We are working with two schools of thoughts as to who should own the Community. My learning has shown me that 'it depends'.
The ultimate purpose/goal of the community determines who owns.
Reduce ticket/case volume then Customer Service/Success/Experience owns.
Increase Sales then Marketing owns.
What are you thoughts on ownership? Who owns community in your organization? What is your main purpose for the community?
Currently in our company, Marketing owns it in a group called "Digital Marketing and customer experience". However, we work closely with the support organization and support has a representative in our Community team. Support people focus on the forums and TKBs whereas marketing people focus more on the blogs. We also work closely with the product managers who own/operate the idea exchanges in our community. In other words, though it's owned by Marketing, it really is a collaborative job between Marketing, Support, and Product Development.
Our situation is a bit unusual in that the community lives under our Training & Evangelism team, which reports directly up to our COO and is focused on customer and partner training.
Our main purpose is to increase engagement with our customers and partners (with a somewhat-unmeasurable-goal of increasing ongoing sales / market adoption of our products as a result). Most of the content is support-related, but we don't have an explicit goal of reducing ticket/case volume.
I think this is one of the questions where no two answers will be the same or work for everyone. We've had a community for 11 years now and in that time it's been owned by every business unit and i mean every single one of them, from sales, marketing, operations, service, PR, Online, I think the only exception would be Legal... lol
Personally, i have an opinion on which area within my own business was/is best placed but that may be completely different for you. As mentioned by the other guys if your a support community then operations makes sense, sales then maybe marketing but for me it all boils down to a much simpler question.
Who wants the community and who's going to work to make it a success and deliver value against your business goals and provide budget, that's the area who should own it.
We are customers support/product engagement type of telecom provider's community owned by Digital customer services -> COO.
Analog contacts deflection, customers support, and products ideation are our main purposes.
I think Marketing is a good choice to own online community if your company sells some common products/services. If your products/services are IT-based or require some more in-depth knowledge to use then Customer Service/Success/Experience would be a better choice.
Community is owned by support in our company. Our focus mostly on case reduction/ ticket volume. We like to keep up the "Teach them to fish" proverb in support, so the community has been instrumental in reducing pressure points on incoming "problems" that are simply HOW TOs.
Just my two cents. 🙂
At my company, the Customer Engagement team owns the community. We are a part of the larger Customer Service organization, which includes the Customer Success and Support teams. Our Marketing colleagues have expressed interest in the community in terms of gathering insights about our customers, but they do not want to own it.
Often it comes down to which department head has the vision of what community can do and has the money to support it.
I would like to talk to you more about your product ideation if you feel it is going well. I am working on revamping our program starting with setting the right expectation.
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