Once you have your business website running functionally and you feel pretty happy with its interface, it’s time to open that up to public opinion. Your best interest is ask for your customers’ input, and there’s no better way to do that than to encourage use of online forums. Here are some of the key benefits you’ll get to enjoy when using a forum!

#1. Interaction. A forum is a place to answer questions, get ideas, enhance your product, get feedback & provide updates, and engage your users to build a community. The flow of information from customer to representative is never more relaxed and useful than in a forum setting—in general, those who use the product can come there to build relationships and find a sense of belonging.

#2. Market Research. Inside of a forum, customers will be able to elaborate at length, honestly and freely, about which parts of the product are working for them and which are not. Curious about a certain feature? Want to know how that product launch went? Just open up a forum and watch the responses roll in.

#3. Customer Loyalty. As previously mentioned, a forum is a place for the customers to cultivate a sense of belonging with your company. If customers are able to “fit in,” or otherwise find their place, they are much more likely to be returning buyers, or even suggest that product to their friends and family.

#4. SEO content. Optimizing your site for search engines is never seen a better boost than forums. Each post is generally packed with keywords and phrases, increasing your rankings in the search results and pushing you higher than competing companies.

#5. Increased profits. In general, combining all of the above assets of providing an online forum has one hard result: an increase in profits. You will be able to better serve your customers, ease the demand on your representatives, improve your product, and drive sales all at the same time.

Getting your forums up and running can be a bit of an effort at the beginning, but the long term benefits outweigh the effort entirely. Plus, once they’re functional, the maintenance will decrease as your profits increase!

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This post was written by Hallie Dunn

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