Why You Should Open Up Support to Your User Community
Do you know you have a ready-made community of practice that could be sharing knowledge amongst each other about your product or service? They might be talking in person, but it’s likely they occasionally talk to each other in groups on Slack, Facebook, Twitter, or enterprise social networks. When groups of people get together to talk about your product or service they uncover neat ideas on how your product can be used in innovative ways. They discover more efficient ways of using your product, based on the experience of others. We like to compare what we’re doing to someone else, just to know we’ve got it right.
Now imagine if you facilitated that by opening up an online user community, where your customers could come together and have those conversations in a space they know you’re available and listening. And I’m not just talking about your customers having somewhere to bring up feature requests or “here’s how we’re using it, what are you guys doing?” I’m also talking about your customers helping each other out when issues arise. Sometimes your customers, in their tinkering with an issue, come up with their own workarounds or solutions.
Some support software solutions provide a forum structure that is ideal for this kind of community, such as Zendesk, and others provide integrations into Slack or some kind of in-product chat stream that can be tagged and searched.