Every company needs to educate its customers and help them get the best value from its product or service. This is essentially a key reason behind the myriads of services dedicated to helping businesses build a knowledge base and FAQ pages. In fact, the FAQ section is a de facto component of any modern website.
These type of content pieces generally cater to the commonly asked questions that can be answered with a standardized response. This helps save time and resource for both the customers and the company.
So, what's wrong with these pages?
To start off, these pages are static in nature, so there is no way for the customer to express own voice, suggestion or feedback. This primarily serves as one-way communication.
If there is something that your company has not yet covered, it might go answered. If it is happening for one customer, it might happen for hundreds of other prospects as well. The questions simply remain unanswered unless the customer approaches support team and it takes time to reflect the same in the knowledge base/FAQs so other prospects can get their issue resolved.
These two primary issues give rise to other issues around the lack of Voice of Customer in the product strategy, higher support cost, and poor customer experience. The solution here is to build a customer community where there are the following communication channels:
Moving static knowledge base content to an online community
There are several benefits of moving your static knowledge base pages to a dynamic online community. Here are the key results you can achieve:
An integrated knowledge hub
There is a space for both static and dynamic content, i.e., the content on which you would ideally not want your users to comment and the content on which you would need participation from the users.
The integrated knowledge hub allows you to do just that by having both the knowledge base created by your company and the user-generated content in one place. This can be done by moving the static content to community posts where you can disable discussions and allow members to post comments as feedback. Certain content on which you would need active participation from the community members can be enabled for discussions.
This way you can showcase relevant content when users search, browse or add questions. It would be the perfect merger of static pages and dynamic content where users upvote, discuss, comment, and share insights.
Highly involved users
A static FAQ page or knowledge base page lacks the social component. It doesn't allow users to post comments, give feedback, and open it for discussion with peers. If a question or topic has not been addressed by your internal team, then the customer has to reach out to your support team to get the answer and it remains a black box to the other users.
In a community setup, the members are encouraged to ask questions on various topics and the answer to those questions remains accessible to everyone else. That way, in the future, if someone else has the same question, they would get the answer from the user-generated content.
Also, another way to engage users on your website is to select the FAQ content from the community and embed the same inside the website. That way you add social touchpoints to otherwise static web pages. Your site visitors can consume the content, interact with the same and join the community to discuss more and provide feedback.
Bettermode supports this with pluggable widgets. Here is how the implementation looks:
As you can see this is the page created by Appjobs website for Lyft drivers in Toronto city. The discussion component of this page has been plugged in from their community powered by Bettermode. This adds a nice dynamic discussion inside the static page and visitors can sign up right there to discuss without moving away from the site.
Valuable customer insights
Online communities are in general quite candid and open in nature which allows free flow of discussions and sharing of ideas. This allows companies to the community as a large online focus group to garner feedback and generate high-value insights.
The open discussions in the community become a central space where everything from customer needs and pain points to expectations are discussed. This gives a lot of ideas to your product, marketing and support team to improve every aspect of the product -- right from strategy and support to content and campaigns.
For example, businesses can an exclusive group or sub-community inside the community to congregate the superusers. You can conduct one-to-one discussions with these valuable users and enable peer-to-peer discussion to come up with unique ideas. Then, the members can vote on these ideas and give feedback to further improve.
This allows the companies to become truly customer-centric and instill a sense of importance in the customers as they are able to directly impact the direction of the product. This type of deep involvement keeps the customers invested in your brand.
Empowered customers for self-service
The new-age users are highly inclined towards solving problems on their own and helping others as well. According to Forrester, back in 2015, 57% of adults from the U.S. have already become a part of the self-service forums/communities.
With an online community, you can greatly leverage peer-to-peer value delivery by allowing the members to build strong networks and help each other.
This sharing of knowledge build a network established on helpfulness and education. Although you, as a brand, may not be always directly helping the customers with advice or solutions, you establish trust and authority by being the company behind the community that made it possible.
Leverage collective wisdom!
Collective wisdom generated from the knowledge of the users and your team can be really powerful if leveraged in the right way. Building a truly 'sticky' online community can be a great strategy to achieve this. It can help you reduce churn, keep users engaged, boost loyalty, and improve customer lifetime value.
We discussed various benefits of moving from a static knowledge base and FAQ page to a dynamic online community. We also looked at how community widgets can be used to deliver immersive social touchpoints inside the website or product.
Now, it's time for you to build your community from moving fully static knowledge base. You can also take help our fully managed migration service to completely transfer all the content, user and organize the knowledge in the right way.
Director of Marketing, Bettermode
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