What kind of communities make sense for a calling app?

First of all I am so glad to have found this forum and active community of Community builders, strategists, managers to exchange knowledge with. Thank you Richard and the team for this and everyone who participates.

Introduction - I recently started working with a telecom company, to be precise it is an international calling app. It is targeted towards immigrants who are now living in developed nations like US, UK, Canada and they call back home (mostly frontier & emerging country) with feeble internet coverage/penetration. Since the internet in those countries is weak, free calling apps like Whatsapp, Zoom etc. can not be used all the time or successfully for a smooth call. Therefore an international calling app can really help as the receiver need not have internet connection at all or even our app. Only the caller needs to have internet to use the app. The callers buy call credit on the app and that is how we make money. It is a single use app. Our objective is to grow our user base and increase the transaction form the existing users to increase our revenues.

Problem - The Company has exhausted their paid marketing efforts with the limited budgets and now want to explore new customer acquisition channels and have decided ‘Community Strategy’ as the way to go forward to meet Company’s projected growth numbers

I am not sure what kind of communities I can start building already to contribute towards company’s growth. I am launching a test ‘Share & Earn Ambassador Program’. This is for our existing users only. Since they use our app already, I thought it will be easier for them to promote it and earn cash money in return as an incentive (like a mini affiliate model). My concern here is that these users may not have a big network of people and they might lose interest in the program when they don’t see results. How do I keep them engaged and motivated?

On the other hand, I am also working on launching an affiliate program with CJ but does that even count as Community building? A community of affiliates who do not really care about your product or haven’t even used it ever but they could be helpful in promoting the app to their network, followers etc.

Challenge - What kind of Communities can I really create for a product like this? it is a single use app, we do not create any content and I don’t feel our users rely on us for any information/content. Anytime they have any issue, they immediately reach out to my customer support team that is super responsive so that part is taken care already. We don’t need product experts, at least not at this point. So what kind of community creation can really contribute towards sales for a calling app?

Happy to hear your responses. All ideas are welcome.

Best
Varsha

Hi Varsha. I am not able to guide or help on the community part… but maybe able to provide ideas on reaching your customer base, which in turn might help with the Community building.
I have recently changed roles from a Homelessness and Poverty Charity. I had contact with quite a few of your potential key customers. Have you thought about approaching directly District councils? A lot of the immigration support comes through these and would be an active audience possibly? Approaching charitable organisations could be a positive approach there are vast numbers like my old charity Northampton Hope Centre that have direct contact with immigrants needing support with things like filling in ‘right to remain’ forms etc. I know it was not exactly what you were looking for but may spark and idea. Good luck with your project. Kind Regards Tina

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Hi Tina, as I wrote any ideas are welcome. Thank you for sharing that information. I am partially responsible for partnerships and this is something I can definitely look into. Thank you once again :slight_smile: Appreciate you taking time out to read and reply to my message.

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Hi @varsha!
Such a great challenge! I am wondering what is your typical customer: if it’s a calling app, maybe is used mainly by young people? How young?
Maybe international people?
I am just suggesting that exploring your buying persona can sparkle some ideas.

Also, in my experiences communities work better for retention not growth because they take time to develop. But I might be wrong :expressionless:

And customer care is different from the experience you can get from a community. Have a look at other Telcom communities to understand it better: the product is often an excuse to talk about whatever :joy:.

Sorry if I have not really helped you with a better answer.

Hi @francy888, A typical customer is an immigrant/expat who originally is from an emerging country like Nigeria and now residing in US/UK/Canada.

I will be honest, I have been wondering myself if building community can really help them achieve their growth numbers. So I agree with you that Community approach typically helps in retention and maybe in growth but not immediately. Customer Care is not an issue and hence building community for that is not relevant for them at this point.

Thank you for your response, you do help in reinforcing my train of thoughts :slight_smile: Appreciate you taking time out.

Best

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