Community Forums - The Unsung Hero in Social Support

by Nick Cicero on Dec 18, 2013

Social Customer Service has become an X-Factor in developing lasting relationships with customers. But while 1 in 3 users prefer contacting brands through social channels over the phone for customer service, are they really the best social channels for consumers to resolve their issues?

According to data in this new infographic from HP, communities/forums are really an under-appreciated channel for customer service. Research shows as many as 40% of their customers are using this often overlooked form of social support to resolve their issue.

So why should you want to consider community forums or support sites for your own brand?

Consider the context.

While on Twitter or Facebook, an individual might see a friend in their social network encountering a problem with another company and reach out to help them, but those requests are few and far between. Community forums and support groups empower others to share knowledge freely and often. As HP reports, 37% of brand advocates want to help others make smart decisions.

Instead of waiting for those all-too-perfect moments of spontaneity through social, why would you not create an ecosystem where individuals WANT to help each other?

Additionally, forums are usually highly indexed by search engines, and with 90% of users going to a site before calling or contacting support, you can imagine a significant amount of search traffic contributing to the path of discovery online for a customer’s answers.

Do you use any community support platform or other type of forum-style product for your site? What types of interactions are you seeing yourself? Share with us in the comments below.

Support forum community management Infographic

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Post Author

Nick Cicero is the Editor at Social Fresh and a Digital Marketing Consultant. Formerly of Expion and Livefyre, Nick has experience building social campaigns for Sony PlayStation, Winn-Dixie, Eminem, Teen Vogue and more. He’s a fan of playing...

  • matt coffy

    Well I guess that’s because you need as much social media publicity as possible. This was a great read, Nick. Thanks!

  • Sht Lst

    We love the concept of social media customer service. Great post and hat-top to HP for the infographic. Cheers!

  • Abdul Sattar

    My views: Community support service is not a cup of tea for bloggers. I am running an cigarette electronique website (targeted france) and i listen fuck**g words from my customers even though my product is top in the market.. Patience is the key role for your product success.. Anyways,i am very thankful to facebook and twitter who really helped my in growing my online business…

  • Sarah Bauer

    Immediacy of response is obviously a priority, and it’s interesting to me that these community/forum spaces have often proved themselves to be more effective than social platforms for that purpose. The forum space has truly been off my radar for some time, so this was a welcome refresher for me!

    Excellent article, thanks!
    Sarah Bauer
    Navigator Multimedia