Why You Need a Community Forum for Your Business? [Benefits and Features]


Ruchi Gohri
By Ruchi Gohri | Last Updated on July 7th, 2020 4:13 pm | 4-min read
Why you need a community forum for your business - Appy Pie

To stay ahead in the game of business, you need to adapt to the advanced ways of communicating with your customers. Providing your customers with a self-service community helps you enhance your overall brand image. These portals provide your customers with instant access to the information they need and save their valuable time.
A Complete Guide to Community Forums - Appy Pie
As per a recent study, around 60% of businesses implement a self-service portal for their customers. Go through this article to understand what a self-service community portal is and what are the benefits that you get once you create one for your business.

What is a Self-Service Community Portal?

A self-service portal is an online platform built around your brand that helps your customers visit to get the answers to their queries. This portal acts like a launch-pad for your customers who need help and support. With a self-service community forum, your customers can access knowledge base articles, update and submit tickets, and use the tools provided to contact your customer support team. This way, they can also check the status of their ongoing issues or existing requests.

These portals are useful not only for your customers but also for your customer support teams. The self-service portals consist of three parts-

  1. Knowledge Base
  2. Ticketing System
  3. Community Forum

Knowledgebases are to help your customers and employees find product information and company policies. Ticketing Systems on the other hand can help them view, create, and update their tickets. And in this post, we will talk about the third service portal – Community Forums.

Community Forums help businesses build a common platform where they can put together their customers and employees to interact and get to know each other better.

By creating a self-service community, you can put together all your teams who work together to help your customers fix their issues. The portal helps you connect all your brand advocates and product experts. By creating an online community forum, you provide your employees with a portal where they can log in, get in touch with other users, and discuss their ongoing issues to find the best and reliable fix for them.

Why You Should Create a Community Forum

Here are a few major reasons why you should build your own community forum for your business.

  1. Reduced Customer Service Cost
  2. With the help of community forums, your customers can find answers to their queries on their own. This way, the support required for the customers gets reduced and you need not invest more money in customer service resources.

  3. Improved Agent Productivity
  4. With a community portal, your customers can find solutions to their basic issues. And, your customer support team gets time to deal with more complicated issues and gain more information about your products and services. This helps your customer support reps improve their productivity.

  5. Increased Customer Satisfaction
  6. The best community forum software can help businesses attain the maximum level of customer satisfaction. By building an online community forum, you can establish better relationships with your customers and help them understand your brand and its products better. Having a dedicated portal just for the ease of the customers makes them think that you value them and keeping them happy means something to you.

  7. Drive more Site Traffic
  8. The knowledgebases integration in your community can be a great tool for driving in more traffic to your website. A customized and well-organized knowledgebase can make your site an information source in the industry. This way, you get your customers’ trust with increased brand visibility.

    To learn how to drive more traffic to your website, you can also go through our course on Appy Pie Academy – What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization for Beginners

  9. Teach Customers New Skills
  10. Self-service portals help customers expand their knowledge and skills. These portals provide your customers with access to the useful tools that they need for fixing other issues that they may face. With these self-service community portals, customers can find guides, articles, how-to videos, and images to learn more about your products.

  11. Leverage Personalized Information
  12. The online community platforms save users’ information like what questions they have asked and what issues they have faced in the past. This information helps users find what they need quickly with the help of information they searched for in the past issues. This benefits the user when they register to these community portals and create their self-service accounts.

  13. Boost Customer Loyalty
  14. With the help of your community portal, you can provide your customers with an excellent service experience. This helps them get back to you and make a purchase from you again. When they get an excellent service from your brand, they spread a good word for your business. If your product is great but the service is lousy, your customers will not come back or talk good about your brand.

Now that you know why you need to create a community forum for your business website, you should make one for yourself. To integrate a self-service or a community portal, you first need a business website. If you have one, that is great! And if not, visit our website builder page and create one for yourself.

Get Started

Coming back to your business community portal, to create one, you need an easy-to-use community builder. So, here is the one that I would recommend – Appy Pie Community. This is one of the best forum creators that can help you create your own online community. Let us go ahead and know more about this community maker.

Why Appy Pie Community?

Appy Pie Community Builder is the best platform to build an online community for your business. By using this online community creator, you can make a forum website for your consumers and provide them with a common platform where they can interact with each other about common issues, feature requests, and their best practices. To help your users get the best out of your product, you can offer them the best online community software to help them interact with your product team and access the product feedback details.

You can use this best free forum builder to create an online community in just a few simple steps. No technical or programming knowledge is required to master the tool or make the best out of it. The private online community platforms created using Appy Pie’s free forum builder have amazing features like customization, smart notifications, intelligent analytics, various filters, and search options, etc. Let us know these features in detail.

Major Features of Appy Pie Community

Here are a few major features that Appy Pie Community offers.

  1. Customized Community
  2. The free forum builder helps create a forum on a personalized custom link that ensures an increased brand recognition using your brand logo, colors, domain, links, and much more. The best part about this online community creator is that it allows you to use the same link to create your own ticketing system and knowledgebase articles.

    If you want to create your own knowledgebase software, try Appy pie Knowledge.

    Get Started

  3. In-built Forums
  4. With Appy pie’s free forum maker, you can build your community that consists of four in-built forums that help you categorize different types of content for various purposes like suggestions, announcements, releases, and much more.

  5. Customer Engagement
  6. With Appy Pie Community, you can create your own forum to build better relationships with the customers. You can create an online community, interact with your customers, gather new ideas, and get product feedback on existing products. You can enable auto-help and self-service options for the users and keep them engaged throughout the process. Keep interacting with them to gain deeper insights into your services and make sure that they connect with your brand.

  7. Smart Notifications
  8. The free forum builder also helps you build a forum that offers an excellent feature of following the posts. By using this feature, you can follow the posts and opt-in for smart in-app notifications to stay updated on a specific issue or ticket.

  9. Attach Stamps
  10. Appy Pie’s Community Builder helps you make a community where you can attach stamps to the user comments, feedback, and posts. You can acknowledge user posts using these pre-defined stamps and help them know what has been started, responded, completed, or declined.

  11. Block Spams
  12. With Appy Pie Community, you can build your own forum that flags suspicious content for approval or review before you publish it.

  13. Intelligent Analytics
  14. You can also create a free forum that helps you perform intelligent analytics. This analysis helps you shortlist the most popular posts, ideas, searches, content, issues, and much more. This way, you can also reach out to the top contributors and the major issues that they are reporting. You can also perform this analysis based on metrics like several comments, posts, views, followers, etc.

Conclusion

That was all for now. I hope after reading this article you have almost made up your mind to create an online community forum for your website. And, why shouldn’t you? Who doesn’t want to maintain good relationships with their customers? Creating a community platform for your customers is one of the best things that you can do to help them fix their issues. Visit the Appy Pie Community page and start creating your own community forum today!

Citations

Sales Force
Freshdesk

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Ruchi Gohri
About The Author

Ruchi Gohri, content writer at Appy Pie, has penchant for writing. With over 4 years of experience, she plays around with words elegantly, crafting simple content for all to read. In her free time, she loves her couch either to read or catch on her sleep.

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