5 Examples of Great Online Communities and What Makes Them Work
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5 Examples of Great Online Communities and What Makes Them Work

by Phil Garbrecht | Nov 14, 2019

Connecting with customers online has never been more important, and today there are a wide variety of options for brands to do so, including social media platforms, websites, and branded communities. With online communities, brands can interact with their customers in customizable ways, from offering customer support, to creating a space for peer-to-peer information sharing, to fostering lasting brand relationships, and more.

Communities improve every stage of the customer journey

The following 5 brands offer excellent, diverse examples of how great online communities can function. We also explore how each brand achieves their core purpose so well.

Visa: Bringing external and internal community members together

screenshot of visa developer community platform

(Source: Visa Developer Community)

Visa created a Khoros-powered online community to foster collaboration: they needed a way to connect external developers to the Visa Developer Team so that the two groups could interact and inspire each other and so that information could be freely shared. Visa personalized their community for their users and they were rewarded with a 124% increase in community members. Now, Visa can engage with their community members in the ways those members want, fostering loyalty among external developers and community members as a whole.

Visa’s community has been incredibly successful by internal company measures, including a 1,300% increase in kudos from their members. Their community has also been recognized externally: Visa recently won a Dev Portal Award for the Best Community Spotlight, and they also won the public vote for the Best Overall Developer Portal.

Takeaway: A great online community can support collaboration between members outside of the brand and employees within, leading to a stronger brand.

(Full Visa case study)

Telstra: Fostering peer-to-peer connection through community

screenshot of telstra crowdsupport community platform

(Source: Telstra CrowdSupport community

Telecommunications giant Telstra wanted to offer a complete customer care experience that included a place for customers to gather and interact without engaging the brand. To meet their needs, they built an online community with Khoros where customers could connect both with each other and with the brand. Telstra’s community now offers authentic digital customer care coupled with a platform where customers can discuss products and services with each other directly and crowdsource solutions.

The peer-to-peer support that Telstra’s community supports has helped the brand offer 24/7 customer care, and they supported the creation of more than 20K pieces of content in the first five months of their community.

Takeaway: Combining the power of digital customer care agents with knowledgeable members of a great online community allows brands to address many more customer concerns than with agents alone.

(Full Telstra case study)

HP: Offering a centralized hub where customers can quickly find answers

screenshot from hp support community

(Source: HP Support Community)

HP needed a way to offer 24/7 support to a global, diverse customer base. To reach their goals, they built an online community with Khoros. One of the biggest obstacles that HP customer support agents faced before their online community was spending too much time responding to logistical questions and not enough time brand-building by truly engaging with customers. With their community, HP can now archive answers, giving customers a quick, simple place to find solutions to common concerns, leaving agents free to engage with customers on a deeper level.

Their community helped HP achieve a 41% year-over-year reduction in inquiry resolution time, as well as a 35% reduction in agent response time. HP was also recognized externally: they won the Lithy Award for Total Community All Star, an award that recognizes exceptional community work.

Takeaway: Great online communities can help free up your brand’s digital customer care agents by keeping the answers to common logistical questions in one easily-searchable place.

(Full HP case study)

StarHub: Building long-term relationships with customers in their community

screenshot from starhub community

(Source: Starhub Community)

Singapore-based information-communication brand StarHub wanted to evolve their social media strategy.Khoros partnered with Starhub to build an online community to support their evolution efforts and to offer more robust digital customer care and build lasting relationships with super fan advocates. Most importantly, StarHub wanted to create a space where their customers could co-create with them, collaborating to build a better product and a better customer experience. Existing social platforms didn’t allow StarHub the freedom and flexibility they needed to build long-term relationships with their customers, but their online community did. Not only can customers now quickly find the answers they need, StarHub has also built a successful community of super fans.

With their community, StarHub generated $2.8M in revenue while also saving $500K in support costs. StarHub’s community was also recognized with a Lithy Award for Digital Customer Excellence, beating out 66 other entrants.

Takeaway: A great online community can help your brand build a different kind of relationship with digital customers — one that’s truly collaborative.

(Full Starhub case study)

Virgin Mobile Australia: Fielding many more social media interactions with community

screenshot from virgin mobile australia community platform

(Source: Virgin Mobile Australia Community)

Virgin Mobile Australia’s digital support staff couldn’t keep up with the brand’s growing social presence: customer inquiries went unanswered and agent response times were too high. To manage their growing online presence, Virgin built an online community. In their community, Virgin created a centralized place where customers could find peer-to-peer support in the form of community forums, as well as articles with relevant information in which customers can now find answers without contacting the call center. Because of their community, Virgin can field a significantly higher level of social media interactions.

Virgin’s NPS (Net Promoter Score) increased after they implemented their community, and they also achieved 435 peer-to-peer accepted solutions within the first year of their community’s existence. Not only that, but Virgin Mobile Australia was also recognized with a Lithy Award.

Takeaway: A great online community can help your brand manage a high level of social media interactions while also fostering more robust brand-customer relationships.

(Full Virgin Mobile Australia case study)

How Khoros can help

Khoros helps brands fuel growth with an authentic, trusted online community. Leading brands use their Khoros-powered community to acquire new customers, increase the lifetime value of existing customers, accelerate issue resolution, reduce service costs, and more. For more details about what an online community could do for your brand, see our Khoros Communities solution page and read our ebook: How Online Communities Improve Every Stage of the Customer Journey.

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