Five Tips for Building a Strong Customer Community in 2022

By Setareh Motamedi, Vice President of Marketing at Fuel Cycle

Customers have always been important to market research. But with the recent surge of brands accounting for customer experience in strategies, their importance is even more pronounced. According to a study conducted by PwC, 32% of all customers would stop doing business with a brand they loved after one bad experience. This means brands need to be cognizant of what customers value in order to provide meaningful experiences to them, or risk losing them.

For brands to learn more about customers’ wants and needs, they need to build a strong community to understand their customers. Engaging and connecting with the customer base is the only way to get firsthand knowledge about what they want in an experience. To explain how, I’ve gathered expert opinions from leaders across various industries to share tips for how they’re building a strong customer community in 2022.

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Forge Connections With Customers Through Engagement 

“Customers feel more attracted to the brands that make them feel connected. Therefore, the best way to build a strong customer community is by participating in the discussion related to your brand. Your customers will only feel connected when they feel like they’re heard. Try to give a more personalized and quick response to their queries. It’s a great way to make them feel like a part of the decision-making process.” – Laura Roeder, founder & CEO, Paperbell Coaching Software

Appeal to Customers With Interactive and User-Generated Content 

“Connecting the fragmented consumer journey is a struggle all brands are facing. As the primary connection between brands and consumers transitions to a primarily and ever-cluttered virtual one, leveraging micro-moments via the utilization of omnichannel marketing to engage customers is critical. To further engage endemic customers, brands are optimizing their omnichannel marketing strategies to include more interactive and user-generated content across a wider variety of trending channels. From user and influencer created product reviews to interactive AR product features, brands are enhancing their customer engagement strategies to meet the modern consumer when and where they are spending their virtual time in ways that will delight and engage them.” – Jay Kulkarni, founder & CEO, Theorem

Gather Customer Feedback to Build Strong Relationships

“Organizations are bracing themselves for the customer shift to 2022.

With increased dependence on cloud services and artificial intelligence, customers will no longer be content with the limited interactions they have with companies today. This shift will require organizations looking towards new strategies to build strong relationships with their customers. A key component of this relationship is ensuring that your organization has a community of loyal users who can impact company direction by providing valuable feedback and insights through engagement.

Building these communities starts with gaining insights into your current customer audience. This can be done by utilizing feedback tools within social media channels like Twitter or Reddit to understand how customers feel about different topics related to your product or service. Or by conducting surveys around common pain points that you wish to address in future product iterations.

Your company must then develop a plan to build a community that will strengthen the relationship with your customer base in a lasting and powerful way. Your community should be enthusiastic to garner feedback from users – who are typically more vocal when they feel their voices are being heard.” – Scott Steward, founder & CEO, HiCollectors

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Leverage Omnichannel Marketing

“With so many paths to purchase now available to consumers, omnichannel marketing has proven that it allows brands to provide customers with a consistent experience across various channels and devices. And as more audiences begin to make purchases through social media, it’s becoming clear that for us to better engage with our customer base in 2022, we need to start effectively maximizing the return on investment across channels like text, in-app, push or social media. And this will involve utilizing AI-driven personalization and automation tools in order to efficiently drive a more human-centric approach that provides our customers with a seamless customer purchase journey across multiple avenues.” – Eden Cheng, co-founder, PeopleFinderFree

Implement Strategies That Revolve Around Care, Customers and Advocacy 

“We are implementing the following strategies and tactics for our partners to help them build a strong customer community: creating a culture of care, listening to customer insights and encouraging brand advocates.

Creating a culture of care helps build brand loyalty, trust and pride. Strategies for executing this include responding to customer inquiries in a quick, authentic and personal manner. The goal is to make a customer feel like they are shopping in a physical store and can ask an employee any question they have about the product or service. This can be done by using onsite chatbots or resources to reach a customer care team via phone or email quickly and efficiently.

Another important factor is customer insights. The goal for any brand is to know what the customer thinks and wants. By leveraging social listening tools (Such as HubSpot, Sprout Social and Hootsuite), brands can understand their customer’s problems and needs. Furthermore, we encourage brands to actively seek feedback from past clients. Then, they can incorporate these ideas into the purchase process to improve it for future customers.

Finally, we encourage brands to look for advocates for their brands. Customers who love and trust a brand will share their positive thoughts with peers or on social media. This is a form of referral marketing as it instantly delivers customers down the purchase funnel.” – Geoff Crain, digital director, Kingstar Media

Customers continue to play an instrumental role in a company’s success, even more so than before. Building a community where brands can listen to what customers want in experiences will create better ones. Once better experiences are created, both customers and brands will be left satisfied.

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