Community and Customer Success

Who has an active Community? Is it part of your Customer Success strategy? Who owns it? I have been part of two Community launches. One, set up to supplement support and the other a strategic arm of Customer Success. Both were successful and the later super successful and cost effective and efficient and critical part of CS. It also became a funnel for advocates.

I would love to know what your Community experience is, how you manage access (closed, open to all or other?) How follow ups (escalations, or other issues that need to be followed up/taken outside the community) and what the value (or not) you have gotten from it?

Jay Nathan

Comments

  • etienne
    etienne Member Posts: 2 Navigator
    Name Dropper First Comment

    Great topic, I’m interested in learning more on that!

    The trickiest part for me seems to be the definition of the concept and scope of the community, to create the initial spark that will make your customers join. And come back again and again.

    @Brian O'Keeffe what percentage of your customer base would you think one can expect to join and be active on the community?

  • Brian O'Keeffe
    Brian O'Keeffe Member Posts: 181 Expert
    First Anniversary Photogenic 5 Insightfuls First Comment

    Many underestimate the value of Community and do not know how to unlock its potential. A well run community is the fourth leg of Customer Success. It is a powerful way to find advocates, identify upsell opportunities and identify risks. It will be one most powerful tools you have to increase net retention and expansion if you are successful.

    Communities need resources and have to be carefully cultivated. Initially you will need to watch it very closely to seed it with engagement. Sometimes resorting to tactics like tagging users you know have experience or answers and see what happens. Use your CSM teams knowledge of our customers to help you seed it. A CSM would see a post, tag a user or two they knew had the experience or answer, and see if that user would log in and engage. It worked most of the time! If not, one day later I would find an internal SME to answer it. The key is be unrelenting. They key is threads cannot just sit and die. If that happens you are DOA. Acknowledging the superstars and rewarding them, we invited them all expenses paid, to our user conferences and had a forum on icommunity. In my last role, our community manager ended up being our very best community contributor.

    Invite all users in all tiers.

    Have special groups for specific customers. Regional, or by product etc..

    Have a closed private invite only group for your advocates or community superstars. Give these groups a lot of attention.

    Be personal in the community and talk to customers like you would if they were face to face. Example: congratulations on the promotion! etc...

    I don't have hard numbers, but saw the community in my last role start from scratch and over time, thrive and had about 70% of all customers with the community available and a core group that was participating heavily, more than once a week, and most with more moderate participation. Once they learn it works for issues outside support, or are not sure, more will go to the community and the magic of customers solving other customers issues will take off.

    Anna AlleyAmanda Watson
  • colin-userlot
    colin-userlot Member Posts: 8 Navigator
    First Anniversary First Comment Name Dropper
    Not sure this is the best thread to ask this, but how would you feel if a community feature was built into a CSP tool? And your CSM's had control of opening it to specific accounts/users directly from the CSP? Potentially even segmenting them etc..
  • Brian O'Keeffe
    Brian O'Keeffe Member Posts: 181 Expert
    First Anniversary Photogenic 5 Insightfuls First Comment
    Not sure this is the best thread to ask this, but how would you feel if a community feature was built into a CSP tool? And your CSM's had control of opening it to specific accounts/users directly from the CSP? Potentially even segmenting them etc..
    What's a CSP tool?
  • colin-userlot
    colin-userlot Member Posts: 8 Navigator
    First Anniversary First Comment Name Dropper

    Hey @Brian O'Keeffe , CSP = Customer Success Platform

    Sorry, should have been clearer.

    Was thinking more about this too and I think it would be a great addition so something we're looking at implementing.

    Reduces the need for another tool and directly integrated with your product/s since they're already plugged in. (If you're using a CSP that is )

  • Brian O'Keeffe
    Brian O'Keeffe Member Posts: 181 Expert
    First Anniversary Photogenic 5 Insightfuls First Comment

    Something like Gainsight, Totango or Churn Zero? I used Salesforce which was integrated with our CSP and whose community platform we used. It made it fairly seamless.