As customer support moves further away from the phone lines and becomes more closely intertwined with online resources, it’s become very easy for frustrated customers to find help. It’s also become easy for headstrong, independent customers to seek out help and resources on their own. As a result, more and more brand- and service-related customer support forums are springing up. Why are these becoming essential go-tos for customers seeking help? HP did some digging to discover the top three reasons (and more).
Clearly, support communities make frustrated customers feel more at ease and can often offer more immediate solutions, but they can also provide short and long-term benefits for brands themselves. How so?
Forums can empower brand advocates
Remember your beloved super fans and brand advocates? Providing them with an outlet like a forum can allow them to work for you! Brand advocates understand the ins and outs of your product/service. Since they’re are also regular users and customers, they understand the problems and frustrations other customers are encountering, and they can communicate solutions in an easy-to-understand way. Speaking of which…
They can give the customer service team some relief
By empowering brand advocates and other users, having a forum can give your customer service team some relief. Common problems are addressed in a quick and easy-to-understand way, eliminating the need to get in touch with customer service. The less time your customer service team has to spend on addressing easy fixed, the more time they’ll have to address bigger problems as soon as they occur.
Brands can use them as a source for product feedback
Is there a problem that users keep encountering? Is there a confusing feature that continues to frustrate your customers? Rather than issuing surveys or requesting feedback, use their concerns as a way to get honest feedback about your product or service. Then, use that feedback to help improve future generations of your product.
They can help clean up brands’ social accounts
Often users will take to a brand’s social account for support, especially if the only other option is calling a support hotline. Giving users a specific place to go to find help, and providing prominent links to that place, can help clean up your social accounts and help decrease the amount of frantic Facebook messages your brand gets.
Not sure a community-run customer support forum is right for your brand? Then take some steps to improve your social customer service instead.