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Joshua Paul

Josh has over 18 years of hands-on and executive marketing experience helping companies systematically increase revenue through measurable marketing and sales strategies. Prior to joining Higher Logic, Josh held a variety of senior product management and marketing roles at technology companies. When he is not working, Josh enjoys building businesses, sailing, and spending time with his wife and children.
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Recent Posts

How to Select the Right Mobile App for Your Online Community

Written by Joshua Paul | on February 14, 2012 at 8:30 AM | 3 minute read

For many online communities, especially those with members who are busy or don't have consistent access to a desktop or laptop, mobile engagement is a critical part of their online community strategy.

When a business or association decides that in order to keep their customers, employees, partners, or members engaged they need a mobile app that extends their online community, they are soon faced with the decision to develop a native app (the kind you find in an app store) or a mobile web app that uses the phone's browser.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

Why Every Company Who Cares About Customer Retention Needs a Community [Data]

Written by Joshua Paul | on February 8, 2012 at 9:15 AM | 3 minute read

I am willing to bet that the question, "how can we find ways to grow?" is echoed through the halls of corporations and membership organizations over 10x more than a call for ideas to keep current customers.

One may be surprised by the impact that losing a customer can have on a business's performance. Not only do the strategy, marketing, and sales hours it took to get that customer to give you their money go down the drain, but there are many other long term consequences of weak customer retention.

This makes customer retention job #1 at any organization. Companies and associations must strive to meet and exceed the expectations of both individuals or business customers. It doesn't generally require large overalls or massive expenditures to engage and retain these customers, but holding onto customers or members is vital towards the stability of any membership organization and corporation. As the statistics below show, going after new customers is much more expensive than investing in holding onto current clients.

4 Important Reasons that Marketing and Customer Care Execs Must Focus On Customer Retention

Reason #1) It costs organizations 5 to 8 times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain a current customer.

The revenue that come in from customers is a result of an organization's business development investment. Most often this takes the form of outgoing cash flow focused on sales and marketing. The payday on the investment is only recognized if the customer remains a customer. Sometimes, it can take over a year to reach a break even point.

This means that holding onto every customer or member is vital for the longevity of any company. The cost savings resulting from holding onto customers, rather than having to increase your investment in attracting new customers, affords an organization additional funds to invest elsewhere. (Stat source: Lee Resources, Inc.)

Reason #2) A 2% increase in customer retention is the same as cutting expenses of the organization by 10%.

Profitability and sustainability are top-of-mind for most executive teams. Why not boost profitability in a way that won't kill morale and productivity? Businesses and member organizations can use the extra cash flow from their customer retention strategy to invest in new customer acquisition, expand into new markets, or upgrade current customer engagement systems to further improve the relationship between the company and its customers. (Stat source: Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmet Murphy & Mark Murphy)

Reason #3) 73% of customers leave a company because they are not happy with the customer serviced provided.

With the advent of simple social networks, real time support, and easily researchable alternatives, customers' customer service expectations of companies have spiked over the last decade.Companies and membership organizations are turning to online tools to keep customers engaged so they can catch at risk customers sooner and provide a much higher ratio of positive customer experiences to cushion the blow of the occasional frustration that all customers face.

Along with building stronger, more collaborative relationships with customers or members, many organizations are also utilizng social business tools to encourage peer-to-peer support in order to control customer service costs and focus their effort of higher-priority customers. (State source: Harris Interactive)

Reason #4) 91% of customers don't ever return to a company after leaving.

Compound all of the stats above and the fact is, once you lose a customer, they will most likely never do business with you again. This is why maintaining a high level of customer engagement and satisfaction is paramount to the wellbeing of any business or membership organization. (Stat source: Lee Resources, Inc.)

BONUS FACT: In some industries, as a customer or member stays with a given organization, the value of the customer actually increases.

The longer a customer stays with your company, the more likely they are to invest additional time and money with your organization. Customers or members who are just starting off with your company or association are generally more timid. They often only spend the minimum in order to check out the organization and see if it is worthwhile. This makes both engaging new customers and retaining long time customers extremely valuable and must be a top priority for any company and association.

Online Community Takeaway

Online communities and private social networks provide companies and associations with a platform to keep customers or members engaged. Some companies (usually B2C) are comfortable using public social networks as the center of the customer retention efforts, while other organizations choose to launch private online customer communities.

The flexibility of online customer community software allows organizations to reach diverse customer segments and shape their engagement strategy around the social tools and information that are relevant to each customer.

Customer retention relies on your customers finding success with your products and services. From peer-to-peer discussion groups to searchable file libraries to proactive customer service tools, there is no other format that can have a greater impact of your customers finding the answers, people, and advice they need to get results.

Download your free guide to buying and implementing a customer portal.

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Topics: Customer Retention, Customer Communities, Online Community

How Associations Increase Revenue Using Online Community Software

Written by Joshua Paul | on February 2, 2012 at 8:30 AM | 3 minute read

Marketing, customer management, and membership professionals are family with the obvious revenue impact of creating a private social network for members or customers. These benefits include:

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Topics: Associations, Online Community

7 Examples of SOPA's Damage to Private Online Communities

Written by Joshua Paul | on January 19, 2012 at 11:08 AM | 3 minute read

You may have been one of the millions of people who experienced first-hand one of the most effective political protests of our generation yesterday. Due to the courage of companies like Wikipedia, Google, Reddit, and Wordpress, if you didn't know already, you now know what SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) are. They are the bills in front of the US Congress right now that could drastically change the way that organizations of all sizes use the Internet.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

Improve Customer Experience Using One of the Best Online Community Models

Written by Joshua Paul | on January 17, 2012 at 8:51 AM | 2 minute read

Your online community will not be as popular as Apple's iPad was when it launched. It may not even be as popular, as the HP whatever-it-was-called tablet when it was launched. I'm here to tell you that it is OK.

For marketing and membership professionals who are nervous about getting customers to use, engage with, and return to your private online customer or member community, this may be the best news you have heard all year.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Online Community Software, Online Community

8 Online Community Management Lessons From the #1 New Year's Resolution

Written by Joshua Paul | on January 11, 2012 at 10:25 AM | 2 minute read

The beginning of the year is a time for fresh starts, goal-setting, and new commitments. One of the most common resolutions is to get to the gym more consistently. However, this promise often fades before we see spring.

Health clubs and the fitness professionals are increasingly employing community management tactics to improve customer satisfaction and retain members. What can online community managers learn from this approach?

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

The Ultimate Framework for Planning an Online Community Strategy

Written by Joshua Paul | on January 6, 2012 at 2:20 PM | 2 minute read

Most guidance on the lifecycles of online communities is written from the perspective of a community manager. They cover how communities come together and mature over time. While these online community lifecycle models are vital to understanding what to expect and how to nurturing and grow your community, they don't address early phases of the online community planning process that are of importance to executives and decision makers.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

3 Social Business Planning Traps to Avoid

Written by Joshua Paul | on January 3, 2012 at 10:57 AM | 3 minute read

Implementing a sustainable social business model can be complicated. When building community into your strategy, you are not only empowering and motivating employees, but relying on customers, prospects, and partners to engage each other and your organization.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

How to Keep Your Online Community Members Engaged Over the Holidays

Written by Joshua Paul | on December 23, 2011 at 8:30 AM | 2 minute read

Wait! Before you sign off for the holiday break, how are you going to keep your online community thriving during the extended vacation? While most of your customers or members will be planning a lower level of engagement over the next couple weeks, the holidays are also a great time for your target audience to get caught up on content and discussions without the distraction of day-to-day office life.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Online Community

How to Build a Branded Online Community [Quick Tips]

Written by Joshua Paul | on December 17, 2011 at 8:30 AM | 2 minute read

For companies and membership organizations that are planning to build a branded online community to increase sales, improve customer satisfaction, and better control support costs, this recent video from Inc.com has some great tips. However, many deserve explanation to be truly valuable to a business to business (B2B) or membership marketer.

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Topics: B2B Communities, Online Community

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