Learn the necessity of community
Why everyone needs a community.
One might think of their community being something that your marketing department is managing via your different social media-outlets or maybe that a community is synonymous with the customer base they already have. This could lead to the conclusion that one either already has or doesn’t even need a community. In our eyes, this couldn’t be further from reality, which we’ll try to outline in the following paragraphs.
“Your products can be copied. Your functionalities can be copied. Your research can be copied. The one thing that cannot be copied is your community!”
Customer support was only the beginning
There’s one thing which is impossible to deny: The power of the customer has been growing steadily over the last decades. A few centuries ago, customers were not able to talk to each other and researching products posed a significant challenge. Customer support was nonexistent. Customers with negative experiences about a certain business had no more choices than telling their circle of acquaintances about their experience or write a letter of complaint. Through technological innovation which eventually led to the establishment of the internet and social media, this changed drastically. All of a sudden, customers possessed the ability to share their experiences and inform others about the quality of products, write reviews, voice critique oftentimes to a global audience. Through social media feedback – of positive or negative nature – could spread like a wildfire.
Customer-centricity became more important
Companies, especially B2C-centered companies, started to realize the potential dangers as well as potential opportunities of customer service. Amazon, arguably one of the most successful companies of this era, is a prime example for this realization. The company is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking.
The way companies initially adopted customer service, however, was mostly in a “one-to-many”-communication. Only few companies realized, that many-to-many communication is much more effective and sustainable. With one-to-one, there is a limitation in the number of people you can form a connection and relationship with. Many-to-many communication however, is basically limitless. And the most effective way to enable many-to-many communication is by motivating the people that are actively engaging with your products, brand, or company, to become a messenger and ambassador for your brand themselves.
The benefits of building a community
When companies engage in building a community, oftentimes they focus on customer retention. However, communities can reach far beyond customer retention. Eventually, a community is an extension of your team. You will be able to make use of the variety of knowledge, time, creativity and more that each of your community-members have to offer. Furthermore, a community enables you to become the owner of a topic. Whenever people search for information on a certain product, functionality or topic, your community will be an advocate for your topic-ownership. Also keep in mind, that a community adds an emotional layer to switching costs.
Obviously, there are many more arguments as to why basically everyone needs a community of some kind. If you want to know more on this, get in touch with us to learn more!
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