Social customer experience has gone beyond the traditional social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn- also transcended online feedback communities like Yelp, Trust pilot and Feefo, to crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
Crowd funding simply means, the act of using the internet to fund a project, by raising small amounts of money from several persons. For the past couple of weeks, I have spent a great deal of time going through crowd funding platforms to understand the social CX insights that could be derived.
Crowd funding platforms are becoming increasingly important avenues for Startups and entrepreneurs, to test or launch a product. It is a crowded space but the level of experience delivered to backers (customers) differs from one project owner to the next. I have garnered a host of insights from how social customer experiences are delivered on crowdfunding platforms.
Social CX insights from Crowd funding platforms
These insights are not limited to crowd funding websites but could be applicable to other online platforms including company web portals.
1) Customer-centric brand message: Most successful crowd funding projects are accompanied with a Video, as majority of the successful projects, tend to have a video that is premised on the customer, expressing how the product or project benefits the customer. This same principle could be applied to traditional advertising like TV and radio. The customer experience does not start when a customer grabs their credit card to back a project, the journey begins when they click to play the kickstarter video, TV, Youtube, Instagram, Vine and all forms of multimedia advertising platforms. A leaf should be borrowed from successful crowdfunding project creators- as their brand message is not about how cool their product is but how the quality of life of the customer will be improved with the product.
2) A resonating story: The second insight from crowdfunding websites is the story behind the product or project. Successful project creators and product designers, tend to have a compelling story that inspired the creation. They share the story through the voice of the customer. What this means, is that, the story is not a self -promoting one, but a customer-elevating tale. It’s a story that empowers the customer, one which makes them see themselves in the brand or product.
3) Keeping in the loop (Updates): Crowd funding platform owners do encourage creators to update the customers as the funding clock ticks. These updates do engage and keep alive the customer journey and experience. Most projects that post regular updates, have backers (customers) staying on. Backers have a choice to withdraw their backing before the project ends or in a non-crowd funding space, return a good within the exchange and refund period. Customers (backers) do not want to be ignored, they need to be updated, and that enhances the customer experience.
4) Time frame in replying to a comment: The time it takes to reply to a comment or question is very important. On the average, successful crowd funding projects on kickstarter do take about six hours to reply to most comments or questions. This is very important not just on crowdfunding platforms but on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Trustpilot and so on. The time frame it takes to replying to a customer, shows how important they are to you.
5) Identifying and personalising your replies: Most successful crowd funding project creators personalise their replies by mentioning the name of the customers. They capture every bit of the question or comment in their reply.
6) Under promise and over deliver: This is an advice that works across multiple platforms. It is advisable to overestimate shipping dates for rewards so as to prevent disappointing customers.
7) Search engine and open air CX: When you launch a product or project on kickstarter, the search engines captures every moment. When you fail to deliver a product, customers or backers in this scenario can post their frustration or anger on your crowdfunding page. Your CX disaster becomes glaring to the entire world.
This list may not be all the Social CX insights from cowdfunding platforms but it gives you an idea that Social CX in a crowded market place may be the differentiator between a successful and an unsuccessful business.