Playbook

Identify existing customers in your community

Monitor customer activity in your community to prevent churn and grow LTV.

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Who this is for:

Teams: Community, Sales

Experience: Pro

Sources:

Slack logoSlackLinkedIn logoLinkedIn

Overview

Creating and nurturing a community is a great way to win over new customers, but it also helps you build stronger relationships with the ones you already have.

When existing customers are active in your community, it gives you a chance to proactively identify support issues and expansion opportunities that can help you boost retention and grow customer lifetime value.

But to do that, you have to tie community activity to customer identity.

In this playbook, we’ll show you how to recognize the customers in your community, dig into their activities across channels, and make sure you’re always up to date on your high-profile accounts.

Let’s get to work 💪

What you’ll need

Common Room (this is how we’ll find and monitor customers in our community—sign up for free to follow along)
Access to digital channels (in this example we’ll use Slack and LinkedIn)
Access to a CRM (in this example we’ll use Salesforce)

Step 1: Connect data sources

The first thing we want to do is centralize our view of activity across digital channels. We’ll start by connecting our data sources to Common Room 🔌

In this case we’ll focus on Slack (one of our owned community channels) and LinkedIn (one of our unowned community channels). Just keep in mind that the more channels you connect, the more activity you’ll see.

💡 Common Room offers dozens of natively built and fully managed integrations with popular channels and data sources, as well as a powerful API for added extensibility.

Log into Common Room, click on Settings in the left side bar (the little ⚙️ icon at the bottom), and navigate to Sources.

Select Sources from Settings menu

Select Slack.

Select Slack

We’ll authenticate our account, set the connection, and bam—data from Slack is flowing into Common Room.

Next we’ll do the same thing for LinkedIn. Remember that every integration requires you to have an account of your own to authenticate.

Now that our channels are set up, let’s make sure we can connect the dots between community activity and customer status.


Step 2: Connect Salesforce

Connecting Salesforce to Common Room will allow us to combine our customer relationship and digital interaction data. We can see key details about leads, contacts, opportunities, and accounts right alongside our community insights.

💡 You can set up bidirectional integrations with CRMs—including Salesforce and HubSpot—to send data back and forth between your CRM and Common Room. This makes it easy to create community-qualified leads and send them directly to go-to-market teams.

Select Salesforce from the list of sources in Common Room.

Select Salesforce

We’ll confirm that we have admin access (or invite an admin to Common Room to continue setting up the integration) and authenticate our connection 🔐

Now we can start pumping data from Salesforce into Common Room.

💡 You decide how different Salesforce fields map to members and organizations in Common Room. Check out our Salesforce docs for a step-by-step guide.

After we finish our inbound data setup, we can use Salesforce data to create a tag for current customers in Common Room.


Step 3: Create Customer tag

Head on over to Tags in the left sidebar of the Settings menu.

Select Tags from Settings menu

Next click Organizations at the top of the screen and then hit Edit next to the Customer tag.

Edit Customer tag
💡 You can create and customize tags for members, organizations, and activities to easily filter for specific attributes and actions in your community, from ideal persona to feedback on new feature releases.

Click Add filter and choose Salesforce under the source-specific section.

Select Salesforce

We want to make sure the Salesforce field for existing customers maps to our tag in Common Room. This field will differ from company to company. Let’s say for us it’s individuals marked as “Customer” in the Account Status field within Salesforce.

We’ll choose Account Status and select Customer from the dropdown menu.

Then we’ll click Save and Common Room will sync that field data for all Salesforce contacts who have a corresponding member in our community. This data gets imported into Common Room on an hourly basis ⏰

Now let’s separate our current customers from the rest of our community.


Step 4: Identify customers

Click Back to app to exit the Settings menu and click on Members in the left sidebar.

Select Members

Next hit Add filter and navigate to Organization tags under the organization section.

Select Organization tags

Select Organization tags, then click on Customer in the dropdown menu.

Select Customer

Click out of the dropdown menu and you’ll see a view of all community members who match your Customer tag.

Now that we know which community members are also paying customers, let’s take a look at what they’re up to 👀


Step 5: Track customer activity

We don’t just want to know which community members are also customers—we want to drill down into their activities.

Let’s say we want to find out if any current customers have hit a speed bump with our product.

First we’d head over to Activity in the left sidebar.

Select Activity

After we pull up our view of our current customers using the same steps above, we would click Add filter and choose Category.

Select Category

Next select Product complaint, Bug/issue, and Product question.

Select Product complaint, Bug/issue, and Product question

Voilà—we now have a view of all current customers who may be running into product roadblocks 🚧

💡 Common Room’s auto-categories feature uses AI-powered language analysis to assign specific designations to conversations. This makes it easy to keep track of different activities, from calls for account support to feature requests.

We can slice and dice this data to get even more granular, such as by adding filters for specific time periods, whether or not the activity has received a reply from our team, and more.

We know some customers require the white-glove treatment. Let’s set up an automated alert to make sure we’re always up to date on potential issues.


Step 6: Create real-time alerts

We can create alerts to automatically notify us of any community activity we want to know about—including activity related to existing customers 🛎️

Click Team alerts in the left sidebar and select Create team alert.

Select Team alerts

From here we’ll give our alert a name and description, then add inputs under Trigger, Filter, and Action.

Let’s say we want to know about the latest activity from our connected data sources that matches our Customer tag. We’d add a New activity trigger event and an Organization filter for our Customer tag.

Select Customer

Instead of choosing a specific category, we’ll filter for any activity that has negative sentiment. We would add an Activity filter for that.

Select Negative
💡 You can get a pulse on how your community is feeling via sentiment. Common Room’s proprietary machine learning model detects whether certain activities are positive or negative. Filter activity by sentiment or measure it at scale in reporting.

Once our triggers and filters are set, we’ll choose where we want to get notified.

💡 Common Room lets you create granular views of customers to track, report on, and engage all at once using segments. You can even create dedicated views of customers and add them to your Home screen to easily review whichever segments are most relevant to you.

In this case, we want to receive alerts in a specific Slack channel.

Select Slack

Now we’ll be the first to know any time a current customer is having a less-than-stellar experience.


Wrapping up

The mystery of customer activity in your community is solved 🕵️

You have everything you need to identify customers in your community, zero in on the activities that matter most, and keep your team informed.

Have your own idea for a playbook? Get in touch. And if you haven’t already, try out Common Room yourself for free.

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