A Community Forum is a Great Way to find Solutions.
As the old saying goes, “Two heads are better than one.” With a forum, we are bringing together other people with similar goals and objectives. You’ll meet other business owners, learn about their businesses, and how they found solutions to their challenges.
You’ll get your questions and concerns answered.
With a forum, you can share company or industry news, get feedback on your latest idea from other companies, share lessons learned from a completed project, discuss the best way to launch a new strategy, and test the waters and get buy-in for upcoming changes.
Some Additional Benefits:
1. Improve customer service
Customers can turn to the community forum to see if their issue is already solved. If they find the right answer, they won’t have to contact your customer service. This frees up your support staff’s time for trickier cases.
If the question isn’t there, the user can start a new topic, with the answer benefiting both them and future users.
The community forum can also go beyond the often technical focus of customer support. For example, users can discuss and share strategies, tips, and tricks.
2. Increase customer loyalty and engagement
A report published in Internet Research showed that co-creation was an essential part of the user experience. It leads to more engaged community members, as well as increased word-of-mouth.
63% of forum members feel heard frequently or all of the time in the forums. By offering a helpful place to discuss your products or services, you increase the users’ trust and engagement. The engagement is tangible as 70% of users in an average forum contribute answers, with the average active user sharing six replies per year.
3. Get great ROI
According to a 2020 report by Higher Logic, the average community forum saw an ROI of 4,530%. The ROI increases with time, starting at 1,469% in the first year and rising to 5,315% after ten years. At the same time, the cost per user decreases dramatically as the forum ages.
While scalability is one reason for the lower cost, the most important one is that you build up a bank of answered questions. New users can easily access and use the information without extra work from your support staff.
4. Inform customers
Forums often feature a start page with a search function and an overview of the different forum categories. The start page is an excellent opportunity to share upcoming changes, make announcements, and highlight events.
5. Identify issues
As customers get used to going to the community forum with their issues, this is also where they’ll report bugs or share any user experience issues. Many support forums have a separate category for these kinds of reports, so they are easy to review for designers or product developers.
6. Get new ideas based on customer demand
90% of respondents in a survey of communities have used suggestions to improve their product or service. The forums are a perfect place to gather feature requests, get help prioritizing developments, and get feedback on ideas from a dedicated customer base.
7. Source customer success stories
A community forum gives you an excellent opportunity to identify satisfied customers to include in case studies and testimonials. You can either approach enthusiastic users directly or use a discussion thread to invite them to contact you.