Month: February 2019
The hardest community managers to replace are the ones who care the most.
These are people who don’t just answer questions but go the extra mile to make sure the members feel respected, cared for, and appreciated for bringing issues to the community’s attention.
These are the people who realise they are a vessel for every member to feel like they have influence, support, and are important to the brand. Sure, your organization might not be able to adapt to the whim of every customer with a problem, but you certainly can.
These are the people who don’t just respond to the question but acknowledge the frustration, find a solution instead of just an answer and try to end the interaction on a positive note. Better yet, they follow up to check the answer work.
These are the people who realise you’re not just spending time crafting an answer to a single member but to the dozens, hundreds, possibly even thousands of people who will read the answer.
The best way to find these people isn’t by asking them if they care in a job interview, but by seeing how they participated in their last community.
If you’re not sure if you’re one of these people, you can test yourself. Take your last 5 community posts and see how you would fit into the community standards below.
Next month repeat the process and see if you improved. Caring might be free but the community managers who really care are rare and worth the premium you should pay for them. Anyone who goes the extra mile often enough is going to cover a lot of distance.
You can ask this question about their lives or about the community.
It works on two levels.
1) It reveals what members are proud to have/have achieved which they can share with others. This creates a more positive atmosphere in the community.
2) It also reveals which aspects of the community members are proud of. You can spend more time promoting these aspects (or relevant metrics) to members.
What are your members proud of?
Most of our communities are tragically undervaluing members like Steven.
The top 0.000001% (that 1 special member in 100,000) posts thousands of times a year (sometimes a thousand times a month).
That’s a lot of answers to a lot of questions. If each answer is seen by just 20 people who need it, that’s 20 people who don’t need to call support or file a ticket. If each call costs $5, each then each answer becomes worth $100. Now we measure the value of Steven’s thousands of contributions per year in six to seven figures.
Of course, most Steven’s don’t just answer questions, they create blog posts, share advice, remove spam, advocate etc…
If the lifetime value of a customer is what they buy over the course of their lifetime, the lifetime value of a member is the total value of all their contributions. Someone like Steven is easily worth millions of dollars.
You shouldn’t just be flying people like Steven in to meet your company, you should be flying them first class, putting them up in a penthouse, helping them plan the most amazing week of their lives. Investing $20k…even $50k…on members who are creating millions of dollars in value is an absolute bargain.
You shouldn’t have them connecting with junior community managers, they should be connecting with the senior managers and other senior leaders.
Sure, you can offer badges, access, and insider looks on future products to motivate people like Steven. Each of them plays a handy role. But it wouldn’t even compare to photos of Steven sitting in a First Class airline cabin with the CEO on the way to the next annual conference.
What could be more motivating to the next Steven than seeing photos of the very top members sitting in first-class sharing a drink with the CEO?
Don’t do the minimum required to keep Steven happy…blow his expectations completely out of the water.
It’s a bargain.