5 Evolution Steps of Community thinking. And they are all valid...!
You probably recognize it. NPS, SEO, CRM. Pretty much everybody in the business knows what they mean and when you talk about them you have a common understanding. Very handy if you want to move forward. Not so in community land. The lingo in community land is almost certain to lead to confusion. Sometimes they lead to hilarious situations but usually, they lead to either loss of business or loss of executive interest with disappointment as the bottom line. In a next post, I will dwell on some of the detail confusions but first let's start with the main issue: Purpose. What is the community for? It is always to achieve a business result. Every step you see below is a VALID choice.
Morphing, the new chique in Customer Success
Most of us already know the paradigm shift: "Are we in the business of selling drills or making holes?" It is the shift from 'selling tools' to 'selling solutions'. Pick any tech site at the moment, and you will find "Our solutions". My take on this story is that - in order to lead in your customer success - you should move from "making holes" to "hanging up a painting", because the hole was made to drive the success of the result: A painting on the wall.
UX is not a job, it is a team effort.
UX is not a job, it is a team effort. Everyone is a designer and makes design choices which impact the customer.
The Online Conversation Imperative
For years I have been working on building online communities. I'm not a fan of telling other people "I told you so" and I certainly won't start now. What did happen is that all that work I have been doing organizing trusted conversations with big strategies and programs all of a sudden were dressed down to the essentials of my work: People rely on trusted conversations!
The Inevitable Joy of growing a Community
If you get down to the essence of what a customer needs, it is basically two things: Good software and good people. With digital transformation well underway, and 'traditional' companies regularly exploring platform business models and exposing digital services, this is not only true anymore for software product companies. You need to have the right software and you need the right mix of capable persons to make a business difference. Ironically these are two sides of the same coin.
The Inevitable Pain of growing a Community
Building a community feels a lot like a soft re-org. It is a mirror of what we do. It becomes visible. I always compare it to a petri-dish. When you start, the infected (changed habits) are visible and the red background is the norm. The trick is to get as much momentum going that over time the remaining non-infected (red areas) are most visible.
Headless Apps and Bottomless Marketing
For quite some time I - and probably all of us - have been struggling to deliver great customer value in time and make sure that you keep delivering and be agile enough to make the right evolution steps. It seems that this is a worldwide problem which of course is not a surprise.
The Ecosystem Multiverse: You live in many worlds
Those that have been working with me, know that I ventilate uninhibited thoughts here. Not something you should always do with your immediate business peers, but here, this is OK I guess. In my current engagements, I have the good fortune to talk to really bright people and they inspire me to translate them into foundational ideas that drive my work.