Importance of Online Communities for Brands

Debra Morgan, Marketing Tech Outlook | Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Online customer communities can greatly benefit brands to improve customer experience

FREMONT, CA: People can benefit from online communities in various ways. They offer insights into customers’ preferences and requirements, increase customer retention and loyalty, enhance reputation and thought leadership, decrease support costs, and enable more collaborative ways of working, including crowdsourcing. Several of the below-mentioned objectives and benefits are fit for both personal and structured communities. And a few apply for internal and hybrid communities.

Self-supporting customer support communities need a high degree of community maturation. Firms need to provide other ways of help to actively participate, certainly in the beginning stages. Articles and forums assist in educating customers, leading to fewer problems. There is a strong connection between online communities, social business, and information management. This, way an online community can reduce support costs. Probably even more essential is growing customer loyalty by being supportive. The major rule of community engagement is listening. When performed in customer support, this is even more essential.

An online community generates a space available around the clock for customers, suppliers, employees, and partners to share concepts and collaborate. Online communities are available more in terms of time and accommodate more people, leading to jumps in innovation. Firms’ communities can be significant ways to invite people to collaborate, especially if they have a strong, engaged, and focused community. It is another reason why looking after the personal community is essential. Content marketing plays a key role here too.

When participating in communities, being transparent and allowing firms’ audience to know about them is essential. Typically, it is seamless to establish credibility when firms show the face behind their profile and activities instead of being elusive. When customers have concerns about services, they tend to search for answers on the Internet. Keywords from customer communities or topic- and content-related communities will show up in search outcomes. For this reason, online communities can serve as places for customers to find answers to their concerns. In good customer communities, customers communicate with one another, and questions get answered by other community members. Customer communities can lead to reduced costs in support but also in up-selling, creating new contacts.

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