Community-led World Summit: London and Online

The new home for Evolving Community Leaders.

Francisco Opazo
 · Community Builder, Founder at Led by Community

Maximizing Community Engagement for Business Success: Takeaways from Andrew Claremont's Presentation

Meet Andrew Claremont, head of community at Glide, with a wealth of experience managing online communities and user groups.

Understanding the Customer Journey

Overview of the Customer Life Cycle

The customer life cycle refers to the stages a customer goes through in their relationship with a business. It typically includes the following phases:

  1. Awareness: This is the stage where a customer first becomes aware of the existence of a product or service. Businesses need to create brand awareness to attract potential customers.

  2. Consideration: After becoming aware of the product, the customer starts to consider whether it meets their needs. They might compare different options and gather information before making a decision.

  3. Decision: In this stage, the customer decides to make a purchase. Pricing, reviews, and customer service can influence their decision-making process.

  4. Retention: Once the customer has made a purchase, the focus shifts to retaining them. Providing excellent post-purchase support and services can help in building long-term relationships.

  5. Advocacy: Satisfied customers may become advocates for the brand, recommending it to others and providing valuable word-of-mouth marketing.

Understanding each stage of the customer life cycle helps businesses tailor their strategies to meet the specific needs and expectations of customers at different points in their journey.

Importance of Aligning Community Programs with Business Needs

Community programs play a vital role in fostering relationships with customers and enhancing brand loyalty. When aligned with business needs, these programs can have a significant impact on the overall customer journey. Here are some key reasons why aligning community programs with business needs is crucial:

  1. Building Brand Trust: Community programs that resonate with the values and objectives of the business help in building trust and credibility among customers. When customers see a business actively involved in supporting the community, they are more likely to trust and support the brand.

  2. Enhancing Customer Engagement: Community programs provide a platform for customers to engage with the brand in a meaningful way. By participating in community initiatives, customers feel connected to the brand on a deeper level, leading to increased loyalty and engagement.

  3. Driving Brand Advocacy: When customers perceive that a business genuinely cares about the community, they are more likely to become advocates for the brand. Positive word-of-mouth from engaged community members can significantly impact brand awareness and reputation.

  4. Supporting Business Goals: Aligning community programs with business needs ensures that the efforts contribute towards achieving strategic objectives. Whether it is increasing brand visibility, supporting a cause related to the business, or fostering customer relationships, community programs can be tailored to meet specific business goals.

  5. Creating a Positive Impact: Beyond the business benefits, community programs aligned with social responsibility initiatives can contribute to creating a positive impact on society. Customers appreciate businesses that are socially conscious and actively involved in giving back to the community.

In conclusion, aligning community programs with business needs is essential for not only enhancing the customer journey but also for creating a positive brand image and making a meaningful impact on the community.

Framework for Community Success

Building a successful community involves employing strategic frameworks and approaches that can effectively engage, retain, and reward community members. In this blog section, we will delve into the RE-TE-SELL-RETAIN-REWARD-REFER framework and explore how businesses can leverage community participation to reach potential customers.

Reach Teach Sell Framework

The Reach Teach Sell framework serves as a comprehensive guide for businesses looking to establish and cultivate a thriving community. Let's break down each element of this framework:

  • REACH: The first step is to reach out to potential community members through various channels such as social media, events, and targeted marketing campaigns.

  • TEACH: Once community members are onboard, businesses should focus on educating and empowering them with valuable resources, workshops, and training sessions.

  • SELL: After building trust and credibility within the community, businesses can introduce their products or services in a non-intrusive manner, emphasizing the value they bring.

  • RETAIN: To ensure long-term engagement, it is essential to retain community members by providing ongoing support, rewards, and exclusive benefits.

  • REWARD: Recognizing and rewarding community members for their contributions, loyalty, and engagement is key to fostering a sense of belonging and appreciation.

  • REFER: Encouraging community members to refer friends, family, and colleagues to join the community can organically expand the network and contribute to its growth.

Reaching Potential Customers Through Community Participation

Community participation plays a vital role in connecting businesses with potential customers who are actively seeking authentic interactions and solutions. By engaging in relevant community activities and initiatives, businesses can tap into a pool of highly targeted leads. Here are some strategies to reach potential customers through community participation:

  1. Attend Industry Events: Participating in industry-related conferences, trade shows, and seminars allows businesses to network with potential customers and showcase their expertise.

  2. Host Workshops and Webinars: By organizing educational workshops and webinars on topics of interest to the target audience, businesses can demonstrate their thought leadership and attract qualified leads.

  3. Collaborate with Influencers: Partnering with influencers or thought leaders in the community can help businesses extend their reach and gain credibility among potential customers.

  4. Create Valuable Content: Publishing informative and engaging content on blogs, social media platforms, and community forums can establish businesses as trusted advisors and drive inbound leads.

  5. Offer Exclusive Benefits: Providing exclusive discounts, promotions, or early access to products/services for community members can incentivize potential customers to engage with the brand.

By incorporating the Reach Teach Sell framework and actively participating in relevant communities, businesses can not only nurture existing relationships but also attract and convert potential customers effectively.

Creating Valuable Content

In today's digital age, creating valuable content is essential for businesses looking to engage with their audience and drive growth. By leveraging community insights and supporting the sales process with essential resources such as FAQs, testimonials, and case studies, businesses can establish credibility, build trust, and ultimately boost their bottom line.

Utilizing Community Insights for Content Creation

Community insights provide a treasure trove of information that businesses can leverage to create content that resonates with their target audience. By listening to the needs, preferences, and pain points of their community members, businesses can tailor their content to address these specific challenges effectively.

One effective way to utilize community insights is by engaging with customers through surveys, polls, and feedback sessions. By gathering data directly from the source, businesses can gain valuable insights into what their audience is looking for and tailor their content strategy accordingly.

Another approach is to actively participate in online communities and forums where your target audience is present. By listening to the discussions, questions, and feedback within these communities, businesses can identify trends, common issues, and hot topics that can inspire impactful content creation.

  • Conduct surveys, polls, and feedback sessions to gather insights directly from the community.

  • Engage with online communities and forums to identify trends and topics of interest.

Supporting Sales Process with FAQs, Testimonials, and Case Studies

FAQs, testimonials, and case studies play a crucial role in supporting the sales process by providing prospective customers with valuable information, social proof, and real-world examples of success. These resources help to build credibility, address common concerns, and showcase the benefits of a product or service.

FAQs are an essential tool for addressing common questions and clarifying doubts that potential customers may have. By providing clear and comprehensive answers to frequently asked questions, businesses can help prospects make informed decisions and feel more confident in their purchase.

Testimonials and case studies are powerful tools for building trust and credibility with prospective customers. By sharing stories of satisfied clients and successful projects, businesses can demonstrate the real-world impact of their products or services and showcase the value they bring to their customers.

  • Create a comprehensive FAQ section to address common questions and concerns.

  • Showcase testimonials and case studies to provide social proof and build credibility.

By leveraging community insights for content creation and supporting the sales process with FAQs, testimonials, and case studies, businesses can create valuable content that resonates with their audience, drives engagement, and ultimately leads to increased conversions and growth.

Enhancing Customer Support

Customer support is a critical aspect of any business, as it has a direct impact on customer satisfaction and retention. In today's competitive market, providing excellent support through various channels is essential to maintain a loyal customer base. Let's explore the strategies for enhancing customer support:

Providing Excellent Support through Forums

Forums are a valuable tool for customer support as they allow customers to ask questions, share experiences, and seek help in a public space. By actively participating in forums related to your product or service, you can engage with customers directly, address their concerns, and showcase your expertise.

  • Monitor and Respond: Regularly monitor the forum for new posts and respond promptly to customer queries. This demonstrates your commitment to addressing customer issues in a timely manner.

  • Encourage User Participation: Encourage satisfied customers to share their positive experiences on the forum. User-generated content can help build credibility and trust among potential customers.

  • Provide Solutions: Offer detailed solutions to common problems faced by customers. Creating a repository of FAQs and troubleshooting guides can empower customers to resolve issues independently.

Escalation Paths for Effective Support

Despite proactive measures, some customer issues may require escalation to higher levels of support. Establishing clear escalation paths ensures that complex problems are addressed promptly and efficiently.

  1. Define Escalation Criteria: Clearly define the criteria for escalating issues, such as severity level or unresolved status after initial support interactions.

  2. Empower Support Teams: Equip frontline support agents with the authority to escalate issues without delay when necessary. Empowerment leads to quicker resolutions and greater customer satisfaction.

  3. Follow-Up and Feedback: After escalation, ensure that the customer receives regular updates on the progress. Gather feedback post-resolution to improve support processes and prevent similar issues in the future.

Focusing on Retention with Engaging Content

Retention is closely linked to customer satisfaction and loyalty. One way to enhance retention is by delivering engaging content and activities that keep customers interested and connected to your brand.

  • Personalized Communication: Tailor your communication to individual customers based on their preferences and interactions with your brand. Personalization creates a sense of value and fosters long-term relationships.

  • Interactive Campaigns: Implement interactive campaigns such as quizzes, surveys, or contests to encourage customer participation and incentivize engagement. Interactive content boosts customer interaction and strengthens brand affinity.

  • Exclusive Offers and Rewards: Reward loyal customers with exclusive offers, discounts, or early access to new products. Recognizing and appreciating customer loyalty builds a sense of belonging and encourages repeat business.

By prioritizing customer support excellence and retention strategies, businesses can cultivate lasting relationships with customers and differentiate themselves in a competitive market.

Building Advocacy and Referrals

Recognizing and Rewarding Community Members

Building a strong and engaged community is crucial for any organisation or brand looking to grow and establish a positive reputation. One of the key factors in nurturing a vibrant community is recognising and rewarding the efforts of its members. By acknowledging their contributions and showing appreciation, you not only foster a sense of belonging but also incentivise further engagement and loyalty.

There are several effective ways to recognise and reward community members:

  • Feature Spotlight: Highlighting outstanding members through features on your website, social media, or newsletters can showcase their work and inspire others.

  • Exclusive Benefits: Providing exclusive perks such as early access to products, special discounts, or invites to VIP events can make members feel valued.

  • Swag and Gifts: Sending branded merchandise or personalised gifts as tokens of appreciation can create a memorable and positive experience.

  • Public Acknowledgement: Publicly thanking and praising members during events, webinars, or online forums can boost their confidence and influence.

  • Rewards Programmes: Implementing a rewards programme where members can earn points or badges for their participation and redeem them for prizes or recognition.

By consistently recognising and rewarding community members, you not only strengthen their connection to your brand but also encourage them to become advocates who promote your organisation to others.

Leveraging Networks for Advocacy and Referrals

Networking plays a pivotal role in expanding your reach and gaining valuable support for your cause. When it comes to advocacy and referrals, tapping into your existing networks can be an invaluable strategy for amplifying your message and driving growth.

Here are some effective ways to leverage networks for advocacy and referrals:

  • Partner Collaborations: Collaborating with complementary brands or organisations can help you reach a wider audience and benefit from shared advocacy efforts.

  • Employee Advocacy: Encouraging and empowering your employees to advocate for your brand on social media and in their professional networks can significantly boost visibility and credibility.

  • Influencer Partnerships: Partnering with influencers or industry experts who align with your values can help you tap into their loyal following and gain referral traffic.

  • Referral Programmes: Creating a structured referral programme that incentivises existing customers or partners to refer new leads can drive organic growth and increase conversions.

  • Attend Networking Events: Participating in industry events, conferences, and seminars can help you connect with like-minded individuals and potential advocates who can amplify your message.

By actively engaging with and leveraging your networks for advocacy and referrals, you not only strengthen your brand's presence but also foster meaningful relationships that can lead to long-term growth and success.

Examples of Community Initiatives

Insight into Community Programs at Glide

Glide is a company that truly understands the value of community initiatives. They have established various programs that not only benefit the community but also align with their core values and goals. Let's delve into some of the insightful community programs at Glide:

  • Volunteer Programs: One of the key community initiatives at Glide is their volunteer programs. Glide encourages its employees to volunteer their time and skills to support local community projects and charitable organizations. By engaging in volunteer work, Glide not only gives back to the community but also fosters a sense of teamwork and social responsibility among its employees.

  • Community Outreach Events: Glide organizes various community outreach events to connect with the residents and understand their needs and challenges. These events provide an opportunity for Glide to interact with the community, build relationships, and offer support where it is most needed.

  • Sponsorship Programs: Glide sponsors a range of community programs and events that promote education, health, and cultural diversity. By sponsoring such initiatives, Glide demonstrates its commitment to social causes and strengthens its reputation as a socially responsible organization.

Importance of Aligning Programs with Customer Journey

Aligning community programs with the customer journey is essential for any business that aims to build strong relationships with its customers and create a positive impact on society. Here's why this alignment is crucial:

  1. Enhanced Customer Engagement: When businesses align their community programs with the customer journey, they create more opportunities for customers to engage with the brand on a deeper level. Customers are more likely to support companies that share their values and actively contribute to causes they care about.

  2. Building Trust and Loyalty: By demonstrating a commitment to social responsibility through community initiatives, businesses can build trust and loyalty among their customer base. Customers appreciate companies that go beyond profit-making and invest in initiatives that benefit society as a whole.

  3. Positive Brand Image: Aligning programs with the customer journey helps businesses create a positive brand image in the minds of their customers. Customers are more inclined to associate with brands that are socially conscious and actively involved in making a difference in the community.

  4. Long-Term Sustainability: Community initiatives that align with the customer journey contribute to the long-term sustainability of a business. By addressing social and environmental issues that matter to customers, businesses can secure their place in the market and build a reputation as a responsible corporate citizen.

Proving Impact and Collaboration

In any community or organization, building internal relationships plays a crucial role in achieving success and making a tangible impact. These relationships serve as the foundation upon which collaboration, innovation, and growth can flourish. Encouraging and supporting community professionals further strengthens this foundation, leading to a vibrant and resilient ecosystem.

When it comes to proving impact and collaboration, there are two key areas to focus on:

Building Internal Relationships

Internal relationships within a community or organization are like the roots of a tree - they provide stability, nourishment, and a support system for growth. By fostering strong connections between team members, departments, and stakeholders, you can create a culture of trust, open communication, and mutual respect.

Here are some strategies to effectively build internal relationships:

  • Encourage cross-departmental collaborations and projects to break down silos and promote a shared sense of purpose.

  • Organize team-building activities and events to foster camaraderie and strengthen bonds between colleagues.

  • Provide opportunities for professional development and training to empower team members and enhance their skill sets.

  • Establish clear communication channels and feedback mechanisms to ensure that ideas and concerns are heard and addressed.

Encouragement and Support for Community Professionals

Community professionals are the driving force behind positive change and impactful initiatives. By offering them encouragement, support, and resources, you empower them to reach their full potential and make a difference in the community.

Here are some ways to provide encouragement and support to community professionals:

  • Recognize and celebrate their achievements and milestones to boost morale and motivation.

  • Offer mentorship programs and opportunities for career advancement to help them grow and succeed in their roles.

  • Provide access to resources, tools, and networks that can enhance their skills and broaden their knowledge base.

  • Listen to their feedback, ideas, and concerns, and take proactive steps to address any challenges they may be facing.


Building strong internal relationships and offering encouragement and support to community professionals are essential for proving impact and fostering collaboration within a community or organization.