When it comes to a social community, many companies view their investment as a simple matter of outbound marketing. They view individual portions of their own organization as separate components without really considering from the customer’s perspective, the company is the company.

Customers expect an omni-channel experience that doesn’t require they interact with the company through any one way. It’s imperative that the contact center, and other customer-centric facilities for that matter, take an active approach with regard to any community endeavor.

From the contact center standpoint, here are four key points that should be considered when identifying how your community and your customers will benefit when your community has active investment from your contact center.

  • Members of the contact center are already considered knowledge experts.

    Allowing them to engage the customers directly through the community has a couple of primary benefits. First, by having a public discourse other customers and experts are encouraged to take part. Second, and probably most important, the conversation will stand as a record of the interaction.

  • “Build it and they will come” isn’t true for communities.

    Simply having a place for your customers to interact with you is Step 0. Engage your existing knowledge experts within the contact center to seed content within your community. This could be something as simple as posting some public KB articles or as in-depth are writing a catered blog piece. Perhaps, making a demonstration video or engaging on customer inquiries if they’ve already found the community, could be useful.

  • Existing knowledge is inexpensive knowledge.

    Considering the cost, (in time and money) required to train new contact center employees and the unmitigated risk that occurs when one decides to pursue alternative opportunities, it is best to start putting as much knowledge in a central place as possible. The community benefits from a richer source of information and the company benefits from greater knowledge retention.

  • Promote the path of least resistance.

    When it comes to engaging with a company, customers will often opt for the shortest, most convenient, route available to them. For many, this means the web. Knowing that customers will likely resort to searching for information directly has a couple of advantages. First, the contact center can ensure that common questions and answers are already provided via the community. This has the added benefit of freeing the contact center up for more involved issues. Second, customers who can obtain information and solutions quickly are happier customers.

These thoughts should give you a framework to start when considering the benefits of engaging the contact center with the community, I encourage you to discuss these tips with thought leaders in your own contact center.

Telligent Community can help in a variety of ways, helping to mainstream your contact center and integrate into your community.  Give us a call…we’d love to help!

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