A community of technology community managers, leaders, and builders.

Session 8C: Table 8 - First year challenges of a support community

Companies represented: Boeing, Rackspace, New Relic

Q: How many are in the process of launching a community?
A: 2 members of the group

Q:How many are in the first year of building a Community?  
A: Most of the group

Q: What challenges are you facing, and what would you like to get out of this session? 
moving from legacy support channels to a new community based support channel 
Do we still need support agents? sharing publicly? 
What incentives should we use so that users start helping each other
How do you get the younger people asking the right questions, how do you get the older people to participate?  
Return engagement

Common new community Challenges

Engagement & buy-in (internal & external) - Why should I care, this isn’t my job (intrinsic motivators) 
Authentic Content - Ain’t nobody got time for that
Return on Investment  - Why did I give you my money
Burnout - Do all the things

What works Well
Develop Guiding Principles for your Community and your Community management
Define Desired Outcome and how that contrasts with the current state
Create a foundation of Community management -what they will do, how they will be measured, processes
Create an network of internal promoters, based on intrinsic motivation. 
Engage Senior Leadership team early and often


Engage employees early in the design processes
Require new products to gather feedback for beta’s through the Community Online
Small scale in person meet ups can drive engagement 
Push anything from RSS feeds each day that is relevant to your audience into the forum if you are a community of practice
Regularly send invitations to answer open questions directly to your experts
If posts are challenging and go unanswered try posting the question to twitter and potentially tag an expert from other communities 
Challenges in going from legacy with quick support and help to going public are many, there are a lot of ways to incentive that but it depends on the needs or internal and external. 
Having staff help and knowing you have backup, and having content in the Community will help it not be a grave yard. 
build relationships with people in the Community by having fun. informality may work if it fits your company culture. 
Having a successful community, you need investment, you need clear goals, the ability to know that you can get people to participate. 
Have a mechanic to get support in there. (tangible benefits) 
Having it be a solo channel. 
Create an environment that makes people feel like they are getting what they need. (street creed, points, swag, relationships)

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