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Thought Leadership

“Products have users, Platforms have Communities”

As the world is busy dealing with the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, we are also discovering the power of communities and networks in disseminating information on best practices, prevention measures, and strategies to contain the pandemic. The power of collective institutions whether formal or informal are best illustrated in a time of crisis. I am a great admirer of the Israeli Kibbutz- collective communities that transformed an inhospitable land into a thriving agricultural powerhouse. They illustrated the power of communities, driven by a collective interest, growing and supporting each other and working towards a common purpose.

While we are collectively figuring out how to handle this crisis, I am also struck by the realization that Communities, (especially for products and/or platforms with a large group of users) also have tremendous value in driving business success.

Some of the biggest platforms that come to my mind are Microsoft’s MSDN forums, Apple Support Communities, and Salesforce communities. All these three iconic businesses have reaped enormous success thanks to the power of these communities.

Any product or platform that aspires to scale can no longer ignore the power of communities – it is not only a first line of defense and support, but also a critical success factor for customer acquisition and retention.

We at coMakeIT have a collaborative partnership with Telligent, an industry-leading community platform, with which we can help you build and scale powerful communities.

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In the early days, communities in the software industry served a very narrow function – namely, sharing static content related to product support and trouble shooting. Since that time, communities have evolved into a multi-faceted and versatile tool to increase brand awareness, develop brand loyalty, generate insights on product usage, understand customer needs and deliver better outcomes. Communities should try to facilitate and fulfill the following critical needs for any product or platform:

Generate real-time feedback & facilitate customer discovery 
For most businesses, collecting and processing customer feedback is often an expensive and time-consuming process. Communities serve as an important platform to test new ideas, collect real-time feedback on existing and new features, which could be an invaluable tool to plan future enhancements and deliver improved customer experience. Communities can provide an early and continuous feedback loop which will allow businesses to discover evolving customer needs and help them adjust their product development roadmaps.

Build user generated content on product usage
Traditional support content doesn’t cater to every conceivable product use case and hence is ineffective in providing troubleshooting guidance in non-standard scenarios. Online communities encourage users to share their experience, knowledge, and issues, which helps in producing lots of user-generated content, that is more authentic, engaging, and practical. Over a period of time, successful communities nurture and develop engaged customers, which goes a long way in increasing loyalty.

Brand building, customer loyalty, and retention
Many successful products and platforms have built massive online communities and engaged their customers through a multitude of channels. Consistent engagement leads to a sense of belonging to a community, which results in better branding, develops customer loyalty, and ultimately over a period of time delivers increased customer retention. Businesses must build communities with a broader goal of providing an effective platform to engage and support their customers and members and deliver consistent value.

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Be the Change, Walk the Talk : We launched an innovative initiative to promote United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) through a booklet to share daily actions related to 17 SDGs. Through this booklet, we hope to make all our employees ambassadors of Sustainable Development at home, at work, and in society with 170, easy-to-follow actions as part of their day-to-day life.

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International Women’s Day & Sehat Month: We hosted numerous activities to celebrate the International Women’s day, with a specific emphasis on good health & well-being. We organized a health camp and offered free screening for all our women employees. We also conducted a session on ‘mindfulness’ to reduce stress, and improve quality of life, in which a counselling psychologist shared her insights on how to tackle serious mental health conditions such as ‘clinical depression’ with our employees.


Tree of Gratitude: We launched ‘Tree of Gratitude’ an innovative drive to spread positivity among all our employees. We encouraged them to recognize their colleagues to whom they feel grateful for any reason, and urged them to not reciprocate, but pay forward to others. We strongly believe such initiatives will go a long way in nurturing empathy, which is a critical success factor in collaborative environments.

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Virtually Onboarding !! We are believers in happy welcoming of our new employees. Company values expand beyond the walls of the office and we make sure our new members feel welcome into that culture. Our virtual onboarding is smart, efficient, and fast too so that it hampers employee’s ability to perform their job. We have designed our induction program to bridge the physical distance virtually and productively.

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