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3 Ways This SaaS Company is Humanizing Its Brand and CX with a Customer Community

Written by Elizabeth Bell on December 12, 2019 at 1:45 PM

A customer success manager and a customer discuss his experience in person

Have you had a recent brand interaction that impressed you? Maybe a company answered your support question quickly or accommodated you in a way that made you feel seen and appreciated. These experiences stand out to us, because too often, human, relatable customer experiences are rare.

For example, remember the video of the West Jet airline steward that went viral? He made his customers laugh, and they actually paid attention to the safety demonstration (a feat in and of itself). People all over the internet loved seeing him make a human connection with his customers. (Here’s the clip if you didn’t see it.)

For companies in the B2B space, especially in software or tech, we don’t always have the luxury of interacting in-person like this with our customers. Our customers often come to us with complaints or questions over social media, email, or phone, and we try our best to make a human connection through those channels. 

But what if you could create a place where your customers could engage with your other customers and your staff, 24/7?

That would certainly be a start toward improving the customer experience.

Genesys, a SaaS customer experience platform, is doing this through their online community (powered by Higher Logic). Matt Lawson, Genesys’s online community manager, recently told their full community story in a webinar. Before you listen, we're sharing some highlights and three takeaways for how your company can humanize the customer experience.

Full webinar: Go Build Your Empire: How to Attract the Right Collaborators, Prove your ROI,  Expand, and Repeat

Real Business Objectives, Addressed Creatively with a Customer Community

To set the stage, here’s a quick summary of Genesys’s online community.

Genesys has three communities within their main community site: pureCloud, pureConnect, and pureEngage. One of their objectives for these communities is to answer customer questions.

Genesys customer community

The problem: Matt realized that it wasn’t efficient to ask customer support or success staff to go into the community and answer every technical question other customers couldn’t answer. He wanted to reframe the task in a way that made it sound more like fun than work.

So he thought of a way he could make this approach more enjoyable for everyone, increase community engagement among employees and customers, and use the pureCloud community to scale support and success creatively.

The solution: The stand-out strategy Matt developed for pureCloud revolves around a video series Matt calls the Community Q&A Show. Matt launched this TV-show like series in the community where he and a staff member will pre-record videos on a certain topic and use it to answer customer questions in the community. To save customers time, they even outline where in the video topics are covered, so customers can jump there easily.

Get a taste for the Community Q&A Show:

This approach has been extremely successful for Genesys. They’ve received great feedback from customers and staff (who love getting to help in this way and getting a little time in the spotlight).

3 Takeaways from Genesys’s Creative Approach to Improve Your Customer Experience

There's a lot to unpack about customer experience from Genesys’s example.

“We invite Genesys experts to the screen for a bi-monthly “Q&A Show” to discuss topics and answer questions from the community. This program provides value through ticket deflection, enhanced engagement, and adding new distinct voices to the community. This sort of human connection is far more difficult to convey through the written word and headshots alone.”

Clay Tison, Senior Director, Genesys University Technical Strategy and Innovation

Take a look at these three takeaways:

1. Scale customer success and support with fun, creative methods

If addressing your growing support and success needs makes you nervous, you’re not alone. It’s hard to scale with traditional customer support or success strategies – there’s just not enough time or manpower to do that, and customers want self-service.

With a community platform, you not only have a whole new approach to providing better customer service, you also have a platform that allows you to scale creatively, like Genesys has.

So what’s the main point? Use your customer community to accomplish key goals (like addressing customer concerns at scale) by creating fun programming that humanizes the customer experience and makes it a two-way conversation.

Read more: 8 Ways Online Communities Improve the Customer Experience + Retention

2. Remember that one approach isn’t the right approach for every community

What works for one community doesn’t work for all, even within the same company. While the Q&A Show worked well for customers in the pureCloud site, Genesys tested another route with the pureConnect site.

Matt and his leadership decided an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA), discussion-based approach would resonate more with the pureConnect audience, and their engagement numbers prove it with a huge increase (tripling average daily engagement metrics during AMAs). Their objective was the same, but they used a different approach to successfully solve the same problem (although they now have a Q&A Show for the pureConnect site, too).

So here’s a bonus takeaway: Hypothesis, test, and improve on the best approach for YOUR community to humanize the customer experience. Assess your own customers, the problems they’re trying to solve, and ways you can creatively solve those problems.

3. Create a place where customers can interact with your employees

Like Genesys did, your customer community can be a place where staff become accessible. The Community Q&A Show is a perfect example of this. Where Matt’s staff guest on the Q&A Show was once a voice behind a phone or name in your customer’s inbox, they’re now fun, approachable people.

By giving your staff an opportunity to make a human connection with customers, you can make your company and your community feel like a friendly, real place for customers to develop valuable networking relationships and find success with your product.

Food for thought: You’ll notice that you can access Genesys’s community and watch Matt’s Q&A Show without a login. With Higher Logic's community software, you can leave your online community open to the public, which not only allows Google to index this content, but lets prospects visiting your site get a taste for the resources you provide for your customers.

Read more: How to Increase Your Sales Without Hiring More Reps

Keep Your Customers Coming Back with Engaging Solutions to Their Problems

Genesys thought of a unique, fun approach to answer technical questions and humanize the customer experience. Matt and the team didn’t just provide fun content, they solved a real problem using their online community.

Your complicated SaaS product may not seem like the easiest business to humanize. But with a bit of clever community strategy, you can engage customers in a way that breaks through on a memorable, human level.

Hear Matt tell the full story in the webinar, available below. He also shares his method for calculating customer community ROI. Don't miss it! 

Webinar: Go Build Your Empire: How to Attract the Right Collaborators, Prove your ROI,  Expand, and Repeat

Topics: Online Community Management, Customer Communities, B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Customer Support, Collaboration Tools, Online Community

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