How community platforms are paving the way for competitive advantage

Jitendra Chouksey Founder and CEO, Fittr, explores why building community platforms for customers will greatly benefit organisations all around the globe.
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A famous saying by Helen Keller goes, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”. Human tendency to form groups and create communities has been studied since the Stone Age.

In the modern era, where the world is dominated by social media and other digital platforms, all barriers related to age, time, and distance among others, have been eradicated in the process of building communities.

There has been a growing realisation among startups and giants about why it has become the need of the hour to not only create communities, but also nurture them in order to enhance competition and overall performance. 

Here are some reasons why building community platforms for customers will greatly benefit organisations all around the globe -

Increased customer inclusivity and loyalty

It is said that a happy customer is the best advertisement any brand can have.

Community platforms create a base for a rounded customer communication which helps raise brand-awareness among the customers. This also helps them establish appealing social connections which has a domino-effect on other potential clients.

Consequently, the company’s loyalty base increases and the resulting brand advocacy significantly reduces the costs of customer acquisition. People also tend to stay involved with the brand synonymously with their peers, which makes them conduct repeat purchases.

Active customer feedback

Although the internet has vapourised all kinds of limitations related to communication, organisations across the globe are still struggling to devise more methods to increase engagement in customer feedback with limited filtration for accurate inputs.

Community platforms thus become the single-biggest solution to these problems, as they have consistent incoming responses and criticism of customers from various backgrounds. Since the online platforms contain a vast sample size of this feedback, one can completely bank on its accuracy.

Growing awareness about the ongoing trends

From the smallest startup to the biggest business conglomerate, every company needs to have a deep-rooted pulse of the market and flourishing trends. There could be no better source than the customers themselves to get a profound insight about these trends.

Just like social media has become a vital tool to know about the ongoing world events, digital community platforms are pivotal in creating awareness about the market ground realities.

Elevates overall brand value and image

Establishing and maintaining brand value is one of the biggest aspects to create a competitive edge, as it is a stepping stone for any company to enter the higher leagues. With the help of all the factors mentioned above, the brand value of any company can be raised to the very top.

Building such platforms will ultimately lead to generation of a community-led growth, which paints a rejuvenating image of a company.

Now that we have understood the benefits of developing community platforms, let us have a look at a few elements that are necessary in building them:

Evolving your outlook towards customers

The process to lay the foundations of vibrant community platforms begins with shaping one’s very own mindset towards the consumers. No matter how diverse your customer base is, they are all bound by certain social norms or backgrounds that bring them together.

Developing a broader perspective in this regard makes their behavioural patterns more predictable, which in turn helps you to not only design a community platform, but also efficiently sustain it. Changing your mindset is indeed the first step towards everything.

Promoting and facilitating engagement among peers

Letting the customers show from themselves the good value of your product could be the key towards changing the game. It is important to not only give them a platform, but also take initiatives to make them respond as well.

Companies making their clients post pictures and feedback of their product with a social media campaign is the most apt example of this method. 

Using the element of reinforcement

The idea of positively reinforcing your customers for buying your product is one of the oldest but effective tricks in the book. It is essential to reward their loyalty in a way that makes continued purchase of your product more appealing. Many brands give gift vouchers, redeemable points, and other benefits to their loyal customers from time to time.

Helping clients with similar interests to connect

Enabling a client to connect their counterparts with similar goals makes them familiarise with the community even more. With the help of modern technology and algorithms, a platform can easily get such clients to connect using their activity feedback. Increasing their interaction with fellow community members will deepen the roots of the platform and keep the ship sailing smoothly.

Edited by Anju Narayanan

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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