Great Benefits from Having an Engaged Community
Thursday, June 6th, 2013
Cross-posted from the ForumCon blog. ForumCon is the only conference dedicated to the business of forums and was held this year in San Francisco on June 13.
There are several misconceptions that users and companies have about forums. Some think that the amount of content dictates credibility and they are a place to solely complain about a company. Instead, I want you to consider all of the great opportunities you uncover when you invest in an online community.
1.Feedback to Fuel Product Discovery
Product Managers and UX Designers should have an active role in your forum. This is the perfect place to get a pulse on what your users are loving, struggling with and want. While this can’t be the only user research you do, this will help weigh upcoming features in your product roadmap.
2.Measures and Identifies Loyal Customers
Loyal customers tend to shout from the rooftop when they love your product. If you don’t have a community, they may hide in phone calls, live chats and emails. Tap these dedicated customers for user testing, beta versions of a new feature and customer referrals. Reward them by offering quality content that enhances your product’s values and mission (great SEO too)!
3.Reduction in Customer Support Costs
Why not kill two birds with one stone by reducing customer service costs, while also increasing customer satisfaction? Customers will choose the communication channels that are the most effective at answering their questions. For example: Amazon is designed for zero service by keeping all possible customer goals and issues in mind. Design your forum to have a comprehensive FAQ and encourage members to weigh in. This will lead to a huge reduction in human capital costs.
These are some of our favorite benefits of forums. What are yours?