The impact of community management shortage on customer satisfaction, and so much more!
Community management is the art and science of engaging, nurturing and empowering a group of people who share a common passion, purpose or identity. Community managers are the ones who create and maintain a positive and inclusive community culture, foster trust and loyalty, and provide value and support to the community. Community managers also facilitate communication, collaboration and feedback among community members, as well as between the community and the organization that hosts or supports it.
Community management is not a new idea, but it has become more crucial and challenging in the digital age, where customers have more options, expectations and voices than ever before. Customers are no longer passive buyers of products or services, but active contributors and co-creators of value. They look for authentic and meaningful interactions with brands and other customers, and they expect personalized and responsive solutions to their needs and problems. They also have the power to influence the reputation and success of a brand through their feedback, reviews and referrals. Quite simply the community management shortage has greatly impacted customer service within associations.
In this context, community management is a key driver for customer happiness, loyalty and retention. According to a report by CMX and Qualtrics, 77% of community professionals say that their community has had a positive impact on customer retention, 66% say that it has increased customer satisfaction, and 56% say that it has increased customer loyalty. Moreover, 86% of community professionals say that their community has helped them achieve their organization’s goals.
What is Creating the Gap?
However, despite the growing recognition of the value and impact of community management, there is also a gap of qualified and experienced community managers in the market. According to a survey by The Community Roundtable, 41% of community professionals say that finding and hiring community talent is a challenge for their organization. The reasons for this gap include:
- A lack of standardized and widely accepted definitions, roles and skills for community management
- A lack of formal education and training programs for community management
- A lack of awareness and understanding of the benefits and challenges of community management among senior leaders and decision makers
- A lack of adequate resources, tools and support for community management within organizations
- A high demand and competition for community talent across different industries and sectors
Consequences of the Gap in Qualified Leadership
The consequences of this gap are serious and detrimental for both organizations and customers. Without enough community managers, organizations may face:
- A loss of customer trust, engagement and loyalty
- A decline in customer happiness, retention and advocacy
- A decrease in customer feedback, insights and innovation
- A damage to their brand reputation and image
- A missed opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competitors and create a competitive advantage
Therefore, it is essential for organizations to address the community management gap and invest in attracting, developing and retaining community talent. Some of the possible solutions include:
- Creating clear and consistent definitions, roles and expectations for community management
- Developing and implementing comprehensive and customized training and development programs for community management
- Providing adequate resources, tools and support for community management, such as budget, time, technology and recognition
- Fostering a culture of collaboration, empowerment and appreciation for community management within the organization
- Building and maintaining a strong employer brand and value proposition for community management
- Leveraging external sources and networks of community talent, such as freelancers, consultants, agencies and communities of practice
Why is Management a Must?
Community management is not a nice-to-have, but a must-have for any organization that wants to succeed in the digital age. By addressing the community management gap, organizations can not only improve their customer happiness, loyalty and retention, but also enhance their innovation, growth and impact. Community management is not a cost, but an investment that pays off in the long run.