What is the best Online Community Platform for you?

Jon Allen December 30, 2021

Embarking on a digital transformation journey is a complex process that presents many uneasy questions for organizations: How will we approach our new web presence? Will our platforms be integrated across all departments? And what is the best online community platform for my business?

While many of the above questions will no doubt be answered during the process of uncovering your digital strategy and roadmap, deciding on the right type of community platform for your customers and employees can be difficult.

Nevertheless, we are here to help you make the right decision for your organization, giving it the best opportunity to thrive in an online community environment. In this article, we’ll look at the differences between private and public community platforms, and also assess the importance of striking the balance between customization and cost.

Public vs private community platforms

It’s important for a customer-facing business that thrives on solving problems to be open and transparent. But many online communities require a certain level of security and privacy, which in turn helps harbor those feelings of the users belonging to something special.

In addition to the security and the privacy of a private community, there are plenty of features you won’t have access to when using platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, or any other public online communities for your customers and employees.

For example, if you decide that you would like to implement an option where your customers can live chat with a representative, the direct messaging function of a public social media channel probably isn’t going to cut it. This method is not going to be as instant or give the customer the ability to be anonymous, which is important for the many customers who demand an instant, effective response.

Or, say you want to combine a blog area with a forum, and then have the ability to send direct messages to other members on the community platform. Well, there isn’t yet a social media platform that allows users to do all three of those things.
When you start to look at extra custom features, it soon becomes apparent that you either double up on private platforms as an addition to your public presence or just go completely towards a private community.

It’s also important when making this decision to realize that your organization has the opportunity to gain insights from your customers through the community. In fact, a study found that 67 percent of businesses use such information to make future business decisions about new product features or services. That ability – and the ability to analyze that data – is not found in your typical public communities.

Is the best online community platform a custom-developed one?

The answer to this isn’t a simple yes or no, and here’s why.

A fully customized, in-house developed community platform system may seem like the best online community platform, but in reality, with the overhead of developing in-house, and in addition to ongoing support and maintenance, it can easily become costly.

If you need a discussion or question-and-answer area, you have it. If you need blog posts to link to and from your Q&A area and be seamlessly branded as one, it’s easily done The possibilities become endless, and this gives your online community platform the best opportunity to thrive.

Of course, the advantage is that you’re able to customize however you see fit, but an ideal community platform would marry that level of feature-rich capability with manageable, value-driven costs.

Finding the perfect balance between custom features and affordability

Ultimately, it’s possible to have the best of both worlds, because you really don’t have to assign a whole internal department to build and deploy a custom community platform.

With Verint Communitywe open up our private social network and collaboratively work with organizations to reach the best possible custom configuration of our community platform. For some businesses, this may look like a forum-heavy setup, focused on community building and socialization of their customer base. For others, this may be a problem-solving and resolution-focused platform, built around a main question-and-answer page, with the aim of reducing their brick-and-mortar or contact center customer service footprint.

Whatever your organization’s focus, and however you feel your business would benefit from an online community, the Verint Community platform is designed, crafted, implemented, and deployed around the business-specific needs you’re working toward, thanks to its flexible, fully configurable, and feature-rich capabilities

So which platform is the right one for you?

If you are still unsure about whether the private or public online community platform is right for you, get in touch with one of our experts today. Or if you are ready to make your decision, you can request a custom demo here.