While I hope I’ve thoroughly convinced you that how building online communities are valuable for your business, I’m assuming that you now understand what community management is and why is it important. We will now focus on how.
In our last episode of Community Assemble, I had a wide-ranging video interview with Carmen Taubman where she explained the power of building customer communities to me! We discussed the strategy for how B2B businesses can leverage online communities to drive competitive advantage, super cool tips, and tricks, and much more!
This week’s newsletter is a guest story written by Carmen Taubman. She’s an experienced community manager helping people and businesses launch & manage their own communities. In today’s story, Carmen will be addressing these topics in detail and will provide us with some insightful tips for founders looking to build customer communities.
How can B2B founders leverage online communities?
How can you help your own customers achieve the most success with their own customers? Community can help B2B companies understand their own customers’ goals, motivations, challenges they face for their own customers. You get a front-row seat to understand your customer base!
Identify gaps in training: are there common questions in your community that is being repeated over time? Consider updating your training/ onboarding process to improve the experience for new customers
Product/service improvements: do your customers mention pain points, frustrations, or confusion around using your product or service in the community? Consider this real-time feedback and look into how you can improve your products and services. Highly recommend including your community members in this process or at the very least being transparent over updates/ future changes.
Improve customer retention: If your community members feel they are receiving greater support, access to additional resources, better training, and developing deeper relationships, they are more likely to renew memberships and subscriptions.
Learn more about your competitors: If your members feel safe enough to have authentic conversations, you may learn more about how your business compares to competitors and how they are perceived by your customers.
Upselling opportunities: If you build better relationships with your customers, you’re building greater trust which is essential in the sales process. They may refer other contacts to you based on their positive experience in the community. Your customers may also be learning more about your products/services from discussions/events/resources made available in the community, which could result in upgrading their subscription or membership tier.
Brand perception: The way you manage your community can become a great opportunity to flip negative sentiments around current product/service offerings and your brand in general.
Tips for B2B companies looking to build communities 💡
Be clear on your business goal for building the community: do you need to increase referrals, improve retention rate, etc? This will help you build a long term vision for how the community can help your business
Once you are clear on your business goal, you can develop relevant metrics around this to ensure you are measuring the effectiveness of the community in helping your business over time
Really get to know your members: what are their goals, motivations, challenges, roadblocks, etc. How is your community helping them with these? You should truly understand how you can help the people and businesses in your community
Don’t focus on vanity numbers: What do 10,000 members in a community even mean? Refer to my first point and ensure your business goals are aligned with the community goals
Community is not sales or marketing. The teams may work closely together, but don’t think of community as “just another sales channel” or another way to push business announcements. Community is so much more than that. It’s a two-way platform where you can connect members in the group with each other and have authentic conversations with your customers, developing trust is key.
Listen and adapt to your members. Community is not a “static” play, you will need to listen to the voices in your community, have transparent conversations. If something is not working, look for alternative solutions, adapt to meet their needs.
Thank you ❤️
Warm regards to Carmen for being such a lovely contributor. More power to her! If you’re enjoying our stories and finding them valuable, consider sharing them with your friends, or subscribing if you haven’t already. If you have any feedback, questions, or thoughts, I’d love to hear them. Feel free to say “hi” in the comment or reply to this email. Happy to chat :)