The Critical Business Benefits of an Online Community

iStock-475988894_people on devices_resized.pngJohn’s cell phone has started making a constant buzzing noise and the battery is draining quickly. An internet search brings up some information from a third party website for cell phone enthusiasts.  At their advice, he uninstalls a particular app and the problem appears to be resolved.

As the CEO of John’s cell phone provider, should you be satisfied with the outcome of this story? After all, John’s issue was resolved and he didn’t need to call your contact center. No, you should not be satisfied, and here’s why:

  • John doesn’t have an answer he can be completely certain of, as it hasn’t been verified by the company. This solution may or may not work, and may have other ill-effects that he isn’t aware of.
  • Your marketing organization has missed an opportunity to engage with this customer, and may now miss future opportunities. Since John was helped by this third-party site, he may go directly there the next time he needs assistance.
  • Your customer service organization lacks the insight that this is an issue customers need assistance with. You likely have a gap in your knowledge base but have no way of knowing that this gap even exists.  
  • Your customer journey now has a blind spot. If John later contacts the service organization, they will have no previous knowledge of this issue and the actions that were taken, so John will have to repeat this information before he can get help.

So how could this scenario have been resolved with a better outcome? By adding an online community to your own self-service experience, customers have a place to meet, have conversations, ask questions and get help, all under your brand.

Customers get fast answers that can be certified by the organization, and you still control the brand, the experience, the journey and the insights. An online community blends seamlessly into your existing self-service experience, and customers can search both knowledge articles and community posts when looking for assistance.

An online community provides tangible business benefits throughout your organization. In a study by Aberdeen Group, companies who used an online community experienced greater year-over-year customer lifetime value, customer retention rate, website conversion rate, and annual company revenue.1

The benefits of an online community are clear, and the time to get started is now. To learn more about the benefits of an online community, download our new Ask the Experts eBook where I and other experts discuss some of the key questions around online communities.

Or, if you’re ready to get started now, get in touch at Telligent-Sales@verint.com.

 

 

1 Five Reasons Why Investing in Online Communities Pays Off for High-Tech Firms, Aberdeen Group, February 2016

 

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