part of their organization.
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