Social distancing and Safer at Home requirements forced companies around the world to find new ways to engage with their customers, partners and employees over the past few months. In both our personal and professional lives as consumers, we’ve gotten a lot more communication from organizations about how they approached the COVID-19 pandemic. They utilized emails, social media posts, virtual events and articles to discuss the actions they’re taking to ensure business continuity while encouraging users to virtually interact with their brands.
Many of these businesses are beginning to reopen, but with changes and restrictions that will have a lasting, if not permanent, impact. Organizations cannot safely bring all of their people back to their office spaces; there will be some form of remote working for some portion of their employees for years to come. And it’s essential to be able to effectively communicate with all of your users through these market-defining times.
The adaptability of work location is the new reality that modern companies must be prepared for in order to survive. The companies that have been most successful during these changes are those that have developed digital experiences that their users can easily join and interact with. Whether it’s a customer, partner or employee community, having this type of platform sets you up to be more productive and interactive during these turbulent times.
Leveraging digital communities allows companies to create user-friendly experiences that overcome common communication issues and drive business value. There are many features that communities unlock to address challenges and keep your people successful as they adjust to what’s next.
Maintaining official communication with your customers, partners and employees when you’re not in the same space is often difficult if it’s not a practice your company is used to. Blast emails are ineffective and don’t adequately address the information requested by your teams or customers. Repeatedly sending emails can also lead users to tune these communications out or move them to a spam folder. This can result in your partners and employees not being aligned with your leadership, or your customers not engaging with your brand as frequently.
Online communities help you give users an authoritative source of communication that minimizes confusion and maximizes reach. Transparent communication and information sharing on these platforms dramatically improve productivity for your remote employees and engagement with customers. Information becomes searchable, findable and easily referenceable.
While practicing social distancing, the people who would normally interact with your company in person were not able to do so. Even as you restart your business, engagement with users will happen through new, more virtual avenues. Customers, partners and employees all need more information than they required in traditional face-to-face situations. Organizations are expected to provide a consistent cadence of communication about policies, status updates and more.
Communities contain features like News, Announcements and Events that enable organizations to quickly and concisely communicate this information. Companies can easily direct employees and partners to changes in their policies and procedures, or share updates directly with customers about their latest products and services. Streamlining virtual communication ensures that all of your users are able to interact with your brand without having to cut through massive amounts of noise.
Channels like Slack are great for encouraging both personal and work-related conversations that provide vibrant interactions for your employees. But the real-time nature of these workspaces means they can become cluttered with irrelevant discussions. Relying on this type of platform also prevents you from properly communicating with other users like your customers.
Communities unlock the ability for users to communicate on a more personal level without shutting out different stakeholders. Leaders can segment members into Groups, letting you post updates and documents that are solely for respective teams. This ensures that everyone in your organization—employees, partners and customers—are given access to the same information and tools most pertinent to their success. You are better able to communicate and share updates directly with the users you choose, and they are provided with an engaging, interactive experience with your brand.
It’s not easy for your users to receive the level of communication they’re used to from in-person interactions. As you adapt to the ongoing changes that will take place moving forward, having the proper tools to communicate virtually becomes increasingly important. Communities help you provide the engaging experience that navigated your company through social distancing and positions you well for any uncertainties that arise in the future.
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