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3 reasons why companies should build online user community

Whenever I learn the courses on Coursera, I always enjoyed the community interaction. The communities are powerful, have common agenda and one can interact with each other, and get support. The good part is that online communities support the users to achieve the goals and everyone has a common agenda.

For SaaS companies, online communities can be of great help to enhance customer engagement and ultimately helps in achieving customer success.

Customer Engagement is cynosure of SaaS companies and Customer Engagement can increase Customer Retention. Customer Engagement is best formula for Customer Success.

However, Customer Engagement is not so easy to achieve. One can use so many strategies and one of the great strategies is to use social media to engage your customers. One can plan events, send emails and send the survey forms, etc. However, these strategies are costly and will take a lot of time. The best way to engage users is by building an online community.

The following are the reasons why you need to build online communities for customer success.

1) Peer to Peer support

The good part of building an online community is that the best users ( your loyal customers) will support the other group members by answering questions, doubts, and engage each other. New customers need not contact the customer support team or customer success team. This is a more scalable model and combined knowledge of all the users is more insightful and helpful for the users. The customer support team can come in when the questions are more complicated and when the community can not answer those questions.

2) Online communities can increase Customer Engagement.

The good part of online communities is that the users having a common agenda and goals get a platform to interact freely and openly. Sometimes, an online community created by your company goes beyond your imagination and can spread about your brand in many social media. The best example I can give you is the course on AI by Andrew NG on course named ' AI for everyone' has a community in LinkedIn to share their experiences. The good part is that these community members came together in the Coursera online community group and the engagement continued beyond the Coursera community.

The online community can give a sense of belongingness to the members and enhance the group interaction. More interaction means more customer engagement and better customer retention.

3) The online community gives you new insights.

Many a time online community gives you new insights beyond your imagination. The platform can be a mirror image of your product. You can check the pain points of the customers and improve product adaptability by looking at the feedbacks of the customers. If you can integrate the community platform with your CRM, the product team can prioritize the needs of the customers based on the solid data of the customers.

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