If there is one certain right now, it's that Covid-19 is affecting all our lives. For many of you it will mean a shift from the office to working from home, and for your customers, it will mean getting in touch with your brand is more challenging than it's ever been.
It's no surprise social channels are feeling the impact, Vodafone recently confirmed it has seen a 50% increase in usage of it's network in several European markets, an increase it expects to continue, meanwhile Facebook and Disney join Netflix, Amazon and YouTube in announcing a temporary downgrade in stream quality to help them handle the demands on their services.
But what is the impact for communities? While community is, by its very nature social, the way we use and rely on community vs. social is uniquely different. As the measurable impact no doubt will increase as users acclimatise to the change in how we work, and engage with each other and brands, it's likely we’ll see a gradual and longer term increase in the demand on the resources available through community. In fact, there are some early indicators to suggest this is already happening, when looking at traffic to our communities, we’re already seeing an unseasonable 13% increase week on week, that equates to an increase of 21% compared to the same period last year.
What does this mean for community owners?
We’re looking at very early insights and time will tell what the long term impact is, but one area we would recommend you focus on right now, without hesitation are your moderation practices. We’ve long said the role of moderation in community is not simply about enforcing the rules, your moderation team play a critical role in supporting users, guiding and steering them to get the most out of the information and expertise within the community, they are often the face of the brand, and with whom your community users engage with daily.
Moderators manage and maintain a healthy relationship among users and with the brand, and right now, everyone involved is under unique pressure and stress that will affect that relationship. So what to do?
One of the most important pieces of advice:
Look after your Moderation team! They have additional workload and emotional stress at work and in addition, they are likely being in lockdown as well. Make sure you give your moderators both the time and the setting to recharge and talk about their experience as well.
The "Real Time" tool in the "Labs" section of the Community Analytics tool has been our community's most important asset both in the past and now, during COVID-19. This tool allows us to monitor what forum posts are getting the most views in the last hour. With regular monitoring, we know if posts need additional information/a marked Solution, if there may be a larger internal issue, or if we are seeing an overall influx in forum traffic. I highly recommend using this as a normal part of your community management/moderation processes, especially in times like these.
I just wish Khoros would take this fantastic tool out of "Labs" and stabilize it. All of our contact centers would love to be able to integrate it into their monitoring dashboards.
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