The surge in the number of internet users and the popularity of the internet community is changing the way business interacts with its partners as well as customers in the market. The influence of social media platforms is also one of the key players to gain business prospects.
However, only a few of the businesses have understood the difference between building a community and building a collection of social media followers. The business that has developed communities, some of them have developed to be so powerful that they are capable of influencing a company to change its range of products to the overall business strategy.
Community building for the business has its own fair share of benefits. Some of them are as below:
Monitor Market trends, Customer wants and Needs
Communities are the best ways to know what features your users want. They also help to understand what your users think about your products and services. You also get to know the people who are not satisfied with your business so that you can update them to meet customer expectations. This community is a way cheaper way to observe your customers than the paid tools. In addition, these communities increase engagement and make your customers feel values. You can make decisions on the basis of feedback received from these communities.
Provide Extended Support
Almost every business today offers support through emails, telephone numbers, and chats. These communication methods using communication softwares are said to be one to one. None of them is one to many or many to many. The regular live Q&A’s that you host over these communities, or the webinars, as well as the interviews, you stand out from the rest. These live events can become more engaging by activities such as,
- Receiving questions from the users in a live mode.
- Answering FAQ.
- Sharing the member’s only content.
- Interviewing the industry leaders, and
- Previewing new features
The best part is, you can give repurpose your live videos into on-demand webinars, social media posts, YouTube videos, and anything else that comes to your mind.
Consumers can be inspirers
The online communities can help you get a ton of ideas for your content directly from your consumers. Whether you are writing a book, a blog post, or organizing a public event, you might be unsure about the best title to choose for it. Just posting a question on the community can get you quick help. Asking questions will not only create engagement, but it can also create a sense of anticipation and excitement among your audience for the products and services you will be bringing to them.
Businesses are now looking for ways to get a quick and valuable review of the products and services they are selling to the customers. It is hard for businesses to make the customers write reviews. Communities, in such cases, become handy as they help the business connect with the customers on a daily basis. These communities make the review-request process much easy to use.
The best way is to publish a highly interactive post that asks the customers to record video testimonials or request them to give feedback on a review website. The process becomes all the more easy and convenient when your customers are connected with you and are satisfied with your products and services.
Empowered Customer Support Team
The average response time that should be given to customer services is 12 hours and 10 minutes. Yet, the customers are impatient and want their queries to be resolved in a few minutes. The presence of an online community can make your users happier and reduce the workload of your support representatives. Once a member posts a question in the community that is answered by your support representative, the response is not only valuable to the person who posted it but to the other members of the community as well.
There can also be a case where these questions are answered by other members of the community, and you never have to provide it. The best part is, the customer community gives the feeling of a true community where people know and help one another.
Increase your Fans and Partners
Members of your community are the ones who are the first people to read your blogs. They are also the first ones to be your podcast listeners and YouTube channel, viewers. These people will also be the first ones to register for all your public events or readers of your new book that you have just published.
Having a community will also give you a chance to develop more partnerships among your community members. The community that you have developed will become the perfect place to exchange links and publishing guest posts. You can also launch your bigger co-marketing opportunities through these communities.
Users will upsell your Products
The communities will have questions posted by the members about the features of the products or the services. Some of your customers might be aware of this and will help to spread the word about your products and services. This often happens around the communities that are built around SaaS companies. Here the higher-tier plan users will post a question about a certain feature that is not available in the lower tier plans. When other people in the group see the comments and read the discussions, they might become interested in all those features and might even check out those features. This might also drive them to upgrade their current plan.
Grow your Community by Getting Referrals
Some businesses have strict rules that only high paying customers are allowed to join their groups. However, several businesses are now allowing outsiders to come in as a way to nurture new members and convert them into paying customers.
The rules of your business community depend on the type of community you want to develop. If your community is only to support your users and helping them to feel special, then you should not let the outsiders join them. On the other hand, if you see yourself as a thought leader and want to gather people who share the same passion, then make your community open to everyone.
As you see your community getting developed, you will realize its benefits with time. It will help you at every growth stage that your company reaches. Towards the end, you will observe increased customer retention, partnerships, and increased business connections.
Source – Allbusiness