Insights Communities for Small Business and Big Rewards

Imagine being able to tap into your VIP customers whenever you have a burning issue. That issue that's been lingering in your mind, soaking up valuable time within the team, debating the pros and cons. When in most cases, customers can give you the answer.

Recently a friend shared a story of a series of frustrating meetings he was involved in. About what type of disposable cup to use in a franchise. Both options had some positive and negative environmental considerations. But they didn't know what the customer would think.

Now instead of asking those it most affected, they kept debating. Wow!  What's the ROI on endless team meetings and email chains? Thousands of dollars, and they still don't know if they made the right decision!

Insight Communities are aspirational to those of us converted to the concept. It’s the idea of tapping into segments of fans within minutes, when a crisis hits. Or when you just need to resolve an issue, or maybe you need clarity on a new idea.  And all while building brand advocates. Well, it's hard to resist.

But it can be a beast that needs a major commitment. Everyone from the top down has to be on-board. And maintaining it is a specialist role, with constant communications and interactions to keep the community engaged.

The alternative?

Now I wouldn’t be telling you about all these benefits if we didn’t have a solution.

That’s a ‘Pop-Up Community’ - the one you always have, but only when you need it.

I’ve put together some practical steps to get you started on the journey.  But with a lot less stress on the bottom-line.

Step 1 - The Database

Some customer lists can only be described as dysfunctional, through to the well-maintained permission-database that instantly responds to requests.

The former is just a nightmare, making it almost impossible to gather insights. Which of course is a real problem when you have an issue.

A lot of businesses assume that social media is their community. And yes, it’s a Social Community, but you wouldn’t air your dirty laundry or explore new ideas in public view for your competitors.

Step 2 - Make It Of Value

It's a fact of life, but unless there’s something in it for your fans, they won't get involved. It's all well and good to want to reach out to your audience. But who wants to be on yet another email list? However, if they see value, then sure - they'll even look out for your emails!

When it comes to incentivisation, think of your audience, and what they would value. 

It could be, exclusive insider information and VIP access to special offers ahead of the crowd. Maybe a special discount on what they normally buy. If you’re selling to other businesses, then think about what they would value most. It maybe your professional time. Get a bit creative.

Step 3 - Make It Fun

We live in a world that’s more about people taking than giving.  So along with incentives, keep it light and fun. 

When you write your email invitation, make it personal. Give them a reason why they should participate, and make them smile.  A warm & friendly invitation is so much more engaging. Which results in not only more people getting involved, but we’ve also seen how it improves the quality of their responses.

Make Research Fun-Engage4Insights

For example …

I recently received an email from LastPass.

"Hi there,

Thanks so much for giving LastPass a try!

We have a quick question that we hope you'll answer to help us make LastPass better. Just fill out this short survey and let us know. We'd really appreciate it.


I can hear the exec meeting ..."we need to understand why conversions are down from our free account, throw out a survey".

But would you be excited about clicking on their link?  It wasn’t even addressed to me personally.

OR would this make a difference?

"Hey Judy,

Welcome and thanks for giving LastPass a try!

As CEO I drive our team to give you a better experience.

So I have a quick question that will really help us, to help you.

And as thanks for your time, I'm extending your free trial for another (x) weeks.

Talk soon,
Joe Siegrist

Now I appreciate in this example the invitation was to a survey, but it’s a good illustration of how a few tweaks can change our perception of being valued.

Step 4 - Let's Chat

Now a community wouldn't work without providing a convenient way for people to gather round and share their stories and ideas.

That’s where cliizii comes in.  It’s designed to bring people together in a secure, private online space, that’s a bit of fun as well.

Fan Disccussion Group - cliizii

It’s flexible enough to use for any insight gathering. But it’s the feeling of connectedness that makes it personal and engaging for both you and your audience.

It doesn't matter how frequently you chat, just as long as you make it meaningful and engaging. Which will be memorable and shareable with their friends, building Word-Of-Mouth.

There’s nothing more motivating for your fan, beyond any monetary rewards than actually being invited behind the scenes, being part of the team and feeling valued.

If you’d like to see cliizii in action and discuss how it could help your business, schedule a Free Demo today.

Judy Celmins is the co-founder of cliizii.  The world’s first qualitative research platform designed as a High-Energy Fan Event.

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