How to Transform Your Community into a Thriving, Engaging Experience
Many companies with a customer community struggle with engagement. A successful community should improve customer loyalty, reduce support caseload and help capture the voice of the customer, but it’s only possible to do that by building an innovative intelligent experience.
7Summits, Boomi and Coveo recently held a webinar that shared some of the secrets to building a successful, engaging experience for your customers. Using Boomiverse as an example of a thriving community, this webinar included tips for maximizing ROI (and ROX) and best practices to follow when undergoing your own digital transformation.
The webinar replay is available for free on-demand viewing at any time, but here are some of the insights and advice that were discussed for turning your experience into a thriving community.
Transforming Your Community
When you undertake a digital transformation, especially with something like a customer community, it’s essential to set specific goals at the start and stick to them. These specific tenets were applied to Boomiverse, but represent a good starting point for any digital experience implementation.
Put the Customer at the Center of Design
First and foremost, you need to ensure that your customers are kept at the center of all of your decision making related to your digital experience. You can build a beautiful community, but if the features that are included don’t provide the functionality your users desire then you won’t generate value. At the same time, providing useful functionality that is difficult to access or utilize because of poor design does not delight customers the way you want it to. Finding that balance of designing solutions with users at the center is the most important thing to keep in mind when undergoing a digital transformation.
Start Small: Don’t Boil the Ocean
Projects like implementing a digital experience can take as long as 12 or 18 months. But if your implementation partner is doing their job right, you should be able to get out to market in a maximum of a 12 to 16 week timeframe. You need to figure out what the high value / low effort use cases that provide value and delight users are, and then get them out there to start generating interactions in the community and evolving from there.
Align with Enterprise Objectives
At the beginning of your project, you need to identify (and then align with) your larger enterprise objectives. Are you trying to grow revenue or drive costs out of your support structure? Do you want to simply reduce customer churn or more ambitiously create brand advocates? You can start looking at what use cases come out of these types of exercises when you put yourself in your customers’ shoes and see what will best benefit them and your organization. Combining enterprise objectives with these use cases lets you start to visualize and build the community experience around them.
Create a Phased Roadmap to Move Forward
Once the initial iteration of your community is live, you’re going to want to come up with a lot of things to continue to evolve it. You’ll discover what it needs to keep users coming back and continue to meet all of their needs. Creating a roadmap that serves as a “north star” for you helps you stay focused. Maybe that means adding new features and functionality, or perhaps it’s about reaching out to additional audiences like partners and employees. Regardless of what those long-term objectives are, you need to have a plan moving forward. Identify the KPIs that you need to measure and track against them moving forward.
Don’t Skip Over the “Small Stuff”
Seemingly simple decisions can often make or break the success of your community solution. So it’s essential to ensure that you’re not overlooking details of a digital experience implementation. At the start of your project, you need to pick the right platform, such as Salesforce, for meeting your objectives and then stick to the features you can innovate and iterate on over time. Having a chance management plan is also essential, as you will undoubtedly discover enhancements and adjustments that need to be made in the future. You’ll also need product owners and community managers so that you dedicate the right resources to manage and administer the community moving forward. And finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help; building a community is a complex process, and you have partners and internal resources that help streamline the journey.
By following these tips for transforming their community, Boomi unlocked tangible benefits like a 60% increase in page views, 40% growth in system engagement, and a 300% increase in case deflection in the first three months. While no two digital experience implementations are the same, following the guidelines and best practices that Boomi outlined in the webinar will help put you on the right path to unlocking value from your customer community.