Customer Experience News & Trends

3 ways to help customers help each other

You’re in the business of helping customers. But sometimes, the best thing to do for your customers is to help them help each other

Customers want the most convenient ways to get answers and solutions. Working with fellow customers inside a brand or customer community can be the most convenient way. In fact, brand communities can give customers a more practical and fun way to engage with your products or services because they get to interact with people who share a common interest.

But you might have to entice them to check into the community and get active.

“The fact is, customers want their voices heard and knowing that they can receive a discount on their next order, a free class or sample item, or be entered into a giveaway, is enticing for long-term and new customers alike,” says Gordon White, General Manager, Americas for tsc: – a Sitel Group company.

What’s critical to success

Whether your brand community is new or established, these three aspects are critical to getting customers involved and engaged:

  • Be authentic. When you want people to give feedback and engage in a brand or customer community, you need to be fully transparent. You will host the community – and maintain oversight – but you don’t want to censor or change what customers say and share that could be negative about your company or products. (Of course, you can and should censor anything that’s inappropriate.) Instead, use negative feedback as a launch pad for rapid responses to customer issues and as insight on how to improve.
  • Make it fun. Many organizations gamify their brand or customer communities. Customers can earn rewards such as loyalty points, discounts and free swag for posting reviews, successfully helping other customers and receiving good reviews from other customers who they interacted with.
  • Bring on the channels. Customer service pros will want to stay on top of the brand or customer communities so they can keep conversations moving and/or get them resolved. Plus they can share good ideas and questions with a broader audience. They might post questions or reviews from the brand community to the company’s social media channels. “This strategy enables knowledge sharing to consumers who weren’t previously aware of the community forum, and allows them to offer insight on their own experiences and solutions,” White says.

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