05 Feb 4 business benefits of an online community
by Jacob Draper
Depending on your football loyalties (if you have any), you’re either extremely happy or devastatingly disappointed based on the results of last night’s Super Bowl. It’s interesting to see the fans come together as communities to either celebrate or commiserate depending on the outcome. These communities, and any other type of community, have historically come together in person, but the advent of the internet has made community building much easier.
No longer are people kept apart by distance or physical ability to get together. We as humans feel the need to come together in communities. A community provides four fundamental benefits to its members: a sense of belonging, mutual support, greater influence, and exploration. These benefits are available both in communities like sports teams or clubs, but they’re also available for users in your business’s online community. Salesforce developed Community Cloud to make those four benefits available to your customers.
Sense of belonging
This Salesforce community is where your biggest fans can come together and find others who care as much as they do about your product or service. Two out of three purchasing decisions are based off of emotional factors, and that can include the sense of belonging developed in your online community. Your online community will be full of the same type of people who can come together around the solutions your product or service offer.
Community Cloud gives you the power to create branded customer-service portals that can include areas for your customers to ask and answer questions, as well as to post to others using the community (with moderation tools to make sure messages are appropriate). Now your customers don’t have to only rely on your customer service representatives to solve problems, but you can incentivize your users to come to the aid of those in need. And those engaged customers are incredibly valuable. Seventy-seven percent of companies believe that an online community significantly improves brand exposure, awareness, and credibility.
Members of your online community are your biggest fans, and the knowledge that their posts and questions are being seen by your company gives those fans a reason to keep trying to help you improve. Community members are a great source for feedback; in fact, 73% of companies use online communities for product feedback. Your online community is where you will find your super users, and listening and responding to them goes a long way.
Your community members are generally working towards similar goals, which is why they’ve started using your product. When you get a bunch of individuals together who are trying to solve problems, you might find that your customers solve those problems in ways that you might not have anticipated. This crowdsourcing innovation is hugely valuable for you, and just as valuable to your users who want to find creative solutions to their problems. That’s how we at Simplus have seen a 45% increase in customer satisfaction after implementing Salesforce Community Cloud.
Salesforce Community Cloud empowers your users through the development of a real community. And those great benefits of community — the sense of belonging, mutual support, greater influence, and exploration — are so important to the success of your business.