Setting up a Zendesk Community is a great way to stay engaged with your target market. However, it is not uncommon for Communities to start strong only for them to fade into oblivion.
Taking the following factors into consideration before setting up a Zendesk Community will help you to set up correctly and keep growing your membership:
- Create a Plan and Set Goals
A common goal for Communities is to provide a place where users can help themselves and others when you or your staff are not immediately available to answer questions. While this seems like a productivity or efficiency goal, consumer surveys indicate customers are often more satisfied when they have a DIY option.
- Create your topics
The ideal situation is 4 to 10 different topics, each one dedicated to one side or aspect. For instance, you can have topics for general discussions, technical issues, news, and product feedback.
If you want to encourage online camaraderie between customers and staff, consider creating a small "off-topic" section where fun items can be posted like Zendesk recently did with the "Lounge" space.
- Create Topic-Centric Structure
Use threads and layers to create a sort of indexed menu of community topics so customers can find the information they are looking for easily. Managing your community structure keeps information organized and useful.
When letting users create new discussions themselves, provide a reminder to check to make sure the topic hasn't been created already, and empower Community moderators to integrate discussions into single threads if they are on the same topic.
- Encourage User Engagement
Provide your customers with useful content they are looking for. Customers might like to have the option to customize their Community profile and signature, add a picture to accompany their posts or provide a link to their own social profile or pages. Encourage employees who use the Community to do the same so customers can interact with people rather than avatars or numbers. Make the Community fun for your customers by the tone and activities like contests and games.
- Talk about it
You have to get word about your Community out there. Talk about the 'grand opening' or launch of your Community. Create as much hype about it as you can. Another way to attract traffic to your Community is by adding information about it on your profile as your signature. Whenever you post something, your Community would be seen.
- Choose moderators
Every separate discussion topic in your Community should have a moderator of its own. Their role will be to start discussions and keep them going by starting new topics and getting rid of content that is inappropriate. It is best to have a moderator who is well versed with the subject matter. They will keep things going and will give accurate information.
- Stay on top of it
Together with your team of moderators, you should lay down some ground rules on conduct. For instance, you need to agree on how to handle a member who posts offensive or otherwise inappropriate content.
- Forge alliances
It will be helpful to exchange links with communities that have the same struggles as yours. This will help you to widen your user base.
- Make use of Zendesk features
Take advantage of the feature that allows you to have tickets automatically created in Zendesk when a new question or another activity is detected in your Community.
You can come up with rules that the system will use to assign tickets to the different groups. This way, the right people on your team of moderators get notified that there has been activity in their group and they can respond without any delay.
- Grow thick skin
As an administrator, expect and be ready to deal with all kinds of people, including those who join your Community to harass you and your members. Be ready to deal with them.
Ultimately, your Community should be user-friendly and integrate well with the rest of your Zendesk Help Center. Lotus Themes can help you create a seamless experience for users on all your Help Center pages.
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