Okay, Quick question? Have you ever thought about why almost 50% of startup companies stammer to succeed, especially when starting a company can be done with minimum to zero cost? There could be a million reasons. But it all comes down to two inevitable reasons. It is because either their product is ubiquitous or they have a poor customer support system. Nobody wants to continue using your product when their issues are not addressed efficiently, thus if customer service is bad, users are highly likely to switch to another service that provides stellar customer support.
A successful business provides an impeccable platform to its customers in solving their problems and queries at a lightning-fast responsive rate. So that means, they should have a phenomenal product or service and on top of that a smashing customer support system. But providing remarkable customer support isn't easy nor does it come cheap! Then is it even possible for a company to provide its customers with outstanding customer support? Yes. Simply put, there's a brilliant way to achieve that. Customer support through the brand community.
How do SaaS companies use community for customer support?
For any startup and SMBs, shelling out every single penny counts and they can't spend everything on their customer support. This is exactly why many companies have come out with incredible ideas to save customers' valuable time and also customer support costs effectively.
Many SaaS companies have followed brilliant tactics when it came to customer support strategy -- a community that has enabled them to achieve so much like quick responses, quick addressing and solving customer problems, promoting self-serving mechanism, higher customer satisfaction, customized experience, enhanced customer engagement, and eventually customers are happy which means they are less likely to choose some other brand over yours when they are getting the special treatment.
Why don't we take some inspiration from the following companies that carried out phenomenal customer support with the help of their vibrant communities in a witty and effective way? Let's take a look, shall we?
Trello is a platform that offers best practices and frameworks for setting up your Trello board, be it business or personal. Some templates within the gallery were created by the Trello team, while others have been sourced from their community of users to highlight a broad range of use-cases.
The Trello community is filled with proactive people and inspiring individuals who want to broadcast their board wins with the world. Not only that, but their community is a place full of resources you can use to search for, explore, and copy Trello boards for just about any project or need.
Trello makes customer support and retention its top priority and hence they cleverly incorporated the Trello community in retaining their customers and also using it as a customer support system.
If you are having any trouble with shared boards, how to create unique Trello templates, preview functions to name a few. You will find answers to all your questions in the Trello community. You can also showcase your work and would be able to see others' work as well.
The Trello community also organizes events, Taco Tuesday -- for those who have the unique Trello template and they also have contests on a regular basis. They have a newly improved portal that showcases stories, boards, and templates of the most influential Trello users who are more creative.
Now coming to the distinguished strategy that Trello made with the help of their community.
- Organizing community contests and rewarding the winners -- gives special treatment and the customer feels like they have accomplished something and are content with the product. Hence user retention.
- Using community members to actively connect with other members in discussion forums and solve their problems related to the product and hence giving users remarkable customer support through the community which helped them grow their community ecosystem, user base, and knowledge base.
Shopify knows that educating customers on how to use their system is one of the best ways to nurture brand loyalty and to reduce customer support costs. Aside from the traditional knowledge base, the company provides the Shopify community -- a discussion forum that is all things Shopify.
Their community enables users to set up their eCommerce business and navigate through their application to make their users utilize the entire benefits.
If you are a noobie and have no idea how to set up your eCommerce business, Shopify’s online forum communities provide a plethora of opportunities to engage with other digital professionals and experts through which you can obtain collective knowledge to ace setting up your business.
If it had been customer support, the vindictive process of going back and forth between a user and support team to help them navigate could be meandering compared to getting a quick resolution over their community.
Shopify also has a Facebook group for partners and developers community, they also host vibrant discussions in Slack group on website design, development, digital marketing, and much more.
Of course, we have saved the last for the best! Everybody knows Hubspot is one of the most prominent SaaS solutions in the world. You can find a gazillion useful resources in its education center and their community is top-notch. Its readiness to share knowledge and useful insights with the public sets the company apart from the competition. They are sharing loads of knowledge and expertise in their blog, community, free ebooks, webinars, and even certifications.
Don’t hold onto the industry knowledge you have; share it with your customers, help them get better, that's the reason their community is flourishing with different categories for new customers, onboarding process Q&As, welcoming their customers, knowledge base tools, etc.
Hubspot made sure they treated their customers right and provided them with abundant pieces of information and resources. Their community is phenomenal because they have answers for any business you are into. This is exactly how they expanded their community and also effectively used it for customer service.
They also have a HubSpot community FAQ page and Twitter support account exclusively dedicated to their customers.
What do these companies have in common?
Don’t stop at providing a knowledge base. Take a look at the aforementioned SaaS companies, which provided a different perspective to their users, empowering them, creating an interactive and engaging community with fun activities, challenges, contests, and much more. Allowing customers to learn the best practices of using the SaaS solution the right way, if you go wrong, your customers will abandon your solution right after they start using it. Resulting in high attrition and customer dissatisfaction.
So here is the list of main focuses you could follow when you have a community that pivots your customer support.
- Make customers fall in love with your product or service. Make them a part of your vibrant community, prove to them how valuable they are by addressing their concerns quickly and offering them a customized experience.
- Customer support systems wouldn't be expensive if you have your community ecosystem built around solving your customers' issues.
- Allowing customers to be a part of a community that has content aside from your product can enlighten them on the topics around your industry. So it's not always about brand marketing.
To sum up
After all customer support is all about caring for your customers, addressing any issue they face, providing them ways to resolve the issue. Of course, it is mandatory, but this can easily be achieved in multiple ways with the help of a community. I mean, we saw it from one of the prominent SaaS companies in the world.
Expert advice: Start incorporating different forms of customer support in your business through community, community FAQ page, discussion forums, Twitter support community, etc.
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