We're considering creating an area of our community dedicated to support for 'high value customers'. The idea is that they are rewarded for using our service heavily, so the area acts as a 'value add' for us. They would be able to visit this area and receive support, there would be a concierge dedicated to helping them so they wouldn't have to spend time on hold to the contact centre with all other customers, and they would have access to speak to members of our executive team in terms of leaving suggestions or feedback that would actually reach the team.
There are about 7,000 of these people, and new high value customers would be given access as time goes on. The only problem: We don't have single sign on.
I'm struggling to think of a sustainable strategy to deal with creating and maintaining this area, in terms granting the right people access.
We've done a pilot of a private area before, but it was a very manual process (we asked people to indicate interest by kudoing a post, and then I granted each of them access).
I'm aware that not all 7,000 will be interested in joining our community, but I'm trying to put together a plan for a) getting the inital group registered for Community and access to the private board and b) maintaining this registration/access process long term.
If our CRM isn't linked in to Community then it seems like the only option I have is to ask the high value customers to make themselves known to me upon registration(via private message), but it just feels like this would be a huge barrier to participation.
One feature that might save you time is the bulk role import. So once you've got a list of usernames that you want to allow access to the special area, you could create a role that grants access and assign that role to your list of members in one go. It works well.
Here's some documentation - http://community.lithium.com/t5/Roles-and-permissons/Import-user-roles-from-a-CSV-file/ta-p/24276