Organizations everywhere are looking for ways to maintain consistent communication and foster collaboration as they cope with the uncertainties of safely restarting their businesses. But while it’s important to take measures to enable these interactions, one of the areas where companies struggle most is in maintaining connectedness among their virtual users.
The adaptability of work location is the new reality that modern companies must be prepared for in order to survive. Some percentage of your workforce will always need to be remote in order to safely reopen; it’s no longer realistic to expect hundreds (or even dozens) of your employees to work in the same office space. Similarly, you need to prepare for changes in how you interact with customers and partners. Connecting all of your users with one another and your company lets you reap the benefits of retaining strong culture and brand loyalty, but extra care is needed to do so effectively amid the changing market conditions.
Digital communities allow companies to create connected interactions among their stakeholders – employees support customers, partners collaborate with employees, customers and partners communicate directly – that strengthen the culture you’ve built for employees and increase brand loyalty among customers and partners. These virtual solutions ensure continuity no matter what comes next, and prepare you for the uncertain future of how business will be conducted.
To unlock the business value these connected interactions can provide, we recommend your digital community experiences include the following features:
With the social isolation that comes with working from home and interacting virtually, it is more important than ever to maintain some of the fun elements that your organization encourages. Implement systems that reward users with points and badges to be redeemed for prizes, encouraging them to continue fostering connections.
Apps like 7Summits Leaderboard Plus allow you to use gamification like badges and skill endorsements to creatively recognize and celebrate the users who are most actively engaging in your community and embodying the culture and brand of your organization.
While branding may not seem like a top priority during a global pandemic, it will become more important as normalcy begins to return. Online communities provide ample opportunities to reinforce your brand identity and determine how your company culture is represented to and by your different stakeholder groups.
Digital experiences have a variety of tools that allow you to brand the look and feel of your community without losing function in the effort to impact form. Simple things like adding your logo and brand palette will enable users to better connect with your organization. Meanwhile, more robust functionalities like Image and Video Galleries let you feature your brand stories across the experience. Social media feeds and RSS/JSON readers let you integrate content and visuals from your external sources like your website directly into your digital experience, connecting all of your brand assets in a single robust experience for your partners, customers and employees.
Strengthening your culture and increasing human connections between your users only works if they actually adopt your community. Implementing a community is much more than an “if you build it they will come” scenario. Encouraging your users to get active within your community is just as important as planning one.
Guided onboarding flows help boost engagement and adoption of digital communities. Give your employees, customers and partners a step-by-step process custom to their profile that helps them personalize their experience. Based on the topics and groups they opt into, your users will be served content and notifications that pertain to their respective preferences. This helps them more easily connect with other users who share similar interests.
Regardless of circumstance, we live in a multi-screen and multi-device world. To build brand loyalty, affinity and culture, your employees, customers and partners need access to your company across any device at any time. Communities are designed to be easily available across smartphones (Apple or Android), tablets, desktops, PCs and Macs. Your company will realize the benefits of connecting users whether they’re at a desk, on the move, at home or in your physical location.
It’s not easy for your users to receive the level of connectedness 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 virtually interact 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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