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Community Web Portal

QuestionPro’s Community Web Portal is an all-in-one solution to create an engaged online community.

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Community Web Portal: Definition

A community web portal is defined as an online tool that is created to manage an online community. This community can either be an extension of an offline community or a stand-alone online community. The web portal is a cloud-based platform where an organization can onboard members and then collect insights to identify and evaluate brand preferences.

With QuestionPro’s web community portal, you can create an in-depth online community that is an extension of your brand values. This helps to create a high recall value for existing members in the existing web portal. It also helps to onboard new community members.

Therefore, the web community portal is a structured and streamlined online portal that helps to engage with your selected community members and derive powerful insights based on their feedback and opinion on various topics. This can be achieved using multiple qualitative market research and quantitative market research methods such as surveys, Ideaboard, topics, and discussions, polls, etc.

Every organization looks forward to mapping the customer journey and increase profitability through each customer and on the whole. Organizations are now increasingly using a community web portal to understand the behavior of their audience and then use different methods like the customer lifetime value (CLV) calculation to map how their business moves forward. It also helps to get an insight into the usability and adoption of new products and services.

Characteristics of a Community Web Portal

Some of the major characteristics of the community web portal are:

  • Monitored business objectives: The community web portal is set up by an organization only when there are planned business objectives to be achieved. These objectives have to be monitored to ensure that the community is on track. Digressing from irrelevant data collection dilutes the purpose of the community.
  • Appropriate audience: The audience that is in the community web portal has to be relevant to the study and business objectives. Only the right members would provide actionable insights to the brand and hence the members should consist of high-value customers and prospective customers.
  • Engaging content: Another major characteristic of the community web portal is that the content has to be and is highly engaging. Only would the right topics elicit responses.
  • Qualitative and quantitative data collection: The community web portal allows for the easy collection of qualitative data as well as quantitative data. This allows the research data to be extensive and thorough.
  • Rewards and recognition: Another major characteristic of the community web portal is recognizing and rewarding members. This feature ensures there is high participation and there are relevant responses that provide for actionable insights.

Types and Uses of a Community Web Portal with Examples

There are multiple types of community web portals with distinctive uses. Some of the major types with examples are:

Business community web portals

A business community web portal is one of the most widely used types of an online community. Organizations use this to deploy in-depth market research studies to collect insights about existing products and services, market launches, product and service tweaks and anything else that indirectly influences their bottomline. It is said that 74% of organizations now use an online community for smarter research purposes.

An example of a business community web portal is a clothing brand that wants to launch a new collection. With the help of this online community, they can tailor make the merchandise for a localized market and also on the basis of different demographics.

Education community web portals

Collecting insights about education and educational institutions has now become a complex process. Multiple aspects have to be looked at before a student enrolls in a university. On the flipside, even Universities need to ensure that they enroll the students that best match their values. This also depends on various factors like diversity, instate and out of state student numbers, etc.

An example of an education community web portal is a large state university managing an online community to monitor everything including admissions, grievances, curriculum, and placements. This community consists of existing students, prospective students, faculty, management, parents, and alumni so the data collection is varied and thorough.

Healthcare community web portals

The healthcare industry is now one of the largest industries in the world and it consists of multiple aspects like patients, pharmaceuticals, care organizations, insurance providers, secondary and tertiary care providers, etc. People are prone to discuss every aspect related to care on an online forum where the geographical boundaries blur into one large community of like-minded people.

An example of a healthcare community is an online portal that is created to monitor patient treatment in a hospital provider. This helps the community manager gauge levels of service provided, patient care, best practices in treatment, effective drugs, effective medical practices, etc.

Other widely used types of community web portals

There are other community web portals such as banking and financial community web portals and information technology and software community web portals. All of these online communities help organizations of various types and magnitudes collect data that is most important. A community web portal or an online community portal is one of the most important aspects of market research to an organization to collect actionable insights and be profitable.

Factors to Consider for a Web Community Portal

There are multiple factors to be considered to set up and manage a successful web community portal and online community. They are:

  • Member numbers: To have a successful data collection process, having an optimal sample size is very important. Also, having a mix of people with varied backgrounds, demographics, experience levels with the product or service, purchasing prowess, etc.
  • Mobile data collection: In the age of mobile devices and apps, it is imperative to provide a mobile-first community. Mobile communities provide the flexibility to conduct geo-location based studies that allow an organization to deploy surveys in different geographical locations for the purpose of the study.
  • Clarity of topics: The online community in a web community portal provides the most relevant results when the topics are defined in a manner that appeals most to the community members. The clarity of topics also helps the organization collect information that is most relevant to the business.
  • Provide incentives: Always account to provide incentives to the community members. This will increase participation in giving feedback and increase the overall health of the community. Incentives and rewards are one of the most important parameters that decide the health of the community.
  • Community management: Managing the community is one of the most important aspects that are to be accounted for in a web community portal. Defining the objective of the community, recruiting members and engaging the community plays a crucial role in the success of the community web portal.

Advantages of a Community Web Portal

Some advantages of creating and using a community web portal are:

  • Brand familiarity: Community members have a high brand recall due to the brand familiarity of the online community. The level of insights is much higher due to the member trusting the brand while being a part of the community web portal.
  • Accumulated insights: The insights collected in the community web portal are accumulated over a period of time. These are different from deploying standalone surveys since the data can be correlated over a period of time.
  • Gamified rewards: Gamified rewards provide the community member in the community web portal to participate more in the insights and data collection process. The benefits of accumulating intrinsic and extrinsic rewards drive the community member to increased participation.
  • Customer engagement: The web community portal is one of the most important aspects of managing customer expectations and increasing customer engagement. This helps in increasing customer satisfaction and reducing the customer effort score.
  • Decreased market research budget: Since the community web portal collects data over long periods, there is a decreased need to formulate research studies, collect samples and then collect and analyze data. This helps in reducing the market research budget exponentially.