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Customer Communities Posts

2018 Forrester CXNYC Forum Recap: How Communities Add Value to the Customer Experience

Written by Kate Zimmerman | on July 2, 2018 at 8:26 AM | 3 minute read

Two weeks ago, I attended the Forrester Customer Experience forum in New York City. The forum focused on leveraging Forrester’s recent research to help customer experience (CX) professionals deliver better CX. What does CX have to do with communities, you may ask? Quite a lot, as I suspected and then confirmed while at the show.

Forrester conducts an annual survey measuring CX across various industries. While you would expect to see CX scores gradually increasing, they are actually stagnant year over year: the worst are getting better, but the best are actually getting worse.

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Topics: Customer Communities, Customer Experience, Online Community

Will Microsoft’s Xbox Customer Support Program Built on Volunteer Power Work?

Written by Elizabeth Bell on June 26, 2018 at 8:29 AM | 4 minute read

Can you have a successful customer support community built solely on volunteering? That’s the hypothesis Microsoft seems to be testing with its recent decisions for Xbox customer support.

Xbox Ambassadors are Xbox users who volunteer to help other users with their gaming issues. A news source recently reported that Microsoft has laid off twelve of its contracted Xbox customer support staff and is replacing them with these volunteers, supposedly in a cost-cutting measure. Two of the staff said they had recently finished training a group of Xbox Ambassadors who will now be their replacements.

Although Microsoft retained a couple support staff, they seem to be leaning the bulk of their Xbox customer support on these volunteers.

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Topics: Volunteer Management, Customer Communities, Online Community Software, Customer Support, Customer Success, Online Community

What’s the Difference Between Quantitative and Qualitative Community Data? (And When to Use Them)

Written by Julie Dietz on March 13, 2018 at 8:30 AM | 3 minute read

Customer data is one of the biggest advantages of online communities. As customers log in to your community, connect with peers, and start discussions, they not only become more engaged with your brand, they generate data on their needs, habits, and interests.

Your company can use that data to create better products, publish more helpful content, and improve the customer experience.

But not all community data is created equal. Your community collects several types of data that provide different insights about customers. To get the most out your community data, you need to understand what kind of data you have and the best times to use each.

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Topics: Customer Communities, B2B Communities, Online Community

Two Ways to Demonstrate the Business Impact of Customer Communities

Written by Julie Dietz on February 13, 2018 at 8:30 AM | 3 minute read

Revenue. Customer support costs. Acquisition. Retention. These are basic examples of business metrics companies track to evaluate their performance.

They’re also metrics any online community can use to show business impact.

The best community professionals measure, track, and compare metrics to demonstrate how their communities are impacting their businesses. They start by identifying the most important metrics to their company, then use them strategically to show impact.

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Topics: Customer Communities, Online Community

How a Major Corporation Crowdsources Product Innovation (And How You Can Too)

Written by Julie Dietz on January 9, 2018 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

Starbucks. You’ve heard of Starbucks, right? It’s one of those iconic brands that crosses generations. Everyone, including my grandmother and youngest cousin (she’s three and loves a Starbucks white hot chocolate) knows of and has tried at least one.

They’re massively popular and older than you might think – Starbucks will celebrate its 47th anniversary in 2018. So how have they managed to stay current, keeping their customers and winning new ones for almost 50 years? How do they come up with their offers? Their signature drinks?

Some of it is baristas, years of experience, and market research. The rest? It might just be their customers.

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Topics: Customer Communities, Online Community

The Anatomy of an Effective Customer Community Team

Written by Julie Dietz on November 30, 2017 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

Communities are naturally multi-disciplinary projects. They use diverse tools to provide the information customers need in the way they want to receive it, all to fill a business need like improving retention or increasing awareness about your products.

At any given time, professionals working in the online community space might be writing documents, talking to customers, editing videos, or sending emails.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Customer Communities, Online Community

Increasing Revenue per Customer: 6 Reasons Why Your Customers Don’t Buy More

Written by Julie Dietz on October 10, 2017 at 8:30 AM | 5 minute read

Eighty percent of your future revenue will come from 20 percent of your existing customers, according to Gartner. For businesses, that’s huge, underscoring just how important it is to focus on customer success and marketing.

If you want to grow your business, you need current customers to keep buying.

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Topics: Customer Communities, B2B Communities, Customer Success, Marketing Automation, Online Community

Is Your Company Using Online Community Data Effectively?

Written by Scott K. Wilder | on September 14, 2017 at 8:30 AM | 8 minute read

In my last post, I talked about folding community into your larger business operations to better serve customers and your company, a technique known as Community as an Integrated Service (CIS). I also laid out the fundamentals of PIE (Processes, Integrations and Ecosystems), a framework for building out CIS. Well, every pie needs filling, whether it is blueberry or raspberry. CIS’ PIE filling is Data.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Customer Communities, Online Community

How to Increase Customer Retention with an Online Community

Written by Julie Dietz on July 25, 2017 at 8:30 AM | 6 minute read

A five percent increase in customer retention can increase business profits by 25 percent. That’s substantial, but according to the Harvard Business Review, it may be on the low side. That same five percent retention increase may be able to increase revenue by up to 95 percent.

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Topics: Customer Communities, Customer Experience, Customer Retention, Customer Support, Online Community

How to Overcome Challenges and Use Community as an Integrated Service to Improve Business Results

Written by Scott K. Wilder | on July 20, 2017 at 8:30 AM | 7 minute read

Historically, organizations have struggled to integrate community into their infrastructure and customer-facing offerings. Community is often looked at as a standalone application or service that’s tacked onto a company’s overall suite of platforms, such as their corporate website, their marketing automation platform, their email engine, and their CRM.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Customer Communities, Customer Experience, Online Community

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