Users help each other
When you give users a place to voice their concerns and issues, they’ll connect with each other, solve problems, and offer tips. This is beneficial, especially when a problem can be solved in multiple ways.
You’ll see this with WordPress themes, when there are thousands of downloads. For example, the X The Theme from ThemeCo has a forum for people who purchased the theme to help each other.
Matthew-Cox-Envato-after-sales-service“Generally, there’s the “multiple-birds with one stone” factor. Meaning in a closed support system, any advice given is lost behind privacy of one-to-one emails. But with an open support forum, customers can self-serve by finding answers to questions already asked. But, the real magic of support forums occur when customers take it upon themselves to help each other, rather than relying exclusively on the product owners.”
Matthew Cox, Community Manager at Envato.
You may already be handling market research through other channels, but an active community will increase your responses and provide faster turnaround.
You’ll be able to toss feature ideas into the community for feedback, and you’ll see what problems people face regularly, so that your development team can fix and document them. Did you know 71% of companies use customer collaborations for market research?
Growth Hackers is a community of business and marketing folk interested in growing businesses. After running the community for years, the founder created Projects, a product that helps the teams track their conversion optimization activities.
Without the rich insight gained from conversations on the site, the product may not have gained its initial traction. The community also serves as a place for potential early adopters to learn about new products or features.
A library of help content
Even when you send tutorials and emails to direct your users, additional walk-through content is valuable. The Sales Lion, by Marcus Sheridan, is one example.
While using HubSpot, Marcus added extra tutorials for the company on using Hubspot for inbound marketing. Anyone going to his site could see his passion and wanted to get involved. Today, you’ll find Marcus speaking at every INBOUND conference, still helping people to use the software to grow their companies.
You can improve onboarding, emails, and tutorials
As your team reads content in the community, they’ll find ideas for other useful videos, gifs to help members, and potential blog post topics.