Making user forums more useful

08Jan10

For most customers, the whole point of a user forum is to provide a place where they can get questions answered and share tips with other users. There are several ways to make this happen:

– Get so many customers using the forums on a regular basis that virtually every question gets answered by the community.
– Have your staff participate in the forums at least two or three times a week, with the goal of answering all of the questions that others users could not.
– Employ a combination of the two approaches above.

It amazes me to see big, well-staffed companies pushing customers to use the forums, while refusing to dedicate the necessary resources to make the forums useful. There’s nothing more discouraging than finding that someone else has already posted the exact same issue that you’re experiencing, only to see it marked as an “Unanswered question”. When I see a forum riddled with threads like that, it’s a clear sign that I need to look elsewhere for assistance.



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