The Next Frontier in Self-Service: Peer-to-Peer Support Communities
This post is the second in a series.
Why should you start a support community?
Here we will discuss some of the obvious and maybe not so obvious reasons to start a community and the different ways to use communities. First let’s start by explaining two different types:
- Customer Support Communities
- Employee Communities
Customer Support Communities are online Q&A communities where customers ask questions and find answers. It is a place where customers help other customers. When your customers are active and engaged in your online support community, you will:
- Reduce costs by deflecting support calls from agents
- Increase customer satisfaction by helping them find answers quickly in their preferred support channel
- Turn customers into advocates by giving them a forum to discuss your products and services, and the opportunity to help each other
- Give customers a voice to provide valuable feedback and gain insight that aids your organization’s product, sales, design and development teams
- Turn social knowledge into enterprise knowledge – by turning answers found in customer communities into knowledge that support agents can use
Employee Communities are online forums where employees share information, find answers and collaborate. They can be used to communicate with the entire enterprise about upcoming events, product releases, and updates to company policies, for example. Alternatively, they can be set up for specific groups, departments or project teams. Some goals of employee communities:
- Facilitate collaboration, sharing and group problem-solving among teams
- Empower the subject matter experts in your organization to help fellow employees
- Broadcast important information and alerts to specific teams or to the entire organization
As you can see, there are multiple reasons to establish and use customer and employee communities. So if you have not already done so, go ahead and create one. Or better yet, create both. But before you get too far ahead, read the next blog post in this series about pitfalls to avoid and how to create communities that thrive.
Read the other blog posts in this series:
- Part One: Customers Prefer to Find the Answers Themselves
- Part Three: 5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Creating a Customer Support Community
- Part Four: 3 Ways RightAnswers Revolutionizes Customer Support Communities