• Critical questions to start building your Customer Community

    Critical questions to start building your Customer Community

    How to start building your Customer Community is the critical question for marketers in digital transformation age. This is the opinion of David Taber, the expert in Customer Relationship, posted on CIO: Lead generation means user education. Channel management means a partner portal. Case management means a knowledge base, customer discussion groups, and a support forum. Customer loyalty means a customer portal.  It’s all about building a community site. Depending on where you start, you’ll hear about dozens of product offerings and see some extraordinary demos. The best of the demos will live up to Sybase founder Bob Epstein’s famous quote about benchmarks: “they are what the vendor can guarantee you will never achieve.” Before you get dazzled by bright shiny objects, you really have to go off and do some thinking: that’s right, dull homework. Because any of the community-building products could be the right one for you, but all of them will result in a failure if you haven’t answered most of these questions in advance: What's the fundamental value of building/maintaining the community? Getting more prospects or partners sooner? Improving the quality of your decisions? Making your company look better / more visible? Accelerating your prospects evolution? Increasing customer or channel loyalty? Helping you catch up to Competitors’ sites? Making management feel better? How many people will be in the community? Will this be a "public community," where users can spontaneously register themselves?  Or is this by invitation (and pre-setup) only? Will there be sub-groups? How many active threads do you expect at any one time? Will users be allowed to start their own threads? What are the users’ job titles (both the company and the role)? What is their level of knowledge about your company and its products? How will you manage excluding users from certain countries? How will you get to full GPDR compliance? What are the usage patterns? Will users come in via single sign-on (SSO) or direct login? Will they come in from a mobile device? How often do you expect them to log in? How long will they stay on the site? Are there any things about their user session that we’ll need to know/report on / get alerted about? What do they come to the community for? What are they trying to achieve any time they log in? With whom are they trying to communicate? What information do they seek or share? What information are they allowed to download? What things can they report on (if any)? What do they need to be able to hide from others? About themselves and About the information they post How much information will there be in a given year? Number of topics Number of posts and attachments from you and users Number of leads, deals Number of ideas/suggestions, cases/resolutions What of this information is transactional in nature (i.e., not just a content posting)? What of this information needs to be integrated with other systems (e.g., CRM)? Will the "information architecture" (read: navigation) need to change on a regular basis? What's the "memory horizon" of the community? What will be your content archiving strategy? Do some things get hidden from users after a few months? Can this be automatic? Do we actually want a human always involved in the "sunsetting" of information? Do you want to have the community moderated? If so, can it be done "by exception" or does every moderation action have to be done manually? What are the legal terms of use you are expecting? What analytics do you need? Real-time alerts regarding usage patterns, DOS attacks? Social media monitoring? Daily reports, executive dashboards? What's your internal constituency? Worker bees by a department? PR, marketing, sales, support, operations, and legal executives? Board? What's your willingness to spend on? User licenses? Development? Ongoing moderation? This is just internal hours, but you want to have some sort of threshold like "no more than 50 hours/week". Who’s going to own the project and budget? For project management and deployment For community membership growth For moderation and legal policing For ongoing maintenance and technical expansion I know, this is quite the laundry list!  But if you don’t bring up these issues early, you won’t really know what your requirements are, so your product evaluation criteria will be foggy at best.  Save yourself some time and money by starting at the beginning. Bottomline Get those questions answered and ready to kick-start your Customer Community now with the advantages of phpFox 4Biz experts, just email or demo:
  • Building Your Powerful Customer Community with phpFox

    Building Your Powerful Customer Community with phpFox

    Follow up with the introduction to Customer Community powered by phpFox, we fully aware that there is an uprising needs and demands to establish a successful Customer Community. In this blog, we will go over some steps and look at some aspects which surprisingly assist you to build up a powerful Customer Community with phpFox. Go Beyond The Common Traits of Your Products/Services   Knowing what you are lacking while maintaining a connection to your customers decides how your Customer Community will be built up and expanding. Keep in mind that your community shouldn't be limited to certain common standards. In other words, the community doesn't have to only focus on areas which your products/service are offering, but you can identify and nurture an inspiring brand purpose beyond your products and services.   For instance, companies like Patagonia, Harley-Davidson, and Nike stand out as customers on their community share their passion not only for clothing, motorcycles, and shoes, but also for the outdoors, adventure, and fitness. Figure out what your customers are interested, keep up with their paces, feed them up with contents, it's more likely your community will be a success. Go with Customer-Oriented Direction   The keys to a successful customer community are to put users in control, go light on marketing content, and remember above all that the community exists to serve customers—not the brand. As explained in the Harvard Business Review:   “Managers often forget that consumers are actually people, with many different needs, interests, and responsibilities. A community-based brand builds loyalty not by driving sales transactions but by helping people meet their needs…For members, brand communities are a means to an end, not an end in themselves…Putting the brand second is tough for a marketer to do, but it’s essential if a strong community is the goal.” Allow prospects and customers to see your corporate values   Increasingly, prospects will turn into customers, and customers will become loyal, because they’re attracted to what your company stands for, which is evident in the values you demonstrate, including online. In a world where everything you sell is a commodity, value – product, price, service – is the threshold of a customer community, but values are the foundation. Value is easy to find these days. But when community members are attracted to your values, they keep coming back and bring their friends. Bottomline Start building your Customer Community now with the phpFox 4Biz solution, you get a free consultancy and optimal package offering while setting up, a professional maintenance service and a long-term cooperation from our experts of technical, marketings and social. Just check out or email