Customer Wisdom: How UGC Boosts Self-Service Support

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When it comes to customer service, self-service support is a must.

It’s the best way to ensure that customers can quickly and easily find answers to their questions without having to wait for help from agents or representatives.

Not to mention, not using self-service customer support is a waste of all the online resources and technology available to businesses and individuals today.

Social media networks, forums, open-source communication platforms, chatbots, AI, and more are widely available today.

And they enable self-service support through engagement, interactions, and user-generated content (UGC).

User-generated content, in particular, is an increasingly important part of the self-service equation because it enables customers to leverage each other’s wisdom across all kinds of topics.

When done right, UGC helps companies build trust with their customers while also providing them with valuable insights into what they need most from a product or service. In fact, companies that use UGC see an 18% increase in revenue.

In this post, we will discuss how harnessing customer wisdom through UGC can boost self-service support and why it’s so important to do. We’ll also explore the different types of UGC out there, how to use them correctly, and what companies should keep in mind when leveraging user-generated content for their own benefit. Let’s dive in!

How to Leverage Customer Wisdom Through UGC for Self-Service Support

Here are some key steps to ensuring that your customers feel compelled to share their knowledge and wisdom. And that other customers are attracted to your brand and to help themselves thanks to the wealth of content that real people share.

Build an Online Community

To harness the power of customer wisdom for self-service support, it is crucial to build a vibrant online community.

With the internet and social media tools at your disposal, creating a community around virtually any topic is easier than ever.

Here are some steps to build an engaging online community for self-service support.

  • Choose the Right Platform: Start by selecting a platform that suits your community’s needs. Popular options include Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, or even text-based platforms like Slack. These platforms provide free spaces where people can come together and share their insights.
  • Consider Professional Community Spaces: In addition to free platforms, consider investing in professional community spaces. Tools such as membership plugins for your website or dedicated community platforms offer enhanced features and customization options. These options can elevate the experience and professionalism of your community.
  • Set the Stage: Once you have selected a platform, create a dedicated space for your audience, customers, and users. This space should be welcoming, easy to navigate, and encourage active participation. Introduce clear guidelines to foster respectful discussions and ensure that the focus remains on sharing knowledge and wisdom.
  • Foster Engagement: Actively engage with community members and encourage their participation. Initiate thought-provoking discussions, ask for feedback, and respond to questions or comments promptly. Recognize and appreciate valuable contributions from community members to foster a sense of belonging and appreciation.
  • Provide Value: Offer valuable resources, exclusive content, and opportunities for learning within the community. This could include sharing educational materials, organizing webinars or live sessions, or providing access to experts in the field. By offering unique benefits to community members, you encourage their continued engagement and contribution.
  • Encourage Knowledge Sharing: Create a culture of knowledge sharing within the community. Encourage members to share their experiences, insights, and best practices related to your products, services, or industry. Facilitate discussions, ask for success stories, and create spaces where members can collaborate and learn from one another.
  • Moderate and Ensure Quality Control: Implement moderation practices to ensure that the community remains a safe and valuable space for all participants. Set clear guidelines for content quality, respectful communication, and appropriate behavior. Regularly monitor discussions and address any issues or concerns promptly.

Link Conversations to Other Marketing Channels

While building a community is powerful, the truth is that most of your audience will not feel compelled to join a social media group and experience information overload.

You will likely have many more customers and users on other channels like your email list, social media pages, or as recipients of push notifications.

They may not be interested in joining your communities. Or they may not even know that you have communities.

Whatever the case may be, find ways to link or connect the conversations in your forums and groups to other channels .

For example, the art school Nature Studio by Anna Mason, sends out weekly newsletters showcasing key forum discussions that took place.

These emails provide a glimpse into the challenges customers face and the solutions other customers shared with the community.

Nature Studio newsletter showcases community discussions

In this way, even non-participating members become aware that there’s a type of self-service support available to them.

The same Nature Studio class also turns some of these conversations into interesting blog posts that are available to the public. This reaches an even wider audience, engages people, and provides helpful information that attracts more students and helps people with their challenges.

By linking conversations across different channels and providing easy access to user-generated content (UGC), you can encourage visitors to discover the wisdom of previous customers and users as they go through their customer journey with you.

Celebrate Customer Wins

When customers solve their own problems or achieve a successful outcome, celebrate it and showcase it!

Highlight customer stories – especially how they used your product or service to solve their problem – on your website, in emails, and on social media.

Be sure to include real feedback from customers, add images, and link back to your customers’ social media profiles.

Encourage customers to share their stories and successes, and reward them with discounts, gifts, or even informal recognition from your team.

Doing so helps to build a narrative around customer wins, increase trust in your product or service, and inspire other customers to also take action.

This is a great way to educate your audience and also encourage self-help techniques that lighten the workload of your customer support staff.

One example of leverage audience wins can be seen in how the AI content generation tool Jasper, encourages users to create ‘recipes’ – a set of commands and sequences that Jasper users can work with to generate content.

Jasper’s Facebook community often showcases user-created recipes. Image Source

Many adept and pro Jasper users create such recipes to write landing page copy, ebooks, and more. And they share this with the community to help less experienced and knowledgeable users achieve their goals.

Jasper features these recipes on its Facebook group, which reaches even more people. This process gives the top Jasper users motivation to continue creating new recipes and helps other users save time and resources.

Conclusion

Customer wisdom through UGC can greatly contribute to self-service support.

By leveraging the collective knowledge of your customers, you can create valuable content that helps others resolve their issues quickly, build trust in your brand, and save time and resources.

Focus on creating a comfortable space for your customers to collaborate and share their experiences, provide exclusive benefits that encourage knowledge sharing, and celebrate customer wins to create an ecosystem of continuous self-service support.

The end result will be an engaged, loyal customer base that trusts in your product or service.

Syed Balkhi
Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site. With over 10 years of experience, he’s the leading WordPress expert in the industry. You can learn more about Syed and his portfolio of companies by following him on his social media networks.

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