NEWS

Jul-31-2023

Introducing the next generation of community

Nick Hill, General Manager, Khoros Communities

Introduction

Online communities serve as a way for companies to create a brand-owned destination where their customers can connect with peers and the brand, fostering engagement, self-service, and knowledge and idea sharing about the brand’s products, services, and experiences. Industry-leading companies recognize brand communities as a powerful and essential channel within their customer experience strategy. When built and managed correctly, an online community drives cost reduction, revenue growth, and increased customer lifetime value. Our twenty+ years of community experience with major brands provide quantifiable proof of how online communities impact a company and its customers.

At Khoros, our commitment has always been to build exceptional community products for brands striving to create and maintain meaningful digital engagements with their customers. We’re proud to be the industry leader in community management software, trusted by over 2,000 brands like Samsung, Microsoft, and Visa, with more Fortune 100 success stories than any other provider. We attribute this to our unwavering focus on enterprise scalability, flexibility, immersive member engagement features, advanced moderation, and the depth of expertise and guidance we provide customers.


However, we also recognize that some brands need help creating a community that customers love, their teams can sustain, and that the business could financially justify. Without the right solution or guidance, a robust community can be challenging to build, integrate, and customize. It can be difficult for community managers to run or to measure impact for the business and hard for members to navigate.

But with this game-changing new version of Khoros Communities, these brand-owned destinations can be launched faster, easily customized and optimized for the best member experiences, and measured in new ways to demonstrate business impact. This will enable brands to reach their end-state community vision faster and with fewer resources.

Before unveiling the new version of Khoros Communities, let’s dive into some key trends pushing community managers, executives, developers, and customers to demand more from their community software providers.

Realities shaping the community landscape

For businesses, some key macro-level dynamics are increasing demand for brand-owned community solutions:

  • Executives must cut costs, and the contact center offers a prime opportunity. Shifting support to communities where customers can self-service can help deflect costly phone calls and reduce agent load, creating significant savings.

  • High customer expectations challenge loyalty. Today’s consumers and businesses demand self-service, fast responses, personalization, peer-to-peer interactions, and most prefer digital interactions. Brands that don’t adapt experience higher churn, but many still desperately need to transform their buyer journeys.

  • Social networks are pivoting once-free capabilities to paid models. This trend leads big brands to reevaluate their social channel strategies to ensure the results match the investment. While brands will continue to meet customers where they are, it also catalyzes interest in brand-owned channels. 

  • More companies want to own customer data due to the cookieless future and privacy concerns. Brands need first-party data and direct customer relationships to protect their business and customers, and for sustainability.

  • Brands must integrate with emerging technologies like Chat GPT, metaverse, blockchain, and DAOs to stay relevant in the complex tech environment. 



While businesses push to embrace brand communities, the practitioners managing a community day in and day out, and the IT and developer resources they rely on, still face significant challenges. Traditional management practices and technology gaps put extra pressure on these slim teams already struggling with budget constraints and demands to do more with less.

The most notable challenges include:

  • Time-consuming and arduous deployment: The slow and costly process of seeing the results of an online community may deter companies from investing in a robust community that offers a cohesive user experience.

  • Manual moderation processes are time-consuming: Community managers tire of manually reviewing and approving posts, handling spam, and enforcing community guidelines.

  • Content organization and discoverability: Lack of community management tools means content has to be organized manually, plus it prevents members from finding the content they need.

  • Limited data and analytics: Community managers lack actionable data with current community solutions. This impedes data-driven decisions, success measurement, and ROI assessment, making it challenging to enhance growth and engagement.

  • Lack of scalability: Lack of cohesion among channels (email, chat applications, and social media) forces community managers to juggle multiple platforms, leading to disjointed conversations and challenging community maintenance.

  • Disappointing engagement features: Retaining community members is challenging due to low participation rates and the lack of effective tools for personalized interactions.

These challenges highlight why enterprise brands must be thoughtful and not adopt just any solution. To run a thriving brand community, a community vendor must provide efficiency, adaptability, expert coaching, and advanced capabilities that empower community managers.

Introducing: The next generation of community software

On July 31, we released the next generation of Khoros Communities — a game-changing version of the industry-leading solution. With powerful new tools and features, the Aurora update provides everything complex enterprises need to create an entirely brand-owned channel – and to do so faster, at a lower total cost, with more value for community members, managers, and developers.

Key advancements and features of this update include:

Simple setup, endless potential: Communities deployed and evolved faster with minimal setup services required, using a robust set of expertly designed and preconfigured templates.


Drag-and-drop design: Easily customize page layouts, navigation, and make design changes to your community with a new drag-and-drop interface that eliminates the need for custom code.

Elevated insights: Surfacing insights is easier and more enjoyable with a wholly redesigned Analytics app within Administrator Settings. Updated insights include new analytics APIs, health and engagement metrics, reports, and more.


AI-enhanced moderation: Supercharge community management with workflow automation, organization, and AI-driven content filters that let you spend more time on strategy and less on routine tasks.

A more open, flexible platform: Build exclusive community experiences and custom integrations without limits using an evolved API-first architecture with a robust new GraphQL layer.

Enhanced member experience: Increase engagement with beautiful, responsive, and accessible end-user experiences powered by an updated web application framework.

Peering into the next generation: Benefits for enterprises

The capabilities of this game-changing new version of Khoros Communities will shape a new reality for members, business leaders, and community managers alike — adding immense value and transforming the way that community is deployed, managed, and scaled. 

Improved productivity for community managers 

The platform’s drag-and-drop design empowers community managers to make changes on the fly, without involving IT teams or developers. An out-of-the-box setup with preconfigured templates enables users to start making progress in their community faster. Once the community is built, AI-enhanced moderation and workflow automation enhance efficiency on back-end moderation tasks.


Decrease the total cost of ownership

The Khoros Communities ease-of-use and pre-packaged setup vastly reduces the TCO of a community in multiple ways. It lowers or eliminates the need for costly implementation services. It reduces the paid development resources required for integrating key enterprise systems and ongoing maintenance and customizations. AI-driven moderation capabilities also offload work for community managers, enabling a company to support its community in the right way, with fewer people.

Prove ROI and empower data-driven decisions

Elevated insights such as new analytics dashboards, widgets, and APIs, empower community teams to take more informed actions and to share on-demand insight across their business on what is and isn’t resonating with customers. Moreover, the solution enables faster, more focused innovation with a bulk-data API and community firehose that feeds data to analytics engines like Microsoft Power BI.

Extend the reach and impact of a brand-owned community

The redesigned architecture contains an API-first approach and updated developer workflows to make it faster and easier to build custom integrations, meaning users can connect to the entire tech stack and leverage valuable community data throughout the journey.

Deliver impactful member experiences & organic growth

Above all, this version helps accelerate organic growth by attracting new community members and keeping them engaged. Faster, easier-to-use, and more impactful member experiences drive active participation, further fueling community success. As members engage with the brand and each other, this user-generated content with high SEO value also helps drive down customer acquisition costs.

Conclusion

As the digital landscape evolves, customer-obsessed brands will embrace the power of online communities to protect and grow revenue, reduce support costs, foster stronger customer connections, and stay ahead of the competition. 

Khoros offers the next generation of community software designed to meet the challenges faced by community managers while providing enhanced insights, flexibility, and engagement features. Start your community journey today and join the ranks of successful brands transforming customer experiences through online communities.

How to Get Started

If you’re new to Khoros, request a demo to talk with one of our account representatives today. We’d love to show you the power of this new solution.

Current Khoros Communities customers can contact their dedicated Account Executive or Customer Success Manager to learn more about how to upgrade to the new Khoros Communities version, Aurora. Customers can also get up-to-speed with our Getting Started Guides, by taking a tour of Aurora, and with training and support resources on the Community Aurora Atlas page.

Would you like to learn more about Khoros?