June 12, 2023
Looking to select a new community software platform? This guide outlines the key factors to consider when choosing the right platform for your organization's specific needs. Whether you need an internal community for your employees, or an external one for your customers, let us save you from a costly mistake.
When it comes to selecting a new community software platform, it's important to first define the business problem you're trying to solve. This is because not all platforms are created equal, and choosing the wrong one can be a costly mistake for your organization.
So, what exactly is the business problem you're trying to solve? Is it external, like improving customer engagement? Or is it internal, like Increasing collaboration and communication among employees? Streamlining processes and workflows? Once you've identified the specific issue you're looking to address, you can begin to evaluate community software platforms that are tailored to your needs. Regardless of your business purpose there are common considerations you need to think about when selecting a platform.
One key factor to consider when selecting a community software platform is its functionality. Will it provide the necessary tools and features to address your specific business problem? For example, if you're looking to improve customer engagement, you'll want a platform that includes features like user profiles, forums, and gamification to encourage participation and interaction.
Another important consideration is the platform's ease of use. Will it be user-friendly for both administrators and users? A complicated platform can be a deterrent for users, leading to low adoption rates and ultimately failing to solve your business problem.
Security is also a crucial factor to consider when selecting a community software platform. Will the platform protect sensitive information and maintain user privacy? This is especially important if you're dealing with customer data or confidential company information.
Lastly, it's important to consider the platform's scalability. Will it be able to accommodate your organization's growth and evolving needs? Investing in a community software platform that can't keep up with your organization's growth can be a costly mistake in the long run.
When looking to select a new community software platform, it's important to prepare a list of questions to ask potential vendors. This will help ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the platform's capabilities and can make an informed decision about whether it's the right fit for your organization. Here are some key questions to consider:
By asking these key questions, you can ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the platform's capabilities and how it can effectively address your organization's specific business problem. This will help you make an informed decision and choose the right community software platform for your organization.
When it comes to selecting a new community software platform, creating a shortlist of potential platform partners is a crucial step in the process. This will help you evaluate different options and ultimately choose a platform that best meets your organization's specific needs.
Here are some tips for creating an effective shortlist:
By following these tips, you can create an effective shortlist of potential platform partners and ultimately choose a community software platform that meets your organization's specific needs.
Getting to the shortlist is the hard part. After the vendors answer your questions you typically will look to get the short-list down to 2-4 vendors. Follow-up demonstrations and deeper dives into key areas will be conducted. The vendors and any service partners will provide proposals which would then allow you to make the most informed decision.
We have worked with over 600 companies since 2012 focused entirely on the community industry. Our clients have chosen a variety of internal and external platforms based on their needs. We can work with you on a platform selection project to help you find the right platform for your specific requirements. Our expertise and experience will also allow you to compare and contrast across platforms to help you decide which software vendors might best meet your needs.