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How to Get Your Customers Talking (and Why It Matters)
When engaging with your customers, it is easy to fall into the trap of assuming that all of your interactions need to be transactional and one-way. Too many young companies focus on using marketing and communications to facilitate sales or get feedback from customers. However, these efforts will rarely work in isolation.
Suppose you really want to achieve meaningful, sustained engagement with customers. In that case, you need to build a customer community where your customers talk to each other rather than simply conversing directly with your brand. With that in mind, here’s how to get your customers talking and why it matters for success.
Grow your retention – Gymshark
For any growing business, customer retention is often one of the biggest challenges. You can encourage customers to stay on board by curating a customer community. They feel they are a part of something bigger and are surrounded by fellow users who can keep them motivated.
The best example of this in action can be found at the thriving Gymshark Community. This fitness app and apparel brand have a massive community consisting of fitness enthusiasts and even pro athletes who share workout tips and tell each other how to get the best out of their Gymshark products.
If you run an online business, customer support can be one of the most time-consuming activities. If you want to reduce the number of resources spent on support caseloads, a customer community can be the best way to do this. There are many examples of this in action, with the likes of Microsoft, Apple, and Samsung all having thriving support communities.
Our favorite model comes from the SaaS provider Imperva, which launched a dedicated branded community where users can go to answer each other’s common queries and questions without the need for input from Imperva staff.
Make your product more immersive – Betway
Customer communities can also greatly aid the immersive value and entertainment value. By introducing a community to an online game, you can add a social element that keeps people playing. A very practical example of this approach can be found at Betway Casino Online, which offers live-stream roulette and poker games to players worldwide.
To make the live gaming experience feels like a Las Vegas casino, players are able (and encouraged) to talk to each other at the virtual casino table. This dramatically enhances the authenticity of each game and gives people a reason to play for longer by leveraging the latest mobile technologies, whether it’s 5G or the increased capabilities of smartphones.
If you can cultivate loyalty with your products and get people to associate your products with their personal brand, then you have a winning business. A good customer community should reinforce a sense of group identity and even tribalism among users of your product.
Of course, the most well-known and successful example of this is, of course, Apple, which has successfully converted its billion-plus users into a global tribe of Apple users. With Apple, there are two types of people; those who use Apple products and those who do not. Those that fall into the latter category can use the Apple community pages to deepen their identification with the brand and fellow users.
How to get your customers talking: uncover new product use cases – Sephora
Frequently, the success of a business depends on the different use cases for its products and services. You can use your customer community to create user-generated content and disseminate ideas on getting the most use out of the things you sell.
A genuinely stellar example comes from the cosmetics giant Sephora, which has an incredibly active online community and app. The Sephora community essentially shares user-generated beauty tutorials and ideas on using different Sephora products. Many companies would invest millions in this kind of free marketing, but Sephora does not have to spend a penny on it.
When you have a thriving customer community attached to your brand, your chances of long-term growth will skyrocket. A customer community can enhance loyalty, reduce retention, improve your product, provide feedback, and disseminate new and novel ways to use your products. This is why community building should always be at the top of your marketing priorities.