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Community Engagement Series # 3 - Building Better Relationships

Relationships - Dub, online qual and insight communtiesOK, so you've learnt how to create effective research community activity plans and maximise levels of response and interaction within your communities. It’s a fair to say that positive working relationships are essential for achieving project success. Here we encourage you to further explore opportunity to build member and client relationships in our final concluding blog!



Always allow time for onboarding.

Onboarding is crucial for community success. Kicking off with light introductions helps members to settle in and establish common bonds, to make sure they feel comfortable expressing themselves in the company of others. Help members find their feet by starting off with easy to answer topics. Then later, once the community agenda has evolved to answer research objectives maintain space for topics that satisfy interests purely for the purpose of engagement. Ultimately time and effort spent developing relationships leads to better quality feedback, maximising prospects and opportunities to elicit game-changing insights!

Build energy into communications and reflect members language.

Review recent community emails and the quantity and quality of responses gathered. Overall responses tend to vary depending on levels of topic interest, numbers of requests and the incentives available / on offer. However, if you dig deeper behind the stats you’ll often see that efforts invested developing engaging narratives and motivating email titles and calls to action play a crucial role. Before hitting ‘send’ ask a colleague if they would feel motivated or compelled to fulfil your request(s) and always avoid trying to sound like a Marketeer!

Replace inactive members.

Once potential members have been contacted it is important to get them on board and introduced as quickly as possible to maintain commitment and interest. Over time you will establish a ‘core’ base of members and notice that responses vary and fluctuate (e.g. during Summer holidays). Some degree of attrition should always be anticipated and this is inevitable, even for the most highly engaged communities. For this reason it is always important to check in on community health (using the dashboard), and consider opportunities to refresh and replace inactive members from time to time with fresh contacts.

Don’t forget to close the loop.

In general members feel more highly motivated and deliver better quality feedback when they understand the purpose of the effort that they invest into their community. Try requesting a video testimonial or a quote from your client to get members excited about the exclusive nature of their role shaping future products, services and brands.

If you’d like to learn more techniques for delivering successful research communities contact Further by emailing or call us on +44 20 3515 3301 (UK) or +1 310 853 6986 (US)

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