Already proven popular with customers (think about Facebook and LinkedIn) online communities benefit companies across almost every department from marketing and sales to customer service. Here are six of the top business benefits of starting a private, branded online community.
- Cut Customer Service Costs (And Increase Satisfaction)
- Boost New Customer Acquisition
- Improve Retention Rates
- Increase Upsell, Cross-Sell, and Add-On Revenue
- Nurture Customer Advocates
- Drive Product Innovation
Position Your Community to Benefit Multiple Departments
Online communities are as diverse as the companies that start them. Some are built as customer service portals that specialize in supporting customers and ensuring their success. Others focus on increasing customer engagement or improving sales.
If you’re considering starting a branded online community, you can choose what critical business needs you want to solve, but remember that companies are rarely efficient when there are silos. Even customer support communities can contribute to product innovation, and product innovation can help sales.
Choose a clear purpose for your community and communicate with all major stakeholders in your business. Explain how the community can help make their jobs easier and more efficient. Getting buy-in across departments can help you get the resources you need to make a branded online community a valuable business initiative.