Very interested to hear if/how tech vendors are using Communities to support Customer Success, particularly at Digital Scale, vs. as a low cost means of deflecting Support tickets.
Yes, they usually tie this directly into the CRM or CS platform. For example, we have one customer who attributed 25% of new business to the community for new products they were not currently purchasing, but the discovery came for the community. Other customers, for example, track % of questions answered by the community vs their team. There is a really great study I saw recently by the Pragmatic Institute you might find interesting. Hope you find it helpful @DougCaviness
Great questions indeed and yes we see great value in tying Communities to customer success in order to drive meaningful outcomes. Of course there is still a use case for self-service and low-cost support, however we have seen a lot of software companies position Community at the center of their digital-led strategy and thus customer journey. Essentially creating a centralized hub that drives meaningful engagement, which is one of the most accurate leading indicators to Customer Success KPIs such as health score, renewal accuracy and churn risk.
As a vendor in this space (Insided by Gainsight), we for example have a customer that saw 40% higher retention rates amongst their customer cohort of active community members as opposed to their customer cohort of non community members. The key to success here is to be able to accurately measure these leading indicators and as a result we see software companies leverage CRM or CS integrations to directly connect community activity into a 360 Health profile.
2 great examples of software companies who are doing an amazing job at this are Gong and Unqork
Hopefully this is helpful and happy to answer any other questions.
Great questions. There are lots of companies that are using community to help scale customer success operations. As a vendor in this space, we see lots of companies using community to scale customer success, this includes the customer onboarding journey as well as re-direct customers for non-account specific questions into the community. Some companies encourage the CS team to use the community to learn/identify issues before they become critical - and also to prepare themselves in their own learning.
My two favourite example of companies really leaning into community are Qualtrics, and Smartsheet. They are doing this well, with favourable results.
Happy to answer any further questions that I can.
@Adrian, thanks for your input! Are you aware of tech vendors who assign quantitative value to the contribution of Community to Customer Acquisition or Customer Success? If yes, I'm interested to know how they measure this. I just got off the phone with another community leader who reports that around 75% of their community questions are from Prospects, and yet I doubt the Sales or Marketing departments of her company fully appreciate how Community supports the customer lifecycle, particularly in Acquisition.
@DeniseStokowski, great insights around customer engagement and higher retention rates, among a cohort of active community members. As a rule of thumb do you find some personas and/or hierarchies more or less likely to engage through an online community?