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The Next Community Experience: The Three Things Your Community Must Have in 2016

Khoros Alumni (Retired)

It comes as no surprise that customer expectations just keep pushing forward. Now is the time to reevaluate your community to assess where changes may need to be made to keep up with those expectations and to take your community experience to the next level.

 

Here are three key areas you need to incorporate in order to stay competitive and keep your community members engaged and coming back:

 

1) Responsive design. Our smartphones and tablets are where we turn first to go online, check out a brand, shop and find answers to our questions. With increasing mobile device usage, customers expect to interact with brands across all of their devices and have a consistent experience. Moving to a responsive design helps you create that consistent experience, amplifies search engine optimization (SEO), simplifies analytics, creates more engaged visitors, lowers the total cost of ownership for community and increases community vibrancy as people find it easier to participate. If you’re dragging your heels on moving to responsive design or trying to convince your boss that it’s time, the business case is there for why now is the time to make the leap. Check out Google’s responsive designed community.

 

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2) Rich media experience. Visual content is hot and here to stay. In their everyday lives, your community members are not only using words to express their feelings and share their passion for their favorite brands, but are increasingly using images. So the more you can incorporate rich media into your community, the better. It will increase engagement and traffic, improve SEO, create a more visually engaging experience for community members, and increase trust by allowing users to showcase brand/products. Check out how giffgaff incorporated media into their community.

 

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3) Value Analytics. While it’s important to increase engagement in your community, it’s just as important to measure the impact of your community experience not only on your business, but also on your customers. By adding analytics in the form of a customer survey, you can collect data on why customers visited the community, whether they found what they are looking for, what actions they would have taken if they hadn’t found it, how satisfied they are and how likely they are to recommend the community. Collecting and tracking this data provides a baseline to determine how the changes you make to your community impact the customer experience and call deflection. Check out how MicroStrategy used value analytics to measure customer satisfaction.

 

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The more engaging experience your community members have in your community, the more likely you are to experience community’s full value for your brand. Be sure you are staying on top of what is emerging as expectations for your community and take full advantage of how community can empower your business.