In a recent article, Nancy Porte discusses how companies can use online communities to improve their customer experience programs. Online communities can include a variety of outlets such as social media channels, chat rooms, forums, discussion boards, and more. While the idea is great and can be beneficial to both the company and the customers, Porte advises that it can be extremely challenging when it comes to creating the strategy behind the online community. Porte offers the following best practices to having a successful online community:
1) Have a specific goal for the community. Some examples include directing the conversation towards customer service and customer support, brand awareness, and engagement. Whatever the specific goal, make sure you stick to it.
2) The information about a company’s product or service that sticks with customers the most comes from the customers themselves. Porte recommends allowing the customers to manage the discussions without too much interference from the company representatives. Negative comments will inevitably occur, but deleting them (unless people are breaking rules or harassing others) won’t do your company any favors.
3) Let the community be owned by multiple departments within the company when it comes to input on community management.
4 Reasons Companies Should Create Their Own Online Communities
Porte’s article offers great insight into how companies can have success with their online communities. We agree that having an online community can be highly beneficial to companies and their customers. The following are four reasons companies should consider creating their own online communities:
1) Support and Service
Whether it’s a social media group, message board, forum, or chat room, companies can utilize them as an extension of their traditional customer service and support.
2) Social Interaction
An online community can help customers feel like they’re part of…well…a community! One thing we’ve learned is that people want to be more than simply revenue to the brands they support. They want to be a part of something bigger. Having an online community gives customers a place where they can socialize in a more casual and friendly environment and also give them a platform for their voice to be heard and appreciated.
3) Customer Feedback
Message boards and forums can be a great way for companies to gain insight from their customers. If companies want to improve their products and services, there is no more valuable feedback than the kind that comes from customers. They know your product or service from experience using them, so they can provide you with real ideas for improvement.
4) Brand Awareness and Testing
Online communities can give companies a platform to promote new product or service offerings or provide customers with breaking news on future discounts and offers. An online community can also be a great place to float new ideas to customers and get their thoughts before implementing new strategies.
This blog post is based on an article from CustomerThink. To read the original article, please click the link below:
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