A well-run online community can generate immense value for customers. It creates a sense of belonging, helps them to build a network, and facilitates their success with a product, and in terms of their career.
When it comes to organizational value, the impact can be far-reaching, and in many cases, all-encompassing. Online community can help to strengthen internal communications, bridge silos between departments, and augment and increase efficacy of existing resources and budgets.
Let’s discuss some of the ways that an online community can help organizations achieve better results, increase efficiencies, and see excellent return on investment (ROI).
The terms and phrases: ‘doing more with less’, ‘sustainability’, and ‘effectiveness’ tend to grow in popularity in times of economic downturn but in actuality, businesses need to ensure that no matter their financial status, these principles are consistently applied to strategy, planning, and objectives.
Online community has been proven to enable scaled efforts across departments and ensure better, more effective processes are in place.
When it comes to a department like customer success where hiring practices need to be curtailed and customer success manager (CSM) time needs to become more and more dynamic, online community is one of the most effective solutions available.
Customer activity and information gathered within an online community can help to build more comprehensive customer health scoring and account understanding without spreading CSM time too thin.
Using the community to enhance processes like onboarding and customer education can both improve the 1:many services CSMs are desperate to achieve, and simultaneously enable customers to self-serve allowing a repurposing of precious customer success hours.
Scaling operations with an online community helps organizations to sustain a high-level of employee effectiveness without sacrificing time or attention to customer needs.
Better Per-Dollar Efficiency
There is a burgeoning understanding that community drives deeper brand affinity, larger deals, and better retention and revenue in the long term.
Organizations that invest in online community generally see better per-dollar efficiency than those that don’t invest.
‘Is what we’re doing today going to impact the customer in the long run?’ That’s the question businesses need to answer to ensure they thrive in a global recession and beyond.
There is an increasing need to centralize everything and build better experiences for customers; and online community is the ideal space to bring all customer-facing information together.
As the foundation of your customer hub, an online community can become the central space for customers to interact with a business, drive deep rooted connection with that business, and find success that improves retention and revenue.
Organizations that spend time creating a hub and investing in their community will deliver best-in-class experience and offer upfront value to the customer to ensure long-term returns.
Intuitive Interactions Between Employees and Customers
Customers and employees tend to speak their own unique languages making it difficult to reconcile both internal and external sources of information but if they could be on the same page, organizations could massively benefit from shared understanding.
When it comes specifically to customer feedback and product development, a common language is crucial to gathering customer information and applying it effectively.
Customers review products online whether an organization offers them a space to do so or not. Enabling them to share that feedback directly with you is one of the best ways to build a product that the market, and your customers, truly want.
Online community is an excellent place to gather this information and to relay it back to the relevant teams and people who can apply it. It’s also an excellent place to find customers who are interested in beta testing and becoming a key part of your product development.
There is a need to cultivate that positive relationship between your community members and product teams to ensure that what is being built for the market truly fits the market.
In the long run, creating an online community with a space to gather customer feedback and ideation will improve a product’s viability and durability.
Late in 2022, we released the Community Predictions 2023 eBook and in it, we discussed how online community currently impacts singular departments within an organization, and how that value is set to grow in 2023.
Online community will add value to each department, boost their ability to achieve results, and improve communication and effectiveness, and in turn, increase organizational value.
If you’d like to read about how an online community creates organizational value in more detail, you can get a complimentary copy of the book right here!
Content Marketing Manager
Nuala is the Content Marketing Manager at Vanilla by Higher Logic. She has adored writing since a young age and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Publishing and Literature from the National University of Ireland, Galway.
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