What is Meant by a Community Forum in Customer Service?
Are you looking forward to building a passionate community that would relentlessly support its members helping each other grow and also use your product in a better way? Well, there is definitely an easy way for providing customer support for your business. And the best way to go about it is by creating a forum community where members who use your products would share various tips, asks questions and the likes. There are indeed multitudinous benefits of creating a forum where people can share their thoughts, viewpoints, various perspectives and what’s more it can be very effectively used for both engaging your customers and also give them fantastic customer support.
Role of online forums in boosting your customer support
A forum in a word is nothing but a community, a virtual one i.e. where users can discuss various topics pertaining to their key interests. The topics are generally catering to the product, latest developments, technology in customer support where a ticketing system is involved and testimonials. The real matter of the fact is that the topic can be almost anything under the sun as long as it is fulfilling the purpose of the discussion reach an end goal. A forum also lets you categorize different topics and thereby making it a lot easier on the part of the customers to find them and can also engage with that of topics of vital interest.
Problem-solving capabilities of a forum
Whenever a customer faces any problem or has an issue the first thing they do is resort to your website or social media platform, irrespective of whether the customer is an existing one or a new one. But answering the same type of questions or addressing typical questions of customers time and again is simply a drain of resources. Here comes the role of a forum.
If you have a forum then you can be easily addressing all the common questions and queries pertaining to your business all in a single thread or conversation. Thus, the customers having common queries can find the answers and solutions in the forum itself and would not revert or resort to your website over and over again thereby saving you some precious and priceless time.
Secondly, by having a forum you can remain updated in answering the various queries and questions of the customers as in a forum board it is very easy to create new topics along with its relevant and respective solutions and that too in real time and very little amount of effort, unlike the conventional FAQs. What this also means that you get to have a great insight into customer behavior, comprehend their queries or concerns, all in real time. The same applies to real-time feedback too. Therefore, without making efforts to countless surveys or having to go through loads of customer data, a forum very easily helps in getting feedback directly and enables the business to know better how they can improve their customer service and in what ways depending on the topics and conversations that have already been created in the forum.
Thirdly, a forum helps a business identify its ardently passionate customers and fans. You can easily get to know who are following your company the most through conversations and feedback on the forum along with the most loyal customers which in turn makes it easier for your business in recognizing and rewarding them. Moreover, by commenting each day the customers helps to improve your business’ SEO as well for each time a keyword is entered your site gets some traction on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
Although creating a forum is not a much of an uphill task by any means, however, there are some factors nevertheless that need to be borne in mind and be mindful of prior to creating one-
- You are potentially inviting spamming in your business with the creation of a forum board.
- It is very important to moderate all contents and each topic on the forum board before eventually they are made life so that the quality aspect is ensured throughout.
- It is desirable if not necessary to continuously keep the forum board updated with new interesting topics for ensuring that the forum remains active and doesn’t get the rust out.
- You must be ready and more than willing to delete harmful comments or untrue contents that may cause potential damage to your business and can also be harmful to the community at large. Likewise, it is also highly important to ban those users from the forum board who are found guilty of doing these acts.
- Ensure well the fact that all conversations are monitored properly.
- You must have the will and more importantly patience to devote adequate time to the forum board to build a good community, maintain a flow and get the momentum going in its favor.
By following carefully the aforementioned points you can certainly build a great forum which would be of optimum value for your business, save you on your resources, draw traffic to your website & thereby facilitate your business even further and last but certainly not the least by any means or stretch of imagination add value to your customers.
Thus it goes without saying that in today’s age of cut-throat competition with customers having a plethora of options to make their choices from, it is exceedingly important to provide not only good but great services. With the development of IT, many companies have started using a customer support software to manage things. Statistics have gone on to reveal that around 78% of customers have gone on to cancel a transaction owing to or following a poor customer service experience whereas 59% switching over to a new company if it promised to deliver high on customer satisfaction with improved services.
This clearly proves the point that customer service is not only a massive criterion in retaining or attracting new customers to your business but it is a very important factor for the very existence of your business too. And with as many as 67% of businesses relying on community forum boards for gaining insights on customer services and products which in turn would lead to increased customer engagement and their retention it almost goes without saying that these community forums have a crucial role and a critical part to play in the successful continuation of today’s businesses.
Moreover, with online reviews having a mammoth impact these days, the importance and significance of these forums are increasing to a great extent as these community forum boards are probably the most ideal, conducive and authentic places for getting the insight of a business and its various aspects. Community forums thus have a terrific impact and can be highly beneficial to a business ’cause in retaining customers and thereby reaping tremendous dividend when utilized and maintained properly. However, having said that, it is intensely essential to be aware of the cons that comes with the setting up of a community forum as they need to be addressed well and properly dealt with for the smooth running of the forum, lest at times it may also backfire leading and resulting to the hamper of the businesses’ reputation and image.