I love the marketing software that I use! I like their approach, the company's culture, and the solution itself.
However, like all products and services, my marketing software and its provider are not perfect. A recent attempt at sharing a new feature with customers turned into a less than positive exchange.
If you have ever worked in a customer-facing role, you know that if something is possible with your product or service, customers will probably bring it up in your online customer forums at some point.
Each type of post or question in your customer forums represents a different persona that your community management team should prepare for. For instance, a post where a new customer introduces themself to the community comes with an entire set of needs, expectations, and next steps which that individual can take, than a discussion started by a veteran customer advocate.
It will improve your customers' experience and save your community management team time to train and prepare for a large portion of the questions that you know will be asked in your discussion forums.
"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." - Charles Darwin
One of the keys to business growth has long been the strength and nature of the relationships an organization builds with its customers. All businesses with customers have customer relationships. They exist whether you like it or not, and whether you are focused on it or not.
I get far fewer funny looks than I used to when I give presentations on why customer communities are the future of customer management. It may be because the data is beginning to play this out.
It takes a village to keep a customer happy.
Branded customer communities rarely form organically, nor can the operation and success a strategy as central as a private online community ride on the shoulders of one individual. It takes a village of staff members.
When a business uses an online customer community to increase the value of doing business with the company and manage customer relationships, there are many roles that have to be filled to maintain the level of support, engagement, and benefit that your customers and executives expect.
Topics: Customer Communities
You've done your research. You've developed a sound plan. Now, you must sell your online customer community strategy to your boss's boss.
Getting a meeting with top-level executives is a great opportunity. While they are very busy people, setting up a block of time to talk to them about your online community strategy is critical to securing funding, solidifying buy-in, and setting expectations for the long haul that is community-building. You need to make sure that you are taking full advantage of it so that it is not a chance wasted.
Executives must walk a tight rope on social software. It is true that there is a lot of hyperbole around social strategies. It is also a reality that businesses which don't embrace online community platforms and other social software will get left behind. Your customers expect to be able to engage you in customer communities. You competitors are rapidly researching and implementing social business strategies as well. Where does that leave your organization?
Over this past year, executives from across all industries have met head-on with the new realities of social business and how online communities can impact their business results.
Some companies start with internal employee communities, while many others strengthen customer relations, lower support costs, and capitalize on customer insight with private customer communities that bring customers, employees, and partners together.
Topics: Customer Communities
Are you missing opportunities to increase profitability?
When you hear about the ways that companies grow, the usual suspects get most of the press €“ more new sales, cutting expensive and reinvesting the difference in marketing, expanding into new markets, etc.
However, one of the most effective ways to grow your business is less hyped €“ improving customer lifetime value. Most organizations spend their finite resources on tuning their marketing and sales funnels and putting out customer fires, rather than seeking ways to increase the profit they get from customers once they make a purchase.