Community Managers User Group February meeting: Digital experience strategiesCompletada
The Community Managers Zendesk User Group February meeting is coming up, and the topic of discussion this month will be digital experience strategies. Inspired by some of the topics covered in Zendesk's 2023 CX Trends report, the group will be talking about how AI may impact community strategies, and the increased value it may put on professionals who focus on human connections.
Here's the full event description:
Besides showcasing how awesome community managers are, the post-pandemic era has also thrust to the forefront a desire, nay, need for more digital experiences. Many leaders are looking for interactions with customers that are both automated and conversational. A blend of human, and machine. As a digital channel with direct connections to end users, communities are primed for this shift toward digital-led strategies. Join us as we talk strategies, share our own experiences, and where we see this trend going into 2023 and beyond.
Thanks for this, Nicole! I'm happy to provide a recap of our meeting.
As mentioned, the topic was all about digital-led strategies, and communities are playing a pivotal role in this space. We broke these down into 3 areas:
- What is digital-led?
- Current trends
- The future of digital-led
What is digital-led?
You're probably asking it. Well, simply put, it's the use of digital technologies and materials to support, supplement, and scale customer success and services. An easy example of this is automated self-service offerings like chat, documentation, videos, trainings, etc. We see communities an integral part of CX and they are primed to lead the way here. It's important to note too that this is not at odds with human-led interactions with customers but rather it aims to optimize it.
A tip to get started is to look at all the human interactions you have along customer journey and ask if they can digital and/or automated, such as sending a newsletter to clients.
One of the biggest trends we see are communities going beyond support and allowing for even more self-service and autonomy. Customers want to do more things on their own and have these sorts of things at their finger tips. Why not give it to 'em in the community?
Another trend is that community data is, or should be, part of your customer health data. Community managers know the value the community brings and hard work has made it easier to quantify that. But that's not to say its all there or perfect, as we had some great discussions around the need for accurate user data, but that being said, just being part of the conversation is a huge step.
And furthermore, we see that product teams and community teams are becoming more aligned. Customers crave transparency in what's going on with your product. They can and do provide feedback on your community and its seems a natural place to have interactions with those that make the products. This is a long time coming for many community managers and a welcome trend indeed.
The future of digital-led
First, some folks in the community profession experienced job loss during the "great resignation" as companies went all-in on communities and then decided to drop it like a bad habit later. Now things are settling and we sense a rebound coming.
We also see communities being not just an integral part of the customer journey, but part of the overall business initiatives. People further up the totem pole are taking notice and community is being talked about at higher and higher levels. With moves to digital, this won't likely slow down.
With that same embrace of more digital technologies, we see CX being immersed in digital tactics more and more, and communities will continue to be at the forefront.
And lastly, data is always king and the desire for community metrics will not wane. Instead we see a need to for this data to be made available where your stakeholders are working so they can have it at their fingertips.
I always enjoy getting to chat with everyone and I look forward to our next meet-up. Open to suggestions on what topics ya'll would like to discuss in March. And thanks to Zendesk for making it happen. Have a great day, all!
Thanks for sharing this great summary, Mike!
Unfortunately, I was not able to attend this event. Looking forward to attending the next one. I'm in an unofficial community manager role and working on revamping our community forum. I have no prior experience managing a virtual community forum, but really want to learn more. Currently, I've been doing a lot of research and creating internal enablement materials to help drive more users to use the community... but not sure if I'm taking the right approach or if I should be thinking differently.
I'm not sure if this is the space to ask, but I'm curious if there are any recommended resources, helpful articles, training, data, etc, that can help me learn and provide more tools to help me become more knowledgeable in the community management space?
Thank you in advance!
Thanks for the question. And no worries, I'm sure we'll catch you at our next event later this month.
I hear ya. So much of community management is learning as you go. But luckily there are many who paved the way and have shared their experiences.
I'm in the same boat, i.e. looking at all the disparate resources and materials available to end users and what might be missing and then serve them up on the community. One tip there is to find the easiest item to get implemented that will have the biggest impact, especially one you have control over, and start there. Important here is to determine a measurement that will show its success. If you are able to prove that, it will be easier to tackle the other items in your list that you might not fully own and need assistance from others on.Let me know if you have any questions here.
As far as resources, over the years I've found the following thought-leaders and sites to be the most helpful.
- FeverBee - I've taken their community strategy coursework, and psychology of community. Lots of great stuff to help you get started. And I can't emphasize how important a strategy and plan is.
- CMX Hub - I've taken their Community MBA course but really all their stuff is good. They have loads of virtual meet-ups happening too.
- Commsor - A business that is all about communities. You can't go wrong here, and they offer many courses/classes at all levels.
- Vanilla/Higher Logic - I really enjoy the webinars that they put on. I always come away with something.
- Gainsight Community - This is a fantastic resources in the realm of digital-to-scale methods as it relates to customer success
Outside of those websites, thought leaders I enjoy and...err...borrowed from are Richard Millington (he's got a few books), David Spinks (also has books), Adrian Speyer (his book Accidental Community Manager is great) Brian Oblinger, Carrie Melissa Jones, and Jono Bacon (I really liked his book).
Hopefully that helps some. Definitely give me a holler if you have any questions. Thanks for reaching out and best of luck to you!
Mike Davis Wow! Thank you so much for this insight and resources! I appreciate your words and advice, as well as being nimble and intentional in the approach. Looking forward to diving into these resources. I'll definitely follow up if questions come up. Much appreciated! - Francisco
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