CROWDS is a community powered, peer-to-peer, social resolution tool on Twitter. What it does, in a nutshell, is trawls Twitter for questions about your brand and products, and organises everything in a way that makes it easy for experts (the power users) to help the community.
One of the most frequent questions we get asked at Conversocial is, “what does CROWDS do that INSERT NAME doesn’t do”? Which is a fair question since CROWDS is the first app of its kind.
I’ve written this quick summary of the experience the most common support platforms offer askers (people with problems), experts (people with answers) and customers (companies).
Forums are the oldest, and most common type of support community on internet. They’re cheap, easy to set up, but hard to leverage efficiently.
The warm and welcoming embrace of a technical forum
Asker experience: For customers, finding the right forum to answer their questions can be a challenge. They must then create an account and hope that the right expert comes across their query and gives them the right information. These tasks will take at least several minutes to complete, assuming the asker has sufficient computer skills to both express their problem in technical terms and go through the account creation and validation. This excludes 44% of internet users.
Forums, being formal communities, are also particularly intimidating which means that less than 10% of forum readers will actually post content (1/9/90 rule).
Expert experience: Experts need to proactively search for content. Questions posted in the wrong place will go unanswered. Large numbers of questions will dramatically decrease legibility, and duplicates will clutter forums.
Companies: Brands can set up forums at their discretion, but funnelling the right questions to the right experts remains a challenge. Maintaining forums requires staff and/or volunteers.
FAQs are very useful tools, if you know what you’re looking for.
Very useful information… probably
Asker experience: Askers with lower-than-average technical skills will feel that locating the right help articles is long and difficult. Answers provided are often generic and out-of-date. Also, what if the seeker isn’t quite sure how to word their question or the right terminology? It can be like looking for a needle in a knowledge-base haystack.
Expert experience: FAQs are usually created and managed by staff, not experts. Expert-maintained FAQs, especially the larger ones, run the risk of seeing less popular or engaging topics fall by the wayside or be irregularly maintained.
Companies: Creating and maintaining a comprehensive FAQ covering all major problems and products is a long, difficult, and endless task that will require the involvement of technically skilled employees. FAQs grow larger and are harder to navigate over time because of feature creep, version updates and new products. Localizing FAQs is also costly.
Support through email is great, if you're willing to wait.
Asker experience: The asker will first need to locate the correct email address to use. If your "contact us" page isn’t set up correctly, it can cause a lot of friction in the customer experience. Resolution will then usually require several email sent over several hours, or even days. This is not the kind of response time that you want.
Expert experience: Emails are answered by staff, not experts, and therefore do not leverage your community’s energy, skills or potential.
Companies: Customer support structures are expensive to set up and maintain. You will need to recruit, train and manage employees. Providing support around the clock and across languages is costly.
CROWDs gets just about everything right.
Asker experience: CROWDS is completely invisible to the asker, who is simply tweeting from the comfort of their personal account. This means that there is absolutely no barrier-to-entry and does not require any prior research from the asker. Answers are always personalised, fresh and technically up-to-date regardless of the language of the product.
Expert experience: Experts only receive pre-sorted questions relevant to them, removing the need to search for questions across multiple sources or pages. This, in turn, leaves experts with more time to answer questions. The CROWDS mobile app allows experts to answer questions even when away from their computer. Experts can also provide support in any language.
Companies: Brands can set up and tweak CROWDS’ search and filters to perfectly match their needs. This means that the right content always gets to the right people. Regular reports from Conversocial’s support team ensures that brands get the most out of their community.
So if you’re ready for a customer care solution that creates a smooth, efficient support experience and leaves you in control, get in touch with us for a CROWDS demo.