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This September, the 2016 Customer Intelligence Summit explored the latest trends in market research, customer experience and product innovation. Of the 18 breakout sessions, one in particular stood out: setting up for success with GoDaddy, WXIA-TV and Lancaster General Health.

During this session, we learned that launching an insight community is easier with careful planning. Cassie Mally, the director of UX at GoDaddy, Amanda White, the marketing director at WXIA-TV, and Alesha Rhinier, the customer engagement project manager at Lancaster General Health, shared their top six tips on how to launch an insight community.

  1. Gather stakeholder feedback

All three brand representatives stressed the importance of involving relevant stakeholders before launch. Rhinier, to get a well-rounded business perspective, established a multidisciplinary team with representation from marketing, customer engagement, business development and network security. Similarly, White met with key internal stakeholders at WXIA-TV to determine goals, roles and expectations before building out a strategy for an insight community.

  1. Consider your brand guidelines

White reminded customer intelligence pros in the room to refer to brand guidelines when designing your insight community. If brands want customers to openly share personal details and provide honest feedback, it should be clear that this is a trusted site and an extension of the brand. The brand experience must be seamless, no matter where the customer engages.

  1. Treat your profiling questionnaire with care

summit-session-2016Think ahead and create a strategy for the first survey that you’ll ask your community. This first engagement offers your brand a chance to ask community members personal questions. When done right, it will help you to segment members into different interest groups, customer personas and demographics. Ensure that all applicable stakeholders play a role in developing the profiling questions.

The profiling questionnaire should also set the tone for future communications with your insight community. Follow your brand guidelines and make it consistent with other external communications. Rhinier suggested leaning on your customer success manager at Vision Critical to ensure you get it right the first time.

  1. Take time to get your community composition right

Mally emphasized how important the initial ‘getting to know you’ questions were for GoDaddy to get the community member composition right. Asking the right questions from the get-go allowed her to match the customer population to personas and segments. The composition of your community becomes essential when targeting audience groups and demographics with product and service questions. For example, brands could target Millennial buyers with new product ideas before investing in development.

  1. Plan, design and schedule activities for the first three months

Have a plan that includes training, rollout, usage, scheduling and resourcing. Rhinier suggested organizing your thoughts around what creative will look like, how you will train and recruit members into the community and how often you will communicate. White found it useful when setting up her insight community to plan the first three months ahead of time—and get stakeholders to sign off on it. This is helpful to stay organized and line up additional resourcing if necessary.

  1. Make recruitment a top priority

“Increasing membership to our insight community is a top priority,” says White. One solution: regularly brainstorm new and creative ways to encourage more customers to participate in the insight community. GoDaddy, for example, hosts many in-person activities such as meetups to drive registration and make community involvement more fun and interactive.

How to Use an Insight Community to Improve Customer Experience

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