How The Best Customer Communities Align with Customer Support Image

How The Best Customer Communities Align with Customer Support

The needs of our customers are always evolving. As Customer Success professionals, it’s up to us to meet them where they are and where they are going. A thriving customer community is a perfect way to keep up with evolving customer needs and ensure we support our customers along their journey.

Our Community Unplugged event hosted a panel discussion where Helena Li, Product Education Lead at Front, and Jillian Bejtlich, Sr. Community Program Manager at Calendly, discussed how they align their communities with customer support needs.

Many questions were asked and discussed. Here are a few of our favorites:

Aligning Community Content with Customer Needs

Data is king when it comes to creating the right content for your community that meets the needs of your customers. For Calendly, they look at their support tickets to see what the main issues are that customers are facing. They also try to be as proactive as possible to determine what customers may have issues with in the future so they can get ahead of it with community content. This helps mitigate support tickets and even potential customer churn.

When Front rolled out their community, it was solely for the developers that used the platform. They created content specifically for developers so that they could get the most out of Front’s user interface. One key step in rolling out their community was getting their internal support team onboard with it. Their support team knew what to expect in regard to support inquiries from developers and knew what the future plans were when they rolled out the community to the broader customer base. The end goal was for customers to self-serve as much as possible due to the content put out in the community.

The Best Way to Get Cross-Department Buy-In 

“What can we do for YOU?”

This is the question that Jillian asks when approaching internal teams for content ideas that can be shared in the community. To her, community is a service. Having content that other departments put out helps everyone at Calendly have a voice on how to serve their customers best. For example, she makes it clear to her support team that she wants to help them reduce the number of redundant questions they get. Creating community content around these redundant questions will do just that. 

“Make friends before you need them,” says Bejtlich. If you make friends in each of your internal departments before you need this content, asking for their input and help will be easier. Once you understand each department’s core work, you will know what the community can alleviate for them. 

Balancing Community Content with Customer Education Content

One comment Helena made at the beginning of the panel discussion was her desire to combine Front’s community with their customer academy. They use Gainsight to manage both of these tools, which makes life easier for her, but combining them would be a huge benefit for her and for the overall customer experience.

“If I could wave a magic wand, I would love to combine these two tools into one platform, so I’m not managing two groups of people,” Says Li.

One of their content principles is not to put the same content in more than one place. It can be hard to manage, especially when you update something, and then you have to remember where else that content lives so it can be updated accordingly. For example, product information and product knowledge are all in one place in Front’s content ecosystem. Everything that falls under those two categories links back to the location where the content lives.

To watch the full panel discussion, click here.