October 2016

Building customer loyalty through a customer community

For far too long, customer service has been seen as a cost of business. Even worse, many have traditionally seen it as an expensive and difficult chore to be automated, outsourced and overlooked. But in the “Age of the Customer” - where the customer is informed, empowered and demanding - customer service should not only be seen as a necessity but also as an opportunity.

The opportunity is to see customer service excellence as the pathway to stronger customer loyalty. Yes, answering customer queries and solving customer problems is a chance to achieve customer satisfaction points in the form of your Net Promoter Score (NPS). But more than that, by seeing it in the context of an ongoing personalised customer journey, it’s an opportunity to win greater customer loyalty.

A key tool in this process is a customer community. That is why our latest eBook - “How to build customer loyalty with a customer community” - is a key read for anyone responsible for brand, customer loyalty and customer experience.

A report by Gartner found that the number one attribute customers use to make decisions about products is the customer experience. In fact, Forrester discovered that customers will pay a premium for an exceptional customer experience. An important part of this customer experience is the customer community you build around your brand.

Empowering customers to provide solutions

One of the really important aspects of this kind of community is the way it helps you enable and leverage customer advocates. By empowering your best customers to not only become enthusiasts for your products or services but also experts that will willingly volunteer to help new customers with their problems. This not only saves time and money in your own customer service effort, but adds invaluable benefit to the customer experience.

Today’s customers are empowered and prefer to be able to solve their own problems. In fact, research shows more than 70% of customers prefer to get answers to their questions from the company’s website. They want to be independent. Being able to solve their problems on knowledge base, or better still network with their fellow customers to find answers is a much better experience than sitting on hold to your call centre!

Social media also play a key role. Customers now far prefer to hear about how good a product or service is from other customers, rather than from the companies behind them. Customer communities make it easy for them to do this, and in a way in which brands can monitor and measure.

The foundations for building a community

A customer community portal or forum not only saves organisations money and time by augmenting existing customer service facilities, it also contributes to the overall customer journey. This eBook shows you how to build a successful customer community as part of the overall personalised customer journey strategy you need to pursue in order to survive in the “Age of the Customer”. It talks you through key stages along the way, namely:

  1. Obtain executive sponsorship to prioritise adoption and engagement with internal stakeholders and external customers.
  2. Ensure business processes are integrated into the community as part of the customer’s journey.
  3. Have a Community Manager who oversees the daily health of the community.

To help illustrate how this can be achieved successfully, the eBook details case studies from Ping Identity, eWay and AVG to build more loyalty in their customer base.

So why not download the eBook now to find out how you can use Customer Communities to grow your customer loyalty.


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