This article is about Jive closing the doors of its Portland office. End of an era. Jive-X was part of my daily life and taught me so much.
Companies preach about the importance of collaboration, synergy, knowledge management, customer advocacy and communities can help with all of it. No matter internal or external, a great community requires time build, nurture and gain adoption.
Internally, a community allows employees to collaborate and share solutions, but unlike instant messenger, the knowledge can be saved and cataloged. Externally, a community allows you to build external trust, increase customer communication, and best of all; build a self-service, cost saving, knowledge base of information.
Tell me about your community (internal or external), how are you using it?
Customer service and support is continuously evolving and great service differentiates brands and turns customers into advocates. This blog will discuss three service buckets and how an online community can benefit your company while providing your customers an outstanding service experience.
The First Bucket: Phone Queue
Something we are all familiar with, but often hate using. Because there such a high staffing cost to companies, customers are often burdened with lengthy menus or unhelpful automated responses. To add further irritation, it is often difficult to reach the rep with the right level of knowledge leading to transferred calls, the need for a customer to start over; a horrible experience.
The Second Bucket: Self Service
Convenience and speed are appreciated by customers and allowing them to help themselves is very popular. YouTube videos, or a knowledge base created from solved customer problems are very helpful to customers and will free up support rep time, but what if a customer has a question? If there is no way to ask a question or if comments are not monitored, the problem still exists and the customer remains frustrated.
The Third Bucket: Online Community
An online community offers customers many things they are seeking: speed of answers, access to a knowledge base, and most importantly, the ability to ask questions about their unique issue. Like a knowledge base, a community cuts costs by documenting solutions and providing self service; both reduce demand on support reps. Furthermore, most community solutions are provided by customers: a cost savings for the company, and trusted by peers.
An online community will deliver trusted and targeted support to your customers in a timely manner while reducing costs for your company. If you have not done so, it is time for your community! I look forward to your questions and comments.