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Customer Communities Posts

Letter to MailChimp: You Spoke Too Soon

Written by Molly Talbert | on May 9, 2016 at 9:00 AM | 5 minute read

Dear MailChimp,

In 2012, you wrote this blog post, explaining why you were shutting down your customer community, The Jungle. You said that customer communities weren’t growing, that yours was unwieldy and that better alternatives existed.

We disagree.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Customer Communities, Email Marketing, Online Community

How to Use Online Activity Data to Know If a Customer Might Leave You (Without Hearing It From Them)

Written by Julie Dietz on May 6, 2016 at 8:30 AM | 5 minute read

There are at least two things we know for sure about customer retention:

  1. Keeping the customers you already have is crucial to the success of your business.
  2. Customers are harder to keep today than ever before.

According to recent research from Accenture, 46% of customers in the United States say they're more likely to switch providers now than they were 10 years ago. That's likely because customers today have more accessible information and options, meaning they are constantly aware of their choices.

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Topics: Customer Communities, Customer Engagement, Customer Retention, Online Community

Why Offering Access to Your Customer Community Converts Better Than Static Content Offers

Written by Julie Dietz on April 27, 2016 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

Did you know that B2B companies that blog generate an average of 67 percent more leads per month than companies that do not blog? Creating high quality, relevant content, such as regular blog posts, is an essential element of effective content marketing strategies today.

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Topics: Customer Communities, Customer Advocacy, Online Community

How to Find Sales-Ready Opportunities in Your Customer Base

Written by Julie Dietz on April 25, 2016 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

It's no secret that sales to existing customers generate a significant amount of revenue for businesses. Numbers vary, but Lattice reports that most companies get 50% or more of their revenue from their current customer base. Other research put the number even higher.

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Topics: Customer Communities, Online Community

How to Use Activity Data in Your Customer Community to Increase Revenue Per Customer

Written by Julie Dietz on April 20, 2016 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

It's one of the most well-known rules of doing business: it's much more expensive to acquire new customers than to retain the ones you already have.

While exactly how much more expensive is up for debate, you can estimate that new customers cost five times more than existing customers. Since selling to existing customers is cheaper (lower cost of acquisition), those sales result in higher margins. That line of thinking leads to this basic principle: one of the simplest ways to increase revenue per customer is to sell to the customers you already have.

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

Selecting and Purchasing a Customer Portal Platform: How to Get Started

Written by Julie Dietz on April 15, 2016 at 8:00 AM | 5 minute read

It's like choosing the perfect car. It has to be the right make, model, and have all the fancy features you could dream of. But with so many choices, making a decision takes hard work, hours of research, and even a few test drives.

Choosing the right customer portal platform for your organization is no different. There are so many options that selecting the right customer portal platform for your organization has become a major obstacle. How do you know which one is best for you? How do you choose between the different features?

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Topics: Customer Communities, Online Community Software, Customer Support, Online Community

When Do You Know Your Customers Want a Community?

Written by Molly Talbert | on March 23, 2016 at 9:30 AM | 4 minute read

Everyone is talking about customer communities these days. But when do you know it’s actually time to bite the bullet and get one?

There are tactics for ensuring a new customer community launch is successful, but at the end of the day, if your customers don’t want it, they won’t use it.

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Topics: Customer Communities, B2B Communities, Customer Engagement, Online Community

The Top 5 Reasons Why Companies Launch Branded Online Communities (and Why Some Succeed) [Research]

Written by Julie Dietz on March 8, 2016 at 8:30 AM | 5 minute read

According to a recent study from leading social and community business researchers Leader Networks and CMX, the marketplace is seeing a revolutionizing shift in both business and marketing behavior. Instead of focusing on traditional advertising and cost reduction businesses and associations are focusing on their relationships with customers to improve satisfaction and add value for existing and potential customers.

That means companies are increasingly looking to their customers as the source of their success and looking for more feedback on products, services, and practices.

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Topics: Customer Communities, B2B Communities, Customer Retention, Customer Support, Online Community

5 Innovative Ways Businesses Are Using Online Community Platforms

Written by Christina Green | on March 3, 2016 at 1:19 PM | 3 minute read

In the past, organizational innovation came from the spark of an idea applied to a well-funded research and development panel. The organization hatched the idea, grew it, and presented it all on its own timeline. This is no longer the case. Growth, engagement, and even the creation of ideas themselves is now fueled by faster processes and the closer interactions between companies and their customers, partners, and professional associations.

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Topics: Customer Communities, Online Community

Communities Help the Buyer's Journey

Written by Hunter Montgomery | on February 23, 2016 at 10:00 AM | 5 minute read

A community isn’t just an afterthought for your customers. And it isn’t only valuable once the deal is sealed and you sold them your product or services. Communities can support both you, your team and your customers throughout the buyers journey; every step of the way, from evaluation, decision, retention and, ultimately, creating customer loyalty.

It’s important to think of your customer relationship as starting long before the first contact. Rather than the transaction solidifying a relationship, it’s the relationship that triggers the transaction -- as it did for this man. A relationship with a potential customer begins before you even know them; in a community, they see how you interact with your current customers and how customers interact with each other.

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Topics: Marketing, Customer Communities, Customer Experience, Customer Support, Marketing Automation, Online Community

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