As a veteran of forums initiatives, it's always exciting to see the launch of a support community -- especially one by a company that understands the value of unlocking its customer network to support and promote on its behalf. The Crucial.com customer network is one such example.
The new community was designed to help customers connect with peers to solve issues related to the company's computer memory products. Crucial.com, the online destination of memory products provider Lexar Media, has attracted more than 1,000 members in the community's first two months online.
What's even more impressive, however, is that Crucial has seen an enormous reduction in support call center traffc -- including a staggering nearly 50 percent reduction in support chat volume -- freeing up valuable company resources to deliver even better customer support. Hence, it provides Crucial with an improved ability to scale support needs while keeping operational costs in check.
It's a win-win: The community gives customers access to their peers, a trusted source for information and support, while easing the burden on existing support channels during a time when increased demand for better memory solutions and an expanding customer base might otherwise strain internal resources.
Fred Waddell, general manager of Crucial.com, said adding community was a way of enhancing the overall customer experience while amplifying existing word-of-mouth marketing by "exposing new customers to potentially thousands of raving fans talking about our products."
In addition to answering one another's questions, community members have also provided feedback to the company that has already proven valuable. For example, thanks largely to feedback from the community, Crucial.com discovered that 64-bit windows users were experiencing problems using its System Scanner tool. After additional testing and development, the company was able to resolve the issue and make an enhanced 64-bit version of the tool available to customers.
As a computer geek myself, I'll be keeping a close eye on the Crucial.com customer network as it continues to grow and evolve. In the meantime, drop by and take a look around for yourself. And if your a fan, follow them on Twitter.