Any thoughts on exposing "business identity" (e.g., internal/customer/partner) of members in a customer support community?

(Gina Tyree) #1

I’m wondering if it makes sense to let everyone see that a member is internal vs. a customer or partner. In the Napili template we’re using, it automatically puts member affiliation in parenthesis each time they post or are mentioned in a post. For example, it will say, “Gina Tyree (My Organization)” or “John Smith (Customer)” instead of just the names.

Any reasons why you WOULD or WOULDN’T want this?

(Jess Burnham) #2

Hey Gina :relaxed:

In my opinion, I think it really depends what you’re doing with your Community.

Speaking from experience, the Community that I’m managing includes the author’s title if the post is written by someone working for our company. This gives some legitimacy to the content. Our community is a hub for idea sharing and communication on how our product is used by our customers, so it’s helpful for them to know where their information is coming from.

We’ve also created a team of Experts who interact daily in the community and help with moderation, content and feedback. So, if it is a customer, their title will be on their personal profile, which will also show up when you hover over their name – but it won’t appear beside their name in community threads. Our Experts have an Expert title beside their name, so that our users can know that the advice they receive from them is of a certain standard. And for internal staff on our community, we each have our title and a small company icon over our name so that each user can be familiar with us, and know that any information that we provide is direct from the company.

In our community we’re constantly providing technical information on how to use our product, so for our users to know that the information they’re receiving is coming from a “certified” user is important. However, if the community you’re operating is more of a social platform, where certification isn’t as important, I’d say you could afford to keep users on an even playing field.

Those are my 5 cents! (Because Canada has eliminated the penny)



(Nick Emmett) #3

Hey @Gina_Tyree - I like it, but ultimately probably boils down to what your community’s WHY is - if you want to provide your members the opportunity to network and help solve each other’s issues in a forum/chatter setting then I think it’s always nice to have a bit more of an idea of who you’re talking to.
The thing with the (customer) bit annoyed me for ages, however I change this to include their company’s name when they go through onboarding - at the minute this is a manual thing for me, but not too consuming. Not particularly scalable though.