It’s something we hear a lot in this business—“we know we need a customer community, but how do we make sure we’re managing every aspect, so nobody says or does anything….crazy/inappropriate/damaging (fill in your own fear words here) in there.”
It’s an understandable reaction to a growing trend brought on by social—the loss of company control over the brand. Let’s face it—marketing messages are no longer the predominant stories heard by the public about your brand. The public is seeing (and paying more attention to) the opinions of their peers in a variety of places online.
By providing your customers with a customer community, you’re taking an active role moderating these conversations, gathering insights from them, and responding in a way that’s both helpful and timely. But the key benefit of a customer community is often not actually the way you communicate with your customers, but the way they communicate with each other.
We’re constantly hearing stories about community Champions who answer questions and go to bat for the companies they love—like Koodo, for example, which is realizing 557 percent year-over-year improvement in the number of customer questions answered by other customers. How do you build that kind of active engagement? By encouraging open, transparent communication between community members.
So take down the barbed wire in your community strategy, ok? The benefits are will significantly outweigh the downsides. We promise….