The new face of user groups—and 3 reasons to consider joining
User groups offer an excellent way to build your professional profile, grow your network, and further develop your leadership skills. Learn more about new user groups launching at Zendesk.
Published May 5, 2022
Last updated June 7, 2022
The need to embrace a digital-first approach to business over the past two years has brought about new opportunities to connect with one another—from our colleagues to our customers and even their customers.
With distances shortened by a screen, customer communication no longer remains a regional affair or something that requires travel. In particular, as a year-round connection point, a company’s user groups offer a way for customers to routinely connect with industry peers and the company to provide feedback about how they’re using the company’s product or service. These groups or chapters can become intimate communities of clients who share similar challenges and goals.
Joining, or even leading, a user group is an excellent way to build your professional profile, grow your network, and further develop your leadership skills, according to Drew Frey, who leads Zendesk’s user group initiative.
“A successful user group meetup will connect you with at least one person you didn’t know before, provide you with one actionable takeaway you can use in your job, and an opportunity to share what you know with others,” Frey said.
Here are the primary benefits user groups have to offer:
1. Build relationships and grow your network
Different from product forums or other feedback mechanisms, user groups are designed to foster peer-to-peer connections. Meeting others within the same field or in similar job roles across industries can be invaluable. User groups provide the opportunity to connect over a product or service, and also to learn more about related career paths and opportunities. Leaders or chapter members grow their credibility as they share their product expertise.
2. Expand your knowledge
Communicating with industry peers who also have experience using a product or service can be a great learning experience and accelerates knowledge sharing. Members can discuss a challenge they’re facing for input from the group, ask a question, pick up new tips and tricks, or learn how to implement a particular product or feature. User groups are also a great venue to share success so that others can benefit, too. They offer a focused, intimate experience that can complement online forums to further facilitate connections.
3. Flex your leadership skills
User groups can also offer the chance to be a leader outside of your own company. Sometimes, those with the most hands-on product expertise may lead projects but not teams—or vice versa. User groups offer the opportunity to build on those leadership skills while leaning on your technical skills. At Zendesk, user group leaders receive free Zendesk certification to augment product knowledge and build confidence.
Introducing user groups at Zendesk
Zendesk is currently piloting user group chapters with customers looking to connect. We will have traditional regional chapters, but with the advent of a digital-first landscape, we’re also looking for customer insight into interest-based user groups you may want to join.
This new program aims to empower Zendesk community members to become user group leaders and prepares them to facilitate user group meetups. There are other perks, too, including Zendesk certification, exclusive access to the Zendesk community team and other user group leaders around the world via a dedicated Slack channel, special event access, swag, and more.
“It’s important that we offer our customers the ability to meet with and learn from others that know what it’s like to use Zendesk in their professional lives,” Frey said.