Social media allows businesses of all types to expand their reach and actively engage the consumer community around them. This has opened the door to new marketing approaches and provided businesses with exciting ways to create brand awareness. However, social media isn’t the only medium that can help an organization promote community engagement. A self-service portal also presents a unique opportunity for your clients and the public to engage with each other.
The benefits to you are far-reaching. Encouraging community engagement through a support portal helps clients interact with each other to find the answers they need to important product questions. It also helps expose your product to more people and refine the way your in-house reps provide support. If this sounds like something your B2B organization needs, keep reading. We’re breaking down a few ways your portal can work to improve engagement.
Forming a Large Network
An effective client portal is full of newcomers to your product along with experts. Encouraging engagement means these experts can educate others about your product, promoting an environment where your clients are helping each other. They can point people to specific sections of your knowledge base and impart the know-how they’ve acquired through experience with the product. Forums within your portal are the best place for this to happen. These will provide a place where clients can ask questions and receive feedback directly from other users. Building this environment into a large network will prove a huge asset to your support process.
Forums Help People Connect
An online forum connects your clients to people who have had similar issues to theirs. This is a type of support service that’s hard to reproduce anywhere else. Forums allow people to start discussions regarding your product, which will bring out unique insights others may find useful. Your self-service portal may end up being a place people go not only to find solutions to problems, but also to find new ways to use your product. Encouraging your clients to provide feedback on your product is a great way to foster healthy conversations that could lead to a better understanding of the product.
Expand Your Online Reach
The people using your portal and engaging in interactions aren’t the only ones who can get involved. The forums, tutorials, and knowledge base within your portal can also be found online. This allows non-clients the ability to learn more about your products and even share their own insights regarding them. The result is more exposure and the potential to bring in new business based on the information available in your portal and throughout the conversations people are having on product forums. In essence, this is what consumers do on social media all the time. However, people can now discover you directly through the support system you already provide to your client base.
Increase Community Engagement Today
Promoting engagement through your self-service portal benefits you, your clients, and brings the online community closer to your product. In today’s competitive marketplace, you can’t afford to ignore this opportunity.
Implementing configurable customer support software will allow you to get your portal up and running in no time. PhaseWare can help. Contact us to discuss your options today.