It seems like a painfully obvious piece of advice that every business leader already knows, right? Of course, but what these same leaders might not find as obvious is how to listen to their customers. How do you get them the information they need, where and when they need it? How do you provide this next-level customer service without stretching your budget and resources? 

As many companies are finding out, support communities are often an overlooked, yet indispensable strategic asset in a company’s self-service tools arsenal. The value and ROI that an online support community offers—such as Verint Community (formerly Telligent)—is significant and worth a look. It provides users with around-the-clock support, which is especially critical when unusual circumstances or a crisis constrains customer service resources.

Today’s customers expect to find accurate, timely information about your company’s products and services online. In fact, a recent study by Leader Networks referenced that 80 percent of a business’ customers will go online in search of help. While many navigate their way through your site and find what they need, about 20 percent still need help.

And if you don’t have an online community, all of those customers go straight to your contact center. Make your customers do that enough times and they may go straight to your competitors!

An online community is not just a part of your customer service strategy—it’s a place to display your business’ culture and brand. It’s a place where customers can connect with you and each other, find helpful resources, share best practices, and use the discussion and question & answer forums for self-service. According to the Leader Networks paper, the latter is increasingly popular, as some customers would prefer to avoid live calls.

Online communities, including Verint Community, have proven their value over the years while evolving to fit changing customer needs and better support employees. Leader Networks reports their ability to deflect calls can potentially save your business more than $1 million per year. Organizations with passionate support communities can enjoy not only cost savings, but also a considerable uptick in profit lift and customer satisfaction ratings. 

Again, communities allow you to truly listen to your customers. This means more than just giving them the information and service they need. It’s also about literally listening to your customers to better understand your users going forward.

Verint Community does just that by providing a look at real-time customer engagement data and patterns of participation to reveal pain points. When a community is used in conjunction with a company’s CRM system as a web self-service experience or a support portal to initiate and collaborate on support cases, the business can understand the customer’s journey within the community, as well as outside of it. This is valuable information for improving not just customer service, but overall business operations.

“Synching with CRM is beneficial not only at the individual customer level, but also at the collective level. Many of the companies we spoke to said they can pinpoint customer problems by aggregating metadata from both the community and the organization as a whole,” the Leader Networks report reads.

To learn more about the widespread value of online communities for your contact center operations’ bottom line, please take a look at the Leader Networks report, which you can
download right here
.

By: Verint