Customer Engagement: When your top-most customers are engaged, they are actually championing your product. This can translate directly into bottom line gains through sales to other community members. If there is no bottom line gain, it signals the need for analytics and for selective interventions. Pay careful attention to the data such groups throw up. Ignore them, in effect, means shutting down a free sales channel.
Level 0 Support: Online communities are a source of free Level 0 tech support. Customers often turn to the collective experience of the community and their propensity to share goodness. Solutions are easy to come by – and more importantly, help build a valuable knowledge base that can be leveraged in the future. Are you using the community chatter to extract insights into product improvement, service issues and thus working towards improving customer satisfaction? If not, you need to turn to analytics and seriously start doing so.
A large part of the exercise – of extracting value from your community conversations – depends on how you segment the community, the measurement metrics you apply and the subsequent interventions. Of course, if you are not using analytics, there is always going to be a gap between what you are doing and what you should do. As they say, while you aren’t risking anything, you sure are missing the rewards.