Customer retention is often considered more challenging than prospecting or keeping them engaged with the business until a deal is closed successfully. What matters more to a business is that their customers keep returning, as well as the word-of-mouth from a loyal client base that brings in more prospects. This is the true measure of success.
While there are many strategies to reach out to one's customers and stay in touch with them to ensure business activities aligns with their interest, one of the most important, rewarding, and cost-effective tools is to provide a platform where customers from various businesses and interests engage amongst themselves, learn more about your products, reach out to your support teams without difficulty, and get their issues resolved by experts proactively.
Community is an online forum that provides customers a self-service platform to connect with fellow customers, discuss topics, share ideas, ask questions about products, share suggestions and feedback, receive important notifications, and stay informed about the company's whereabouts.
Agents can perform the following actions in a community while adding a topic
A default topic type based on the community configuration will be displayed. However, the agent can choose a suitable topic type while posting a topic.
- The following topic types are available in Community:
- Discussion - Any topic that is intended for discussion with other users can be selected under discussion.
- Announcement - Agents will select this topic type when there is an announcement from the organization's side.
- Question - Agents can raise a question for the other users or on behalf of the organization to the users using this topic type.
- Idea - Agents can share their ideas with the other users on behalf of the organization and have interactions in community.
- Problem - Agents can provide insights into issues that other users may have encountered.
While adding a topic, agents can utilize the following options
- Predefined text styles : Significant content in the post can be easily formatted to highlight important points for readers, which ensures easy understanding.
- Insert an image : Adding an image in the article provide a visual break from text-based content and can make a topic more engaging.
- Image property: An image used in a community post can also be linked backed with an URL.
- Alt tag: A text defining the image that will be displayed if there is any issue in loading image. For example, if an image regarding a car model is used, a tag can be displayed referring to the image.
- Description: A brief description that can be attached with every image used in the post. If the image is indexed in Google, it will help users to have a brief idea by reading the short description.
- Image link back URL - Users or visitors will be directed to required topic, when they come across the image on the web. An user can also link to a previously published topic in the community.
- Align: The images in the post can be aligned with precision.
- Tags: Agents can provide relevant tags to their community post. Tags will help users easily find, navigate, and discover specific topics or subjects of interest within the community.
- Share post via email: A topic can be directly shared with users such as a sales manager, a third party vendor the moment a relevant topic is published. A maximum of five emails can be added.
- SEO for an optimized search
- Title: The text that will appear on the browser tab when accessing different topics in a community. It is also the brief description of a page that appears in search results.
- Meta Description: A brief description of the article.
- Meta Keywords: Enter a series of keywords that are relevant to the community article.
- 'NoIndex' and 'NoFollow': Toggling these option on will allow search engines (most notably Google) to index or follow any links on the community article.
- Post preferences:
- Follow this topic: User will get notified on any updates related to the post.
- Make it as sticky post: Making a post sticky will make it appear on the top of all the posts.
- Featured image: Forum post links are generally shared over social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. A relatable image for a post will increase the interest on the post, resulting in higher clicks.
Featured image allows agents to share the right image with the post link.
Agents will be able to add a featured image either by selecting an image from within the post or upload it separately.
- Edit the Permalink of a topic: A permalink with relevant keywords improves article readability for SEO bots, thereby increasing traffic. Agents have the option to modify the permalink of their post topic to make it more relatable to the context.
- Save as Draft: Agents can create a post and save it as a draft. They can publish it later after all the necessary updates.
To add a new topic
- Click Community module in the top bar.
- Click Add Topic icon.
- On the Add New Topic page, select a Topic Type.
- In the Editor, enter the Post title and the Description for the topic.
- Specify the Category and the Forum for the post.
- Provide appropriate Tags.
- Add the required Emails.
- Select the Post Preferences
- Follow this topic
- Make it as sticky post
- In the SEO section, below the Editor
- Provide a Title
- Meta Keywords
- Meta description
- Click Preview.
- Edit the Permalink, if needed.
- Click Publish, or save the post as Draft to be published later.
Setting up 301 redirections
A permalink with relevant keywords improves article readability for SEO bots, thereby increasing organic traffic. Such a permalink also encourages users to share the article on social media, emails, and other digital channels. Additionally, it ensures proper tracking of redirected permalinks when making modifications to the article.
Agents have the option to modify the permalink of their article and utilize 301 redirections to direct visitors to the updated URL, also maintaining SEO rankings.
To add 301 redirection to an article
- Click Community module in the top bar.
- Click on the required Topic.
- Click Edit.
- In the Editor, click on the Permalink, then click Edit.
- In the Update permalink section, enter the new URL.
- Click Save and add 301 redirection.
Other actions that can be performed after a post is published
Once a topic is published, sometimes an agent may need to make some important changes in the post. They can utilize the following options.
- Edit a post - Users can edit a post they have made.
- Delete a post - Any post can be deleted.
- Comment on a post - Agents can share their views on any topics posted in the community.
- Lock a post - When a post is locked, further edits cannot be done, unless unlocked. Comments will also not be added to the post.
- Change topic type - The post topic type can be changed to the required one.
- Move this topic - After a topic is published, it can be forwarded to the right category and respective forum.
- Make this sticky - An important post can be pinned in the community so that users find it easily.
- Permalink - By clicking on the permalink of the post, it will open on a new window.
Set time and date format
Help Center users can set the date and time format to their current location to view the exact time the community posts and announcements were made as per their preferred format.
To set time and date format
- Sign in to the organization's Help Center.
- Hover and click on the Profile.
- Click View Profile.
- On the profile page, click Manage Profile > Edit Profile.
- On the Profile Editor, scroll down to Location and select the following:
- Country name
- Time Zone
- Time Format
- Date Format
- Click Save.