1 Reply Latest reply on Oct 29, 2008 8:35 AM by MRowland

    Online Communities - what's in it for your customers?

      Hi,

       

      This is my first time posting to clearstep. My collegue and I attended a Jive seminar on Wednesday in Irvine, CA.

       

      We are excited about making the business case for an online community for our users. The good folks at Jive encouraged us to post our question here so here we go!

       

      In less than 2 weeks we are going to gather our best customers at an annual Customer Advisory Committee meeting. While there we want to pitch the benefits and value propositions for an online community. We are looking for feedback from you; how do make the case to your customers for an online community? What are the key benefits you tell your customers they will get from the community?

       

      Thanks in advance, and thanks again to the friendly folks at Jive.

       

      Kyle Byron

      HireRight

      www.hireright.com

        • Re: Online Communities - what's in it for your customers?

          Hi Kyle,

           

          Welcome to the community!

           

          To understand what's in it for customers, you need to analyze how they interact with you now and why they would want to change their behavior to use a community. You are on the right track by looking at why customers would use a community (meaning what benefits THEY would receive for using it, not what HireRight whould receive).

           

          In short, your customers gain a closer relationship with your company. Remember that in a B2B community, members join not for fun, but because they want to build a relationship with the host  company. That means that your team and internal subject matter experts must engage early and often in the community for it to succeed. By doing that, the customer gets the relationship they want, even if they are just reading posts and documentation.

           

          Second, to change behavior you need to remove conflicting/competing information channels slowly. Do your customers get all their information from an account rep? If so, that process can be put into the community with the added benefit to your customers that they can ask questions and read solutions to help them avoid issues that others have faced (an especially big benefit to hiring managers).

           

          There's more, but thinking on this track will give you plenty to discuss with your customer advisory group.

           

          Good luck!

          Mike