Five Common Obstacles to Community Success: Webcast Thursday

One of the main trends I’m tracking for 2012 is that companies are taking a proactive stance in channel management, usually for the very first time. Instead of just watching interactions roll in and adjusting staffing to fit, they are working to influence customer channel decisions, shifting traffic to more effective and less expensive channels. And one of those channels being targeted for more traffic is the online customer community or discussion forum.

The rise of forums is pretty remarkable, considering how long it has taken other channels (web chat comes to mind) to take hold. As seen in this graphic, adoption of online communities by TSIA members grew from 36% in 2007 to 82% this year.

TSIA Members Rapidly Adopt Online Communities

I divide this adoption into three waves. In 2007, it was “My CEO came back from a trip and read about this new channel in an in-flight magazine and told me to buy one.” By 2009, when companies were hit with a major economic downturn, the discussion turned to, “Where’s the ROI in this community? I thought customers did all the work?” This year, we enter the era of “How do I leverage the community to resolve even more issues?”

On Thursday, I will host a webcast entitled, “Serving Customers through Social Channels: Looking Beyond the Hype.” I will talk about the five most common obstacles to community success, and will end with making a recommendation more and more companies are following today:  maybe community management just isn’t in your DNA. If you can outsource calls, if you can outsource maintenance renewals, why on earth don’t you outsource your community management to someone with a track record of building successful communities and growing peer-to-peer interactions? If this is truly the channel of the future, maybe it would be better off in the hands of experts.

I hope you can join me Thursday, 10/6, at 8am PT for the webcast. If that time doesn’t work for you, please register anyway, and we’ll send you a link to the OnDemand version of the webcast, and a link to download all the slides.

Thanks for reading!

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