Why should we create a good community around our products? Does it help to make the company grow? Does it benefit sales? For many, the very first time they get to know the software community is to find answers for technical issues. Sure, it is a great place for Q&A, but a community is much more than that.
A good community can bring invaluable benefits to your products as well as your company. It does not only help to improve your products, but may also help your company stand out in the industry as a good citizen in the community. This blog discusses several tips on how to form a good community, as well as how a community benefits your products and the company.
Create a Supportive Learning Environment
The first thing we need to do is to form a welcoming community. Every newcomer wants to be welcomed by a warm community. Some of them visit the community for the first time to solve technical problems, they may seek answers, struggle for hours, and finally make a post to ask their questions. Technical support can be helpful, but a good community also helps to make a great learning experience. One way to do this is by encouraging your customers to share their experiences,
Current users are welcome to use their own ways to share the difficulties they met, how they go over the most complex steps, and their excitement about achievements or other breakthroughs they’ve made using your product. This experience of sharing could help the new customers to learn about the stages they need to go over, prepare for potential issues, and learn about the final results they should expect. Furthermore, new customers could feel a sense of belonging that they are not experiencing new things alone, many people are there to help.
Share your belief with your community
Your community is more likely to trust your brand if they agree with your values. You may have a guiding principle motivating you to create the software or to start the company. Remember, your customers have similar experiences and may want to support you and build together.
It can be helpful to share their ideas and experiences in the form of blogposts, community podcasts, or in case studies. The community is not only a place to find technical answers, but also people who share the values, feelings, and ideas as you and your company.
Customers’ trust is invaluable to any company. When trust is created customers are more likely to try more products in your company, tell their colleagues about your products, and give you valuable, actionable feedback. What the community brings is priceless to an organization.
Care for your customers
Listening to customers' complaints and suggestions is important to improving your products. While It is true that there is no product in the world that fits every single customer, because every customer has a different use case, your product must be designed for a particular group of people.
Your customers share their views from the users’ perspective, which helps you to notice the tiny issues many developers and organizations overlook while creating the software. Listening to the community and the feedback of customers can improve your product and make it easier to use, attracting more customers.
Furthermore, you may be inspired to make new products by the suggestions from other customers. You can learn from their experience, think about their ideas, and create products that benefit customers and the community.
Whether building a new community around the software you are creating or tapping into an existing community, the key is creating trust, leveraging the knowledge of people who experience (both internally and externally), and innovating on the things the community teaches your company or organization.
Companies can build for the community, but it’s truly communities that build successful products and organizations.