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Customer Communities Posts

How to Create a Great Online Customer Portal

Written by Joshua Paul | on February 25, 2014 at 8:25 AM | 5 minute read

The past few years have seen a big shift in customer support as more and more companies offer self-service customer support through online customer and client portals. While a reduction in support center phone calls might seem like it benefits companies the most, a 2012 study from Amdocs suggests that today's customers also prefer an online self-service approach.

In a study conducted by the analyst firm Coleman Parks, gave insight into customer preferences when it comes to their support options. Though the survey targeted smartphone users, the findings apply to other product support as well.

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

Is This The Secret Sauce In Active Online Customer Communities?

Written by Joshua Paul | on January 22, 2014 at 8:44 AM | 5 minute read

How to Capitalize on One of the Most Underutilized Online Community Management Tools

You have numerous tools at your disposal for growing and managing your online customer community - from content calendars to analytics.

What if there was one tool you weren't using that could make a substantial difference in delivering consistent engagement in your community?

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

How to Launch a Private Online Community Without Angering Your Customers

Written by Joshua Paul | on January 14, 2014 at 8:30 AM | 6 minute read

Change Management Tips to Ease the Transition to a Community-Based Customer Experience

My wife and I love Walt Disney World. Like many people who frequent the parks, we have developed our own ways of avoiding lines, hitting a ton of attractions, and getting the most for our money.

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

How Your Online Customer Community Helps Close More Sales

Written by Joshua Paul | on December 19, 2013 at 9:01 AM | 4 minute read

Many companies are experiencing real benefits of managing customer and partner relationships through online customer communities.

Active communities provide valuable insight into your customers' challenges and motives, which in turn helps your company to create even better products and services. Providing an always-on network of peer-to-peer support can also lower customer service costs by taking some of the burden away from call centers and other support personnel.

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

6 Steps to Creating a Content Curation Program for Your Online Customer Community (Part 2)

Written by Joshua Paul | on October 16, 2013 at 8:29 AM | 3 minute read

One of the central characteristics of thriving online member or customer communities is that the organizations behind these communities position the communities at the center of an industry or business ecosystem. They find a niche and people who care about those values or market, then create a community around it.

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Topics: Customer Communities, Online Community

10 Steps to Move Your LinkedIn Group to Your Own Private Community Platform

Written by Andy Steggles | on May 24, 2013 at 12:30 PM | 4 minute read

There are many reasons an organization may want to use LinkedIn. Some may prefer this public platform because it's free while other organizations use it just to test the water. But what happens if you're successful? I've provided many good reasons why not to build your community around the LinkedIn brand, but what if it's too late? Let's assume that you've been nurturing your LinkedIn community for a while and have a decent amount of traction. At what point do you pull the plug and move all that engagement over to your own website and, more importantly, how do you do it?

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Topics: Online Community Management, Social Media, Customer Communities, Online Community

3 Insightful Social Customer Service Articles That You May Have Missed

Written by Joshua Paul | on May 20, 2013 at 11:41 AM | 2 minute read

According to Nielsen's 2012 Social Media Report, over 50% of customers use some type of social channel to engage companies to report satisfaction, ask questions, and lodge complaints. One third of consumers prefer social customer service to getting answers by phone.

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Topics: Customer Communities, Online Community

Four Elements of Enterprise Social Networking

Written by Andy Steggles | on April 21, 2013 at 11:00 AM | 3 minute read

Social Networking in the Enterprise

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Topics: Social Media, Collaboration Tools, Customer Communities, Online Community

Why B2B Companies Need Private Online Customer Communities [Example]

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 28, 2013 at 9:55 AM | 5 minute read

I love the marketing software I use! I like their approach, the company's culture, and the solution itself.

However, like all products and services, my marketing software and its provider are not perfect. A recent attempt at sharing a new feature with customers turned into a less than positive exchange.

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Topics: B2B Communities, Customer Communities, Online Community

Online Customer Forums: Are You Prepared for These 7 Types of Questions?

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 21, 2013 at 8:30 AM | 5 minute read

If you have ever worked in a customer-facing role, you know that if something is possible with your product or service, customers will probably bring it up in your online customer forums at some point.

Each type of post or question in your customer forums represents a different persona that your community management team should prepare for. For instance, a post where a new customer introduces themself to the community comes with an entire set of needs, expectations, and next steps which that individual can take, than a discussion started by a veteran customer advocate.

It will improve your customers' experience and save your community management team time to train and prepare for a large portion of the questions that you know will be asked in your discussion forums.

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

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