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Online Community 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: Online Community, Customer Experience, Customer Communities

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

Nonprofits Need Donors Who Stick Around and There’s No Getting Around That

Written by Elizabeth Bell on June 19, 2018 at 8:30 AM | 7 minute read

Are you a nonprofit with a large pool of happy, connected donors, who give regularly and volunteer monthly? For any nonprofit, even if the answer to the question above is ‘yes,’ improving donor retention is probably one of your top concerns.  

In the business world, people are always tossing around stats about the importance of customer retention. Here’s the reality: most companies have a higher customer retention ROI over customer acquisition. It makes sense – you’ve already worked to get their business once, so it pays off to keep them happy, keep them around, and even increase their business rather than having to convince a whole set of new customers over again.

In the nonprofit space, the idea of donor retention is just as relevant. Your donors were impressed enough with your work and valued your cause enough to give to you once, and you probably worked hard to get them to that threshold. It takes a lot of work to build up trust with your donors and makes sense to continue that relationship and prove your value to them, so they continue to support you.

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Topics: Online Community, Nonprofits and Charities, Engagement, Millennials, Volunteer Management, Donor Retention

14 Blogs and Podcasts that Will Keep You Current on Online Community and Marketing Automation

Written by Elizabeth Bell on June 14, 2018 at 8:10 AM | 5 minute read

In today’s digital world it can be hard to know which resources to rely on, especially when there’s new stuff coming out all the time, and there’s so much pressure to constantly consume. How can we keep up with the technology world but also filter out the things that aren’t useful?

Since we live in a review economy, you’re probably used to checking out what other people say about a restaurant, book, etc. before you buy it. That’s a little harder to do when it comes to resources, so we wanted to make it easier for you and create a trusty list of blogs and podcasts that we follow for updates about communities and marketing automation.

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Topics: Online Community, Marketing Automation, Marketing

Stop Playing Defense with Your Online Community ROI

Written by Elizabeth Bell on June 12, 2018 at 8:00 AM | 5 minute read

When it comes to online communities, the best offense is not a good defense. Why? Because playing defense might protect you, but it won’t grow your community.

The truth is that online communities are doing well (really well). Last year alone, communities generated a 2,374% increase in return on investment (ROI), according to the State of Community Management 2018 Report. But, sadly, most community programs aren’t calculating ROI, and if they are, most are using their amazing results to play defense. For example, this could mean using their ROI to defend their program, when they could also be using their ROI to grow their program. You probably agree with me here: this is a massive loss of potential.

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Topics: Online Community, Online Community Management

Super Forum 2018: We’re Back, and Better Than Ever

Written by Heather McNair on June 7, 2018 at 8:15 AM | 3 minute read

There are T-5 months until Higher Logic’s 9th Super Forum, which for our team, feels like waiting for a birthday: It can’t get here soon enough. This year, things will look a bit different at Super Forum.

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Topics: Online Community, Online Community Software, Marketing Automation

How to Create Engaging Online Discussions: 7 Tips for Community Managers

Written by Simona Ciampi on May 31, 2018 at 8:29 AM | 5 minute read

Often, and especially early on in the life of an online community, the community manager is the one who has to start discussions. If you’re a community manager, I’m sure you know from experience that creating an engaging discussion is not easy. For example, asking someone what they think about an article and just putting the link out there is not typically enough.

There are a few handy techniques you can use when creating a conversation to facilitate more interaction.

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Topics: Online Community, Member Engagement, Member Communities, Engagement, Online Community Management, Associations

How an Online Community Meets 3 Needs You Didn’t Know You Had

Written by Elizabeth Bell on May 22, 2018 at 12:13 PM | 4 minute read

 

There’s a lot of hype around online communities now. But does that mean your organization really needs one?

You’re not alone. You or your stakeholders may be skeptical about launching an online community – after all, no one’s really asking for one yet. Why invest in something that may not seem like an urgent need? You’re right to ask questions and be concerned. You want to invest your time and money into improvements that will bring value to your organization, and it’s not feasible to put them into just any project.

Every organization is different, with a special product, industry niche, or value proposition for its members. But an online community addresses three challenges every organization has:

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Topics: Online Community, Collaboration Tools, Online Community Software, Member Retention, Customer Retention

Who Should Own Your Online Community?

Written by Julie Dietz on May 15, 2018 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

Every business project needs an owner. Someone who will work with colleagues and stakeholders to develop goals and a strategy, then implement that strategy. Often these owners aren’t just single people. They’re entire teams or departments.

That’s the way it is with online communities. One person may take the lead, but it’s teamwork that makes a community successful. Which brings us to the question at hand: Who should own your online community?

While communities are organization-wide initiatives, the team directly responsible for your community has a huge impact on its success.

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Topics: Online Community

3 Ways Community Managers Can Combat Occupational Burnout

Written by Jenny Taylor | on May 8, 2018 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

Every job is stressful in its own right-- it is called a job and not recess after all. Community management is no exception. In fact, the nature of community management makes us at risk for occupational burnout.

Occupational burnout is defined as: the emotional fatigue, reduced feeling of accomplishment, and depersonalization incurred from long-term job stress. There is a real danger of burnout when it comes to a role like community manager.

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Topics: Online Community, Online Community Management

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