How Can a Community Forum Benefit Your Business?
It’s extremely probable that you’ve dealt with an online community forum if you’ve ever looked up a solution to a challenging tech issue.
People can interact and talk about common interests on community forums. Community forums serve as a place of connection for many people, especially in this age where many people spend their days online.
To offer a top-notch customer experience and help consumers swiftly find solutions to their concerns, many businesses are creating community forums. And generally without a support representative’s assistance! Instead, peers and other community members respond to queries.
What is a community forum?
A community forum is an online gathering place where users may converse, exchange knowledge, and discuss a wide range of topics that they may find interesting. Customers and followers of a company can congregate, ask questions, get peer support, discuss issues surrounding the brand, and form social connections in an active community forum.
Online discussion boards can be incorporated into a company’s customer experience plan. People would go to the community forum to get answers to their queries instead of contacting customer service. Self service portals may also include a community forum among their functionalities.
How do online communities for customers benefit brands?
Instead of addressing the broader public on social media, users can communicate with one another in a more specialised, smaller group in online communities, which boosts engagement and brand loyalty.
Additionally, community forums give your clients a dedicated location to find the details they require regarding practically everything pertaining to your company. Consider a scenario where a user of your programme encounters an uncommon issue and posts about it on your forum in hopes of receiving feedback from another user. Instead of being shared on social media, where information is much more quickly buried, it will be lot simpler for someone else encountering the same issue to find that post.
Frequently, by the time one of your clients searches for a certain problem, someone else has already resolved it. Following the guidance offered by another user, they can swiftly solve it.
What advantages come with creating a community forum?
- First, eliminate segmented visibility into consumer issues.
It’s not always possible to keep your consumers satisfied even with a committed customer service crew. This is due to the possibility of a miscommunication between customer-facing teams and the rest of the company occasionally. By uniting all cross-functional teams and customers on a single platform for all discussions, community forums close this gap. Product teams can evaluate frequent customer complaints and even step in to help consumers better define their needs.
- Create a sense of belonging for your customers with your brand.
Numerous platforms exist for your clients to talk about you and any problems they may be having. Consider Facebook, Instagram, and review websites like Blackhat forum or Google… However, not every platform is made equally. Online communities perform significantly better when it comes to making people feel heard and valued.
Consider the graph below, for instance. Users claimed that, compared to social media, online community forums are places where they may engage in more meaningful talks and feel valued. People feel less visible to marketers even if there is a lot going on in social media feeds.
- Simplify the consumer path and experience
Your customers may access help, guidance, best practises, discussion, feedback, and much more from a one location by using an online community forum as their go-to resource. Customers’ digital journey and experience stay seamless since they may get all the help they need from other users in the community.
This is especially crucial now that the consumer journey is “digital-first.” Cold calling and conference rooms, the typical sales funnel, are no longer relevant. Whether you like it or not, your clients will discover you online.
- Minimize one-on-one support contacts
With FAQs and solution threads from your business together with responses from other members who are familiar with your items, community forums also serve as self-service portals. Even after the topic has been answered, these solution threads remain still accessible and easily searchable.
You may provide customer service without expanding your crew by encouraging consumers to use the community forums. One-to-one assistance via chat or email is substantially less effective than one-to-many support (with one solution supporting many customers).
- Increase brand recognition and clientele
If user-generated content (UGC) is properly aggregated from the start, community forums can develop into a self-sustaining ecosystem. Customers who participate in the forum increase the community’s visibility among their friends and relatives. They soon catch the eye of potential clients as their visibility grows. Customers that feel respected in your community are more inclined to tell their friends about your company.