With the Covid-19 crisis at its peak, many companies are finding it hard to get sales, while some are facing high demand for products.
On the part of customers, quarantine limitations are keeping them away from physical retail stores, problems of logistics are also depleting e-sales and customer engagement, and marketing is increasingly becoming difficult during such times. Even brands as big as Nike and Shiseido are taking a big hit.
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Brands need to overcome these impediments and their incompetence to connect with consumers personally. You have to improve customer engagement via online communities, social media messaging, and customer service.
Display And Interact Within Your Community
Everyone is being flooded with information at present. Simultaneously, we’re all looking for aid in managing this crisis, both individually and professionally.
Instead of sticking to traditional forms of content to access customers, look for more interactive modes, such as video, that can be posted within your community. This affords your customers (as well as prospects) the opportunity to join your brand remotely.
Build A Safe Place For Your Customers To Communicate
Your customers are undergoing a lot presently, and they’re seeking support in numerous ways. Hear their concerns and know their needs so that you can react purposefully.
Create a Group Hub or forum in your community that attends to these topics in true time, offering them a safe space to join with their peers, seek aid from experts, and share how they’re coping with these tough times.
Empower Your Super Users With The Tools They Require
Superusers in your community are vital for responding to customers regarding the crisis. Ensure they’re set up for success by roping them in early and setting hopes. They will need to understand where to guide users within your knowledge base and how to extend conversations to the proper people.
Request them to tag discussions and name solutions to aid in surface the correct answers quickly. Foremost, display your appreciation for their expertise and time.
Build An Online Community For Customer Engagement
In this age of automation, bots, and machine learning, it can be simple to lose the humanity in your marketing, particularly digital marketing.
To build an online community can be an excellent way to be helpful and human while still optimally using your automation for good
Should you organize a community on Facebook or Slack? How will you obtain the correct people to join and, moreover, how will you retain them engaged? An active online community will keep on growing and make people come back for more.
Developing a community around a topic linked to your business can be a wonderful choice. It aids with customer retention, and lead generation, and even assists you with audience research.
Your Community Turns Into A Resource
A dynamic community full of discussion and sharing turns into a resource for your customers. It’s a spot where they can obtain information and receive advice from your whole sphere of influence.
Besides, customers can join, exchange ideas, and foster relationships that can transform their business or professions.
There are two kinds of online communities:
1 Public Social Networks
Consider Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok – even Vine (RIP) was a huge online community. Public social networks comprise online communities that just need someone to possess an account to belong to the community.
2 Branded Communities
This kind of community is the converse of a public social network. You’ll need to present more than an email address and password to enter the community. Think about a SOHO house or a private members’ club, but online.
You’ll require the proper credentials (experience, location, common interests, etc.) to have entry to the community – even if it’s on a public social media platform.
These are the benefits created for brands with online communities:
Drive Product Innovation
Your customers are the finest people to inform you of what product advancements need to be made. They can tell you what they hate, what they love, and what they never use. Your online forum constitutes a megaphone for your customers concerning what you can do to better your product for them.
It might seem scary to have them exchanging their feedback (positive and negative), but this vulnerability enables you to upgrade from Version 1 of your product to Version 5 quicker than you would have without the community.
Familiarize yourself With Your Customers
You can even use this megaphone to know the before-and-after condition of your customers. You’ll observe patterns in the way they explain their problems that you can utilize to better your copy. This renders the copy more relatable to your customer avatar and displays to them that this is their required product.
Your copy should show them the greater relevancy of your product as against your rivals’, and to top it all in their own words.
Lower Support Costs
Within your online community, search for patterns concerning the before-state of your customers along with their after-state. Their after-state arrives once your product has addressed their problem. Your aim after-state for your customers and the true after-state may vary if your customers are encountering issues with your products.
Your online community can not just be used to answer queries that customers might possess, but can also be utilized to view what recurring issues customers are having and mend them. This will lessen the number of tickets reaching your customer support team.
Feedback Of Product
Similar product complaints or queries in your online community should never be overlooked. While they are splendid at lowering your support costs, they’re still better at enhancing your product in precisely the manner that your customers desire.
Online communities can enhance your engagement in different ways. If you’re the blogger referred to earlier who has raised a substantial following on Instagram, making your community tag you in their Instagram story to share an everyday win, how they’re utilizing a product, etc., hikes your engagement.
You can also make people comment on your Instagram posts, post in your Facebook group, reply to your tweet, etc.
These entire actions from other users are going to elevate your account’s engagement and place you in front of new users.
How To Increase Engagement In Your Online Community
When companies arrange an online community, their prime question is “how do I increase engagement?” So how do companies promote a vibrant, active community? A place where customers return frequently and support conversations. Where they obtain answers to questions, help others, and exchange ideas and common interests.
Establishing an online community is a table stakes in the present digital world. It’s the companies that develop a community of passionate, vocal, and inspired customers that release the true value of the community. These are sure-fire ways to encourage this kind of community engagement.
Begin With Relevant, Compelling Content
From the beginning, feed your community with high-quality content. Place yourself in your customer’s position and consider what information they require.
A few companies imagine content across the customer lifecycle, from information on the beginning to content that aids customers in turn into power users and obtaining the most value over time. If your content isn’t relevant right upfront, customers who turn up aren’t likely to return.
Make The Community Simple To Find
Your company’s greatness has no meaning if it’s unknown to everyone. A strong community has many entry points. The definite location is joined to your corporate website. Another common spot is combined into your company’s Facebook page, where customers often reach out with questions or comments.
A greater number of companies also incorporate the community into their customer portal, forming it as part of the single sign-on process. Where relevant, you can also embed an online community into your real product for more contextual help. This makes customers never leave to obtain answers.
Maintain Content Fresh And Exciting
Set up a process for building and retaining a dynamic community. Make a practice of evaluating what customers are looking for and proactively design that content. Search themes and trends that merit further information. Each time you launch new product features, for example, hope for the cycle to start again with refreshed, seeded content.
Engage Company Employees
Engagement is a two-way street. It’s not simply about making customers active. Savvy companies also encourage company employees to interact in the community. Remember to offer some training to your employees on the “voice” you wish your company team members to possess when interacting directly with consumers. Things like maintaining a positive tone and being helpful, intimate, and genuine.
Reward Customers For Contributions
Making customers talk to each other is a wonderful thing. So it’s vital to reward customers for their contribution, particularly if it’s their first time. Watch and see who volunteers and thank them. Perhaps drop them a tee shirt or a small, branded item in the mail. Displaying appreciation for community contributions is among the best ways to strengthen the type of behavior you are after.
Customer engagement is critical to your brand’s success, as highly engaged customers feel satisfied with a product or a brand. Online communities for customers are innovative in a way as they engage both your present and likely customers and offer extensive scope and tools for customer engagement.
By helping your customers to attain their goals and making them experience an active private online community that always stands to support them, you can boost both customer satisfaction and engagement and provide value to the members.
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