Building a Revenue-Generating Customer Community in 2024 Image

Building a Revenue-Generating Customer Community in 2024

Building an effective customer community should be based on what your customers want rather than solely on your business needs. While business impact should be measured within any customer community, you can really only ensure its long-term success if your customers are the ones in the driver’s seat. We brought together some of the best minds like Nisha Baxi, Head of Digital Customer Success and Community at Gong, Allison Able, Director of Community at Automation Everywhere, and Juan Del Rio, Community Manager at Devo to talk about how they have built customer communities that have grown their customer relationships and revenue significantly. 

Getting Started with Building a Community

Nisha Baxi started by discussing how important it is to be as organized as possible when starting out. Having five or six big steps that need to be done is a great way to get the ball rolling early and quickly. Two of those steps should involve alignment with your executive team and your top customers. This alignment is what Baxi calls “community-market fit.” Reaching out to your top customers and seeing what they want to get out of a community will allow you to work backward and build the community around their needs. 

Including your executives in these conversations is vital. To ensure executive buy-in, you should discuss what metrics they want to be tracked, how they envision the community, and how they want to be involved. 

Able provided a simple yet powerful piece of advice for any organization starting to build a community: Figure out what a successful community looks like and what metrics need to be tracked to achieve that success. 


Tracking Community Success

There are various ways to track community success. Del Rio tracks his community success through page views (resources shared within the community) and the number of questions asked daily/weekly. These two metrics give him a good view of the community’s overall engagement and effectiveness. Able looks at repeated activity, the rate of engagement (liking, commenting, starting threads, providing solutions, etc). From there, she tracks how it all impacts business metrics like product usage, retention, and upsell/deal size.

Baxi also tracks the business impact of her community. She wants to ensure that the community is generating revenue for the organization so the executive buy-in can remain high.  She accomplishes this by tracking each phase of the SPACES Framework:

  • Support 
  • Product
  • Acquisition
  • Content
  • Engagement
  • Success

“If you can show that we were one of these touches to make the sale, you can really show the impact of your community at that level,” says Baxi. 

Getting The Most Out of a Community with a Small Team

Every time a question is asked in Devo’s community, Del Rio’s team gets a notification via Slack to monitor the engagement. He also ensures the content his team creates for the community directly aligns with the top questions and needs many of the members have. 

“You can hand a whole instruction set to one customer, but you can also use that as a piece of content that serves many customers at the same time. Community is the vehicle for that,” says Del Rio. 

Baxi recommended being as lean as possible for as long as possible. This will help the community organically grow because the members are the ones creating the content and engagement rather than a large internal team trying to get the ball rolling every day. 

How to Keep The Community Engaged

The bottom line is that your members want to be heard. The community is about them and their needs and experiences. Having check-in points and feedback loops helps the community organizers consistently engage with members, which is key to maintaining engagement. It also helps ensure the best information is being shared, which allows members to be heard and openly share their experiences. 

At the end of the day, your community should be built around your customers, with your business’s needs in mind. This mindset and balance will lead to better business outcomes and longer-lasting customer relationships. 

To watch the full panel discussion, click here.

Richard Millington, Founder of FeverBee, also contributed some incredible insights to our Community Unplugged event. Read the recap of his insights here.