We published a Temkin Group report, Capturing Insights from Online Customer Communities. Here’s the executive summary:
Companies across a range of industries use online customer communities to augment their customer support, marketing, and product innovation efforts. However, when used thoughtfully, these online communities can provide value far beyond their original purpose. Because these communities signify an ongoing relationship between the company and participating customers, customer insights teams will find that these forums contain a treasure trove of insights. As a result of these deeper relationships, online communities offer unique advantages to voice of the customer (VoC) programs, including Always-on Feedback, Broad and Diverse Insights, Continuous Dialogue, Peer-to-Peer Dynamics, and Employee-to-Community Interactivity. These unique advantages can help companies adapt to the five Customer Insight Trends that are changing the face of VoC programs: 1) Deep empathy, not stacks of metrics, 2) Continuous insights, not periodic studies, 3) Customer journeys, not isolated interactions, 4) Useful prescriptions, not past descriptions, and 5) Enterprise intelligence, not customer feedback. To help organizations get the most value from their communities, Temkin Group has highlighted best practices for capturing and using insights from customer communities across these five trends. Companies also must plan for the entire community lifecycle to be successful; this includes Determine Strategy, Structure Community, Recruit Members, Grow and Maintain, and Close Down.
Online customer communities have some unique attributes that make them a valuable component to voice of the customer programs (one of the 12 figures in the report):