2. Management: organise your community


The success of your community is largely dependent on how the community members are initially structured and how well it is kept up-to-date over time.

1. Finding the right structure, who is allowed to do/see what?

Dealing with a large amount of tenants, service providers and other involved parties can be complicated. Especially when the people within these organisations have different roles and authorisations. To make sure it becomes easier to manage these stakeholders, you have to make sure the community structure resembles the structure of the shopping area.

On Chainels we divide these stakeholders into users and the companies they work for. Both of them can be categorised into specific groups, which are used throughout the platform to give permission to for example read or write content, access folders or use specific features.

Fig1: Companies and their respective users (eg. Management Agency, Store)

Company groups

On a company level, it is possible to make groups manually. Most groups, however, are created based on certain characteristics, found as part of each company profile. These groups are updated automatically when a company is edited or a new company is created by a community manager. The following company groups are often used:

  • Unit: unit 1, unit 2
  • Building: building 1, building 2
  • Street: Queen street, Baker avenue
  • Branche: fashion, interior design
  • Member type: retail, food & beverage, service provider, property owner, office, apartment, culture, leisure
  • Area or floor: 2nd floor, grand passage, food court
  • Tenant: yes/no
  • Part of loyalty scheme: yes/no

Because every community is different, several characteristics are not part of the standard company profile. Please ask your account manager to add the characteristics that apply to your situation.

Roles and user groups

On a user level it works exactly the same, but instead of having a lot of user characteristics, the platform works with only one characteristic: user roles. When users are invited or their request to join a community* (only for white label communities) is being accepted, both community and company admins can select multiple roles that apply to this person. The roles that company admins can assign to users can be a selection of all the roles that can be assigned by community admins. The following roles are often used: store manager, staff/personnel, security guard and marketing manager.

Because every community is different, roles are not part of the standard community setup. Please ask your account manager to add the roles that apply to your situation. 

Of course it is also possible to create custom groups yourself. This works well for teams, for example: management team, marketing team or event committee. 

Targeting and authorisation

Once the groups are in place and up-to-date, it is easy to give permissions to single, multiple or mixed groups. This makes it possible to target or give access to for example: one street, two streets or all the retail tenants in two streets. As a community admin you can authorise the right users for each feature by selecting the right groups.

targeting.pngFig 2: As an example, each part of this mall (like Block D) can be a group on Chainels.

2. Keeping your userbase up-to-date

One of the main responsibilities of a community manager is to invite new users and create new companies. Having a large amount of users in a community can, however, make the user management quite complicated and almost impossible to keep up-to-date. We therefore create the possibility for company admins to invite their colleagues and for users to request access to become a community member. We believe it is vital for communities to grow organically in order to become successful.

Inviting new users

When a community manager or a company admin invites a new user, an invite email is sent with an introduction and a link to sign-up for the platform (choosing a password). The portal will ask to assign one or more roles to this user and to decide whether to give this user company-admin rights.

Once users are invited/added to the platform, regardless of them signing up, they automatically receive email notifications (new messages or other important activities). Each message notification that is sent via email has ‘read more’, ‘sign-up’ and ‘vote now’ buttons that direct users to the web platform or the app on their smartphone. This also applies to all the users that are added to the portal during the implementation phase, which means that every new message has the potential to increase the amount of active users.

If a user doesn’t have an account yet, he or she can request access to join a specific company in the community in the app and the web platform. Both the admins of this company and the community managers can accept the request.

Fig 3: New users can be invited via the platform, they will receive an email. Users can also download the app/go to the website, choose their community + company and request access.

Adding an existing user to a new company

It is possible for a user to be part of multiple companies and communities. You can simply add the email address of an existing user to a company. You can change between multiple companies in the platform without having to sign out.

Company admin

Every company can have one of multiple users with admin rights. A company admin has permission to:

  • invite colleagues
  • give these users company admin rights
  • assign roles (a selection)
  • accept users that would like to join the community and this company
  • edit the company profile

Creating new companies

Only community managers can add new companies. After creating a new company, with or without inviting a user, the company is instantly part of the community. Both the community managers and the new company admin(s) can complete the company profile.

Continue reading | Communication: creating the best workflows