Commune vs. Gainsight Customer Communities (formerly InSided): Which is Better for Your Community Success?

Written by Commune

Explore what sets the two community platforms apart and identify which might be the optimal choice for those committed to cultivating thriving online communities.

Product comparison image: Commune vs. Gainsight Customer Communities (formerly InSided)

In the ever-evolving digital landscape, the importance of building vibrant online communities has never been more pronounced. Platforms like Commune and Gainsight Customer Communities (formerly known as InSided) offer organizations the tools they need to foster such environments, but choosing the right platform can make all the difference in achieving community success. This article delves into a detailed comparison between Commune and Gainsight Customer Communities, examining their respective features, user engagement capabilities, and support services.

Summary

When juxtaposed with Gainsight Customer Communities, Commune stands out for its advanced product features, such as native app capabilities, extensive training functionalities, and a variety of features aimed at enhancing user activity. Coupled with in-depth analytics for administrators and strategic consulting services, Commune not only facilitates community building but also enriches user experience, fostering a data-driven and iterative environment conducive to community success. Considering its robust service offering, Commune distinctly positions itself as the optimal choice for those dedicated to nurturing a thriving community.

Commune Overview

Commune is an AI-enhanced, all-in-one community platform that consolidates multiple customer interaction channels into a singular, coherent interface. It is engineered to streamline community administration while enriching it with smart, user-friendly features and deep strategic insights. Drawing from the vast experiences of countless users, Commune offers an invaluable asset for those seeking to initiate or cultivate their community presence.
 

Features

Commune offers an extensive array of features to address the evolving needs of community management, reducing the burden on managers and increasing participant interaction and results.

  • Integrated community engagement tools: supports a full suite of essential tools for vibrant community interaction and oversight. This includes discussion forums, Q&A portals, surveys, a comprehensive knowledge repository, event scheduling capabilities, and engaging gamification features, supported by AI to ensure dynamic and efficient community engagement.
  • Customization and brand integration: offers customizable white-label application to amplify brand visibility while offering a bespoke user experience, tailored to meet the unique brand standards and user expectations.
  • Advanced analytics and user segmentation: leverages cutting-edge AI to dissect user behavior, enabling the crafting of tailored engagement strategies and personalized interactions.
  • Targeted content delivery: The advanced content recommendation engine ensures the delivery of highly relevant and engaging content, curated for each user based on a thorough analysis of their previous interactions and engagement patterns.
  • Strategic expertise and support: Provides direct access to expert strategic consulting, including case-based tailored advice, strategic planning, and hands-on campaign management to ensure that community.
 

Industry segments

  • Versatile and adaptive, designed to support a diverse range of business models, including B2B, B2C, and nonprofit entities. 
  • Flexible to serve a multitude of industries, from tech startups and industrial manufacturers to retail enterprises, highlighting its universal applicability and potential to meet various sector-specific demands.
 

Primary use cases

  • Broad organizational application: Commune’s capabilities are instrumental across multiple business functions, from community management and marketing to customer support and product development.
  • Diverse business objectives: the platform is adept at facilitating a wide range of business goals, including but not limited to, building vibrant communities, enhancing customer onboarding processes, delivering educational content, extending support services, driving product innovation, soliciting feedback, and conducting research, all aimed at elevating customer engagement and satisfaction.

Gainsight Customer Communities Overview

Gainsight Customer Communities positions itself as an online nexus for customer-centric content, featuring a spectrum of community modules such as forums, a knowledge base, and product ideation forums. It aspires to empower organizations, businesses, and individuals to forge deep connections with their audiences, cultivating vibrant, engaging communities.


Features

  • Simple community features: Gainsight Customer Communities equips users with straightforward tools for engagement, including forums, Q&A sections, polls, a knowledge base, and event management features, aimed at simplifying communication within the community.
  • Integration: The platform offers the ability to integrate with third-party platforms like CRMs, Analytics tools, and marketing tools, broadening its utility and connectivity with external systems.
  • Widgets: It allows for the integration of community content into existing web pages, enhancing user interaction and making it easier to access community-driven insights and information.
 

Industry segments

  • Primarily focused on software and SaaS products
  • Predominantly utilized by enterprise organizations

Primary use cases

  • Customer-facing tools for scalable customer success and support initiatives
  • Self-service learning systems for product adoption and engagement

Key Values Comparison

Admin functions designed for community success

For a community to be truly successful and capable of bringing tangible business results, developing the community space that consistently attracts and retains users is essential. The core challenge lies in maintaining high levels of user engagement and satisfaction.

Commune has effectively developed and expanded communities for a wide array of organizations, utilizing comprehensive user behavior data to continuously refine and improve its offerings. Such efforts involve introducing key features designed to boost user engagement, including user-centric tools and built-in integrated training functionalities. On the other hand, Gainsight Customer Communities shows a significant shortfall in offering integrated features essential for community-centered education, onboarding, and ongoing learning—elements that are particularly critical in the B2B and SaaS domains. This shortfall underscores a challenge in aligning with one of its purported key strengths: serving B2B organizations. Also, lacking these essential features inherently, the platform necessitates evaluating and integrating third-party applications to fully establish the environment as a hub for users’ self-paced learning. This becomes an added responsibility for those leading community success initiatives.

Moreover, Gainsight Customer Communities encounters limitations with its direct messaging (DM) capabilities, an essential feature for promoting user engagement within communities. The platform lacks the option to adjust private DM settings for individual communities, with DMs set to be always active by default, reducing the system’s adaptability. This becomes a notable issue when direct interactions between administrators and users are unnecessary, as Gainsight Customer Communities invariably allows users to send direct messages to community administrators, thus constraining the ability to tailor communication channels to meet specific business requirements, particularly when user-to-user DMs should be avoided.

In contrast, Commune offers customizable DM settings, enabling adjustments to align with the unique scenarios of different businesses. It provides the flexibility to activate or deactivate DM functionalities between administrators and users, giving administrators the control over the presence of private DMs within the community. When activated, administrators can further choose whether to permit user-to-user DMs. This level of customization is vital for meeting compliance standards or addressing specific business needs, where it may be necessary to limit direct user interactions. Furthermore, Commune introduces the capability to manage group chat DMs, enabling confidential communication among various users, including administrators, which can be crucial for engaging super-users in management tasks or conducting group interviews. This flexibility ensures a communication strategy that is finely tuned to the distinctive requirements of each community.

Another significant element of Commune’s advantages is segmentation functionality and its capacity for automation. As a community expands, accurately targeting content to appropriate users becomes crucial for effective management. The platform’s ability to filter and communicate precisely the most relevant information to users, informed by their input and behavior, is instrumental in enhancing user satisfaction and loyalty.

Customer feedback indicates that Gainsight Customer Communities does not adequately meet these needs. The platform’s use of custom fields for user profile segmentation appears inefficient, and content optimization within the feed demands extensive manual effort from the management side, highlighting a gap in delivering a streamlined, user-centric community experience.

G2 reviews on Gainsight Customer Communities

Commune simplifies the process of organizing custom fields added to user profiles with its user-friendly interface, streamlining their integration into segmentation efforts. Additionally, its use of dynamic groups automates the management of groups according to specific criteria, significantly easing the administrative burden and ensuring precise content distribution to targeted user groups. Commune also optimizes content delivery by analyzing user attributes and activity, thereby reducing the need for manual administration and improving the overall user experience.

Effectively designed user journey

Achieving success in community management extends beyond merely providing a platform that’s straightforward for administrators to use. The foundation of any community lies in active user engagement — it’s essential to draw in users and foster an environment that encourages their regular return.

A vital factor in sustaining user engagement is the availability of an app. Distinguishing between Gainsight Customer Communities and Commune, the latter offers a significant advantage with its white-label app feature. This allows for the creation of custom, brand-consistent interfaces on both iOS and Android platforms, preserving the brand’s visual identity. With this feature, Commune ensures that community members can access their community anywhere, facilitating ongoing interaction and education. On this point, Gainsight Customer Communities lacks both a white-label app and a basic app for user login with community credentials. This absence affects the platform’s accessibility and general ease of use.

The simplicity with which users can access and interact with community content also plays a pivotal role in keeping them engaged. Here, Gainsight Customer Communities falls short, notably missing a centralized notification hub. This absence hinders users from efficiently tracking updates, mentions, or feedback, complicating their interaction with the community’s content. Moreover, the lack of a digest email function, which would aggregate and share a weekly summary of posts, further risks users overlooking valuable contributions, thereby diminishing their engagement.

G2 review on Gainsight Customer Communities

In stark contrast, Commune excels by seamlessly integrating these functionalities. It leverages digest emails tailored with user-specific recommendations, automatically distributed, thereby reducing administrative workload while enhancing user engagement. This ensures that users remain well-informed and actively engaged, highlighting Commune’s commitment to fostering a vibrant and interconnected community experience.

Analytics capabilities

Steering a community to success demands an accurate understanding of both the overall state of the community and the circumstances of each individual member, leveraging insights from data analysis. It is equally important to perpetually adjust and enhance strategies by reviewing this information and incorporating additional data sources as necessary.

While Gainsight Customer Communities comes equipped with general web analytics features, it lacks community-specific analyses such as cohort analysis or power user analysis. Furthermore, it does not offer functionality to automatically create groups based on analysis data, thus inhibiting the ability to execute seamless actions derived from this data. User reviews also highlight issues, mentioning that it often becomes buggy, displays inconsistent data, requires repeated adjustments for data range changes, and provides suboptimal reporting, making it less than ideal for stable data-driven community management.

Strategic services

Starting a community is straightforward, yet steering it toward success is a significant challenge. Relying entirely on in-house management may result in a lack of resources, missing benchmarks, and constrained expertise. These challenges hinder the ability to implement the most effective strategies, especially when the path to success is ambiguous. Simply adopting an online community platform does not assure success, considering these intricate factors.

In light of these challenges, Commune extends expert strategic guidance through its team of thoroughly vetted community professionals, offering robust support for community management. This strategy presents a clear solution to navigate the obstacles outlined above, paving the way for achieving success within the community.

While Gainsight Customer Communities offers CSM Support, it lacks the kind of support and consulting value that Commune provides, aimed at leading communities to success. It does not assist in success through the provision of insights based on operational knowledge and data of community management.

Pricing Comparison

Gainsight Customer Communities does not publicly disclose pricing details on its website or through any accessible sources. Interested parties need to contact their sales team to obtain a quotation. The lack of transparent pricing means careful comparison with other products is necessary to avoid potentially higher costs. According to Feverbee, the minimum pricing for Gainsight Customer Communities starts at $100,000.

Commune presents a range of four pricing tiers, beginning at $1,999, designed to accommodate varying needs based on preferred functionalities and factors like user or administrator counts. The inclusion of strategic services in the package, alongside product features that facilitate effective community management, delivers considerable value, positioning Commune as a comprehensive solution for community managers seeking an integrated experience.

Gainsight Customer Communities’ Pros

Customization

The platform offers extensive APIs and integrations, opening wide avenues for customization. It enables straightforward no-code customizations, allowing for the easy addition of various UI elements on the home screen. However, developing a community with unique structures or intricate designs typically requires HTML/CSS knowledge, leading to a need for developer input. This situation can hinder the achievement of fully adaptable customization in practice.

Especially for those in community management roles, like community managers, who might not have immediate access to developers or designers, procuring either internal or external technical resources becomes crucial. Additionally, evolving a community is an ongoing task that demands regular updates to its design and layout to keep up with user engagement, seasonal variations, and new trends, thus making reliance on developer resources for every update a considerable challenge.

Conversely, Commune is designed with a no-code philosophy, facilitating the easy building, managing, and refining of communities without requiring coding expertise. This approach allows for hassle-free modifications, including banner design, tab structure adjustments, user permission settings, group automation, and educational content development, all without the need for developer or designer intervention. Community management teams can easily implement, assess, and improve these elements on their own. Moreover, Commune provides the flexibility for more advanced customizations, such as HTML adjustments, API integrations, webhooks, and SSO settings, accommodating the need for more detailed customizations.

Moderation

Gainsight Customer Communities is equipped with content moderation tools, enabling the community to suppress spam and dangerous content and to resolve reports and disputes amicably.

Commune adopts a comprehensive moderation strategy that integrates automation for identifying and marking content, with the critical addition of human oversight for discerning judgment. This dual-layered approach guarantees a high level of quality control while maintaining the delicate balance of human nuances. Such a method not only provides stringent quality assurance but also nurtures a community atmosphere that is more empathetic and responsive to its members’ needs.

Customer Reviews and Testimonials

G2 Reviews

Commune excels in every aspect, showcasing its leadership in product comprehensiveness as well as the quality of its support and services.

Left: Commune, Right: Gainsight Customer Communities

In terms of functionality, Commune receives higher ratings in almost all categories. As explained in the Key Values Comparison, this demonstrates that Commune provides the features and values sought after for community management as an all-in-one solution. It also shows appreciation for delivering the necessary functions and UX for users, as well as for the quality of its analytical features, including the analytics dashboard.

Left: Commune, Right: Gainsight Customer Communities
Left: Commune, Right: Gainsight Customer Communities
Left: Commune, Right: Gainsight Customer Communities
Left: Commune, Right: Gainsight Customer Communities
Left: Commune, Right: Gainsight Customer Communities

Customer testimonials

Gainsight Customer Communities appears to be encountering significant communication hurdles. The platform’s lack of direct email and notification functionality has sparked concerns, highlighting a reduction in user engagement due to this technical limitation. The necessity of integrating third-party email services to facilitate crucial communication channels further underscores this problem. Moreover, the absence of threaded posts complicates the delivery of coherent and structured communication within the forum.

G2 reviews on Gainsight Customer Communities

Conversely, Commune is recognized for its ability to establish effective user engagement points, facilitating seamless interactions between users as well as between administrators and users. This is achieved through a variety of communication tools, including direct messages, newsletters, weekly digest emails, and app notifications.

G2 review on Commune

Another point of contention with Gainsight Customer Communities is its approach to product development. Customers express significant dissatisfaction with the platform’s minimal engagement in product evolution, noting that much of their feedback and essential requests for key features frequently receive a dismissive response, labeled as “on the roadmap.

G2 reviews on Gainsight Customer Communities

On the other hand, Commune is praised for its quick product development and update cycles, which are seen as key strengths of the platform. Users appreciate how responsive the product is to customer feedback and needs, effectively tackling practical challenges in community management.

G2 reviews on Commune

Final Thoughts

Throughout this article, we’ve conducted a detailed comparison between Commune and Gainsight Customer Communities, highlighting the distinct advantages that Commune offers. From its seamless mobile app integration and the broad range of educational and engagement tools to its comprehensive analytics and strategic consulting support, Commune enhances the overall experience of community management. This comparison has underscored Commune’s approach to community building, which prioritizes user engagement and leverages data-driven insights to foster a supportive and interactive environment. For leaders and managers aiming to cultivate dynamic, engaged communities, Commune represents not just a tool but a partner in success, marking it as the definitive platform for achieving lasting community growth and engagement.

Interested in learning more about Commune? Book a quick call today!