For many SaaS companies, building a strong customer community has always been on the top of a to-do list. The task of establishing traction and creating an online customer community could be as overwhelming as it can get. But if you have a word with the top brands with an exceptional community build, they will tell you that this evolution is beautiful but wasn’t easy. So how did they pack a punch?
You work, work, and work to build a customer community platform. You invest in improving the loyalty of the customers until they convert into ardent brand advocates. Further, creating a customer community software around your product would be a plus. Moreover, the long slog to develop will have plausible benefits in the time to come. Note that more interactions make for a more engaged customer base. Here are 5 such battle-tested considerations that will help you grow your community.
- Inspire your audience
- Partake in discussions
- Pick your Platform
- Yes to Offline Meets
- Be approachable
Inspire your audience
If your product doesn’t do all the talking and doesn’t inspire your target audience, well then it’s no good. Before you delve into investing your efforts and finance into building a community, ensure that your customers are happy.
Simply put, the level of customer satisfaction should be high. If the quotient of customer stickiness shows a green sign, then you are good to go. Having a medium yet contented customer base is better or a gigantic base with a translucent response is better? Pick your choice.
Partake in discussions
It’s easy, a customer joins your community to feel closer to your brand. In customer community services, it is you who has to be a larger contributor to the discussions. So where to begin with?
Start with partaking in regular discussions on your chosen community platform.
If you are getting a good volume of inquiries, respond to it diligently. Or put up a team to deal with that. Solicit feedback and do not leave them unattended. It is your responsibility to make them feel like they too are a part of the process development. Drive the discussion as you own it.
Pick your Platform
Although there are umpteen community-building software solutions available for you out there. Opt-in for those that keep their communities and engagement within their domain. For instance, you can choose LinkedIn groups or Slack channels, to begin with. It is hassle-free to create a group and connect seamlessly.
But, before everything, do your research. There is no right or wrong platform, in particular, for hosting your community. Think of the following: What platforms are your audience most likely to be familiar with? Where do they already have accounts? Where do they go to solve their work-related problems and keep up with industry thought-leadership?
Yes to Offline Meets
While online communities do serve the purpose, having an offline meet up takes your company to the next level. This could be done by workshops, short meetings, or perhaps a full-blown customer conference.
When you meet your customers in person, this gives room to develop a bond and connect deeper. Nevertheless, this simply could not have replicated in the online medium.
One of the driving reasons that cut down churn, is the feature of approachability. For that, you need to form strong customer support or success reps team. Your customers shouldn’t be intimidated by coming to you with some queries or issues.
Come what may, they should have the ease to speak up to you regardless of the issue they are in to. Build a customer rapport and wreathe a closer relationship in the process. Engagement is the key to customer success.
Now, what are some of the benefits of the customer community and why is it so fruitful, lets find out.
Benefits of customer community
- Ignites Trust: When you continually communicate transparently with your audience, you’ll improve their trust in your brand. When customers run into problems, they’re more likely to give you a chance to resolve them before churning or growing disillusioned.
- Imbues Advocacy: People talk to their peers regarding a product. Nurturing communities will lead to growth in referral marketing—an inherently more trustworthy source for prospects who are interested in your company.
- Builds Network: The precise value of a network is a powerful way to build consensus around your solution and bonds between customers that will make your offering much more sticky within an organization.
What are the success factors for revamping a customer community? And what are some of the best practices to follow? Dig in.
Best Practices for customer community
- Guidelines and Norms: Guidelines prevent anyone from ruining the experience for others. They also clearly state upfront the demarcations to abide by. Keep your guidelines simple to start: No spamming, be kind, be generous, only share relevant content, etc.
- Create a habit: Make your community a habit with email, notifications, assignments, making members accountability buddies, etc. Find a way to ingrain your community in their every day (or at least weekly) lives.
- Ask for feedback: Touch base with your members regularly to see how they’re doing, what they’re getting out of the community, and how you can improve the experience for them. You will see how well this is appreciated and cared for.
Ultimately, the primary objective for any SaaS company is to create an environment where the brand, customers, and interested parties can come together. This is a useful step to share more information, get to know each other, and create bonds that make your solution stick.
However, a community like this takes time to build.
But when you couple it with some persistence and a strong strategy for enticing customers to join, you can surely cultivate a community that grows your following. Not only that, but you will also see how this fosters loyal customers and keeps your audience coming back for more. Create a community for yourself today and see the magic.