Not everyone lives in an urban area where one of the 246 Apple stores in the U.S. are a short walk or subway ride away. Millions of people own one of Apple’s products: iPhone, iPod, Mac Book Pro, or use iTunes, and they need somewhere to turn when things get fouled up.

To correct this issue, consumers are turning to free, customer communities for their answers. These communities have become a place where people can help one another with their various issues. They’re advanced in the way they support the new wave of social, where members within brand communities serve as their own experts, their own moderators, their own tech support, and enthusiastic evangelists.

Many problems can arise: the iPhone backlight won’t work, it won’t sync to iTunes, it’s stuck in headphone mode, or you can’t figure out how to sync iTunes to multiple computers. Consumers don’t want to have to hit up the Genius Bar every time they have an issue.

Approximately 27,500 people have participated in around more than 6,000 topics in the Free Get Satisfaction Apple community over the last 5 years. The community is 100% created and run by Apple customers, with question seekers finding the community through organic search. The community is alive with engagement and activity, which finds consumers dropping off a question or problem and getting a response in under 2 days.

People enjoy these customer communities because they can connect with other people just like them: fan boys/girls of Apple products and having issues. The quick, 24/7 response time is an impressive customer service feature, which will find more people turning to quality, social support from fellow consumers rather than formal customer support.

via: Get Satisfaction

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