How HoneyBook Scaled an Online Customer Community From Scratch With Gainsight Image

How HoneyBook Scaled an Online Customer Community From Scratch With Gainsight

Building an online community for your customers isn’t as hard as you might think—in fact, it’s pretty simple to get started. For most businesses, you already have a thriving community of interested and engaged customers around your brand—and harnessing your existing resources and relationships can power up a thriving community almost overnight. This is exactly what happened at HoneyBook, the client flow management platform empowering independent businesses. 

We recently sat down with Kait Masters, Community Development Manager, HoneyBook, in our recent webinar, Simple Start, Exponential Impact. During the webinar, Masters shares her insights on how to go about creating a community from scratch, and gives us an inside perspective on the immediate success Honeybook realized with their community.

Our key takeaway? Even early communities can bring an exponential impact to your business. Here’s how to get started. 

1. Own Your Community Platform 

According to Robin Van Lieshout, Chief Strategy Officer, Gainsight, “You want to connect all the data coming from your community efforts to your own systems—integrate it in your CS tool, in your CRM system, in your data warehouse—and that’s only possible if you really own the platform.”

That’s exactly what Masters and her team at HoneyBook realized when they migrated their community from a Facebook group to Gainsight Customer Communities

In strategizing the migration of our community, Masters anticipated some attrition and carefully planned her approach. Initially, she aimed to migrate approximately 10% of the HoneyBook Facebook community members in the first week, considering the active participation in the group and the broader awareness of the HoneyBook community. While imperfect, this method balanced stretch goals with attainability to ensure realistic targets. Looking ahead, Masters and her team are refining their online community growth goals based on data from February and March to set a more balanced trajectory for the rest of the fiscal year.

Transitioning away from Facebook presented its challenges, particularly in convincing members accustomed to the platform. However, internal discussions were fueled by insights from members dissatisfied with Facebook and those preferring an integrated experience with HoneyBook’s product. As user requests to engage with the community without Meta accounts grew, it became evident that HoneyBook’s community’s value extended beyond traditional social media. Aligning their strategy with the evolving needs of their members, HoneyBook was poised to provide a more inclusive and integrated community experience, reflective of their commitment to meeting user preferences and enhancing engagement.

Masters shared that at the time of the webinar, “we have over 6,000 members in our Gainsight community, and we had 13,000 members in our Facebook community—and so we felt comfortable at that point making the decision to sunset [the Facebook group].”

2. Achieve Scale With Cross-Functional Resources 

Community is a team sport—especially in the early goings, when you may only have one or two full-time employees dedicated to community management. In reflecting on their scalability and onboarding approach, Masters underscores a deliberate strategy centered on timing and collaborative efforts across teams. She discusses how the early success of HoneyBook’s online customer community was fueled by efficient resource allocation.

To scale community efforts fast, Masters leverages the expertise of other departments, effectively turning them into fractional resources. For instance, the Education team is piloting community hours to address unanswered queries and pinpoint knowledge gaps, while a dedicated Customer Success Manager (CSM) allocates 20% of their time to community engagement, exploring scalable support avenues like drop-in office hours.

Learn more about how to pair Education and Community efforts in our new case study, Front Empowers Customers Through Digital Self-Service for Success

Crucially, HoneyBook established mutual KPIs between teams to drive new registrations from webinars and maintain sustained engagement levels. This collaborative ethos ensures alignment and resource sustainability, as Masters navigates the path toward scalable community engagement. While mindful of their current team size, these strategic partnerships and shared objectives lay the groundwork for future growth and the augmentation of community offerings, echoing the ethos of Gainsight’s commitment to customer success through collaboration and innovation.

3. Find Your Community Champions in the C-Suite 

At HoneyBook, Masters found an unexpected ally in her CFO, Yen Yen Chow. Kate shares how Chow’s support transformed the dynamics between the financial arm of the company and the Community team. Often, demonstrating ROI for community initiatives can be challenging, leading to friction in budgeting discussions. However, Chow’s genuine interest in understanding the value of community was a pleasant surprise. This alignment between Finance and Community strategy significantly propelled Masters’ initiatives forward, proving that unexpected champions can emerge from any corner of the organization.

Kate’s positive experience extends beyond internal support to her partnership with Gainsight. She highlights the exceptional resources and responsiveness of Gainsight’s online community platform, alongside the invaluable assistance provided by the Professional Services team. From the meticulous onboarding process to dedicated support from her Gainsight Customer Success Manager, Joyce, Kate emphasizes the transition from disconnected silos to a thriving network of experts and community members. 

With Gainsight, Kate and the HoneyBook team have found a community where support and collaboration flourish, ensuring they’re never alone in their journey towards success for all.

Learn More 

Are you ready to Unleash the Power of Community? Join us on March 28 for our next installment of this webinar series, Achieving Self-Sustaining Community with guest speaker Danny Pancratz, Director of Community, Unqork