Brands, now more than ever, need to nurture and grow their customer communities to further drive customer engagement. The rewards are great. For one, communities of engaged consumers can quickly become a brand’s most valuable marketing asset. Humans will always be better at connecting with other people than faceless brands. They can directly refer brands to their circles, places where traditional marketing can’t reach.
Second, online communities of highly engaged customers serve as a protective moat for a brand’s business, image, and reputation. They can be strong advocates and defenders especially if they are passionate about the brands they are loyal to.
But more importantly, communities provide consumers with their identity. Communities give consumers a sense of both belongingness and togetherness. In an economy that places a premium on actual human connection, consumers demand that most of all.
A Customer Community Cultivates Loyalty
Consumers crave a place where people share the same affinities, interests, and values. They seek relationships with their favorite brands.
They constantly want to be part of brand communities that not only cater to their needs, but also provide them space, information, and connections to propel their own growth and development.
And when they find that community, they become emotionally connected and invested, empowering customer engagement and loyalty. According to CapGemini, 82% of emotionally connected consumers tend to spend more and will actively promote a brand among their friends and family.
Community Increases Customer Retention and Revenue
Communities give customers an avenue where they can freely express their feelings and ideas without being judged, driving customer engagement but also retention and revenue. One study shows that just a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profit by up to 25%.
In the professional sector, 66% of professionals say that online communities have made a positive effect on customer retention. This not only resulted in a 55% increase in sales, but customer communities also helped in generating 68% more new leads. This makes consumer communities tremendously impactful in the overall picture as far as the bottom line is concerned.
Community Delivers Actionable Insights
High customer engagement scores within customer communities not only affect an organization’s revenue. Brands also have access to a throng of loyal customers who provide honest feedback about their products and services.
Thus, a customer community helps enterprises paint a clear picture of the prevailing consumer sentiment about their offerings. Not only that, engaged customer communities are keen to share their insights regarding an organization’s internal activities, such as the hiring of a new CEO or scheduling of an event.
Communities also give companies a slew of beta testers and sounding boards. Their impartial feedback will generate actionable insights, enabling brands to launch thoroughly tested and improved products and services. Thus, brands increase the likelihood of favorable reception and success.
Responding to feedback sends a positive signal to customers, thus improving crucial metrics like customer engagement. According to a study, 7 out of 10 millennials say they’re more loyal to companies that quickly respond to consumer feedback.
Community Improves the Customer Service Experience
As mentioned earlier, consumers demand human connection with brands. This is especially true in customer service. In the US, 79% of consumers still prefer interacting with a human agent over AI chatbots.
But enterprises also need to recognize that customers demand immediate answers. Brands need to be prepared to deliver on the promises made to customers, such as responding quickly when they ask for service or support.
This is where a community of customers proves helpful as far as customer service goes. In fact, nearly 70% of customer engagement and interactions can be handled by a dedicated community of core customers.
Customer service agents need to consult with their knowledgebase to provide answers or suggestions. But when you have a robust customer community who is very familiar with your brand’s products, services, and other offerings, delivery of answers and solutions is accelerated and the customer service experience is drastically improved.
Community Growth Means Business Growth
To create impact and drive further growth in the modern economy, brands have to do more than build communities. They need to grow their communities. By growing your communities, you give your customers immense value at every stage of their journey, thus improving customer engagement.
When customers are engaged, they feel valued. They become animated, interactive, and ready to provide valuable information and insights. Brands are able to design and produce better products and offer better service. Ultimately, this leads to better overall customer lifetime value (CLV) as well.
Brand communities give your unique insights into customer needs, expectations and desires. All of which will vastly enhance how you approach, attract, and retain customers, which in turn, fuels the growth of your organization.
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