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Explore the Higher Logic Blog:Online CommunityMarketing Automation

5 Tips for Implementing an LMS to Increase Productivity

Written by Amber Winter on January 23, 2020 at 8:15 AM | 6 minute read

One of the main functions of an association is facilitating the professional development of your members. This could mean providing networking opportunities (maybe through an online member community), posting job openings, and even providing continuing education (CE) programs. Today, we’re going to focus on CE opportunities.

It’s vital for industry professionals to stay up-to-date on their learning, whether that’s renewing certifications or diving into the latest innovations in their industries. However, it’s no secret that perpetual learning is less-than-engaging to some.

It’s vital to provide content that’s truly engaging to increase members’ productivity with continuing education programs. The easiest way to do this is by implementing a Learning Management System (LMS). Check out the following tips for doing so:

  1. Choose the right LMS for your association’s needs.
  2. Promote social and live learning opportunities.
  3. Create timely courses and keep members informed.
  4. Analyze trends surrounding your course offerings.
  5. Integrate your AMS and LMS for heightened abilities.

Continue reading to learn more about incorporating an association learning management system (LMS) to increase the productivity of your members.

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Topics: Associations, Member Experience, Member Engagement, Online Community, Learning Management Systems

Making Connections at Higher Logic’s Annual Conference: Super Forum 2019

Written by Anne-Margaret Olsson | on January 15, 2020 at 9:55 AM | 3 minute read

Editor's note: Anne-Margaret, online community manager for the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC), shares her perspective on Super Forum 2019. 

There are so many great reasons for why I go to Higher Logic’s annual conference, Super Forum. One of my favorite aspects is the networking.

Super Forum brings together over 700 people every year to hear about upcoming product updates, learn best practices from other Higher Logic users, listen to motivational industry speakers, and my favorite – network. With so many Higher Logic users in one place, this is a great opportunity to learn from others.

There are two big groups I love connecting with at Super Forum: Higher Logic staff and other Higher Logic community managers.

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Topics: Marketing Automation, Online Community, Super Forum, Company News, Company Culture

Email Marketing vs. Marketing Automation [Explained]

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on January 10, 2020 at 8:30 AM | 12 minute read

A well-informed association communications strategy requires a comprehensive understanding of the differences between old-school email marketing and modern marketing automation. If you need help wrapping your head around the nuances of these technologies, you’re not alone–and you’ve come to the right place for clarity.

Did you know that 87 percent of associations consider marketing automation an important component of their current strategy? 

Yet, according to Naylor’s 2019 Association Communications Benchmarking Study, associations are increasingly struggling to effectively leverage technology like email marketing and marketing automation to deliver the customized experience members (especially younger generations) have come to expect, noting that:

  • Less than 20% feel they are effectively leveraging their career center, content management system, learning management system or marketing automation system to deliver a customized member experience
  • 3 out of 5 respondents feel they could improve their member engagement with their communications by improving their ability to customize for different subgroups
  • Nearly half (44%) of respondents agreed with the statement: “We could do a better job of promoting our communications as a member benefit”—up from 41% who felt this way in 2018

These stats reveal opportunities, and the need for some additional knowledge.

Visual learner? For maximum understanding of the differences between email marketing and marketing automation, be sure to read on and watch our featured video below (which breaks this all down in a super simplistic way).

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Topics: Marketing, Email Marketing, Marketing Automation

7 Situations Where Customer Communities Improve Customer Experience

Written by Elizabeth Bell on January 3, 2020 at 9:15 AM | 5 minute read

When executed with proper planning and resources, a customer community can have a tangible impact on key business performance indicators, including ticket deflection, revenue generation, and customer satisfaction.

According to Aberdeen Research, firms with online communities:

  • Enjoy 5.4x greater annual increase in customer satisfaction rates
  • Achieve 41% greater average customer profit margin
  • Are 2x more likely to have a formal strategy to encourage loyal customers to become brand advocates
  • Improve (decrease) support costs by 32.9% year-over-year
  • Grow customer retention rates by 15% year-over-year

When your online community also integrates with key tools, like your CRM, ticketing system, and federated search (such as Salesforce, Zendesk, and Coveo), your customer community can become a one-stop shop for your customers.

Check out seven situations where an online customer community can be used as a primary tool to improve the customer experience at your company.

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Topics: Customer Communities, B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Customer Support, Customer Success, Customer Advocacy, Online Community, Integration

What 5 Companies with the Best Customer Experience Can Teach Us

Written by Elizabeth Bell on December 27, 2019 at 8:30 AM | 8 minute read

Each year, the CX Network surveys customer experience professionals, solution providers, and industry experts on customer experience trends in the Global State of Customer Experience 2019. They ask respondents which companies they think have the best customer experience, and this year, these five business-to-consumer (B2C) companies rose to the top:

  • Disney
  • Apple
  • Uber
  • Amazon
  • Zappos

These B2C examples provide critical examples for business-to-business (B2B) companies to learn from and apply as we try to transform our organizations to become more customer-centric.

As companies that sell to businesses, rather than to consumers, it’s often hard to make connections between B2B and B2C companies. We play a whole different ball game.

But although our sales cycles often require buy-in across departments and take six-plus months, our customers are still people. And although our customer support and success processes are convoluted and multi-step, we can still use the same principles to transform our organizations to be more customer-centric.

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Topics: Customer Communities, B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Customer Support, Customer Success, Online Community, B2B

2020 Association Tech: 3 Expert Tips to Guide Your Planning

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on December 19, 2019 at 11:51 AM | 7 minute read

Good news: Four association experts sat down to share their favorite trends and lessons learned from the newly rebranded ASAE Technology Exploration Conference (TEC) and their valuable conversation can help guide your association’s 2020 planning strategy for success. 

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Topics: Member Experience, Collaboration Tools, Marketing Automation, Online Community, Integration

3 Ways This Customer Community is Humanizing the Customer Experience

Written by Elizabeth Bell on December 12, 2019 at 1:45 PM | 6 minute read

Have you had a recent brand interaction that impressed you? Maybe a company answered your support question quickly or accommodated you in a way that made you feel seen and appreciated. These experiences stand out to us, because too often, human, relatable customer experiences are rare.

For example, remember the video of the West Jet airline steward that went viral? He made his customers laugh, and they actually paid attention to the safety demonstration (a feat in and of itself). People all over the internet loved seeing him make a human connection with his customers. (Here’s the clip if you didn’t see it.)

For companies in the B2B space, especially in software or tech, we don’t always have the luxury of interacting in-person like this with our customers. Our customers often come to us with complaints or questions over social media, email, or phone, and we try our best to make a human connection through those channels. 

But what if you could create a place where your customers could engage with your other customers and your staff, 24/7?

That would certainly be a start toward improving the customer experience.

Genesys, a SaaS customer experience platform, is doing this through their online community (powered by Higher Logic).

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Topics: Online Community Management, Customer Communities, B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Customer Support, Collaboration Tools, Online Community

5 Tips for Staying Sane During Your Online Community System Migration

Written by Elizabeth Bell on December 6, 2019 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

Most of us hate moving. It means hassle, stress, PACKING, money, and time, but it’s one of those things you just have to do sometimes. And in the end, it’s usually worth it for a bigger space, a better yard, a faster commute, and more bathrooms.

It’s the same way when you’re planning a system migration, especially when it’s a software platform you’ve invested a lot into, like your online community.

Just remember that moving your online community to get it right is totally worth it. According to Aberdeen Research, firms with online communities:

  • Enjoy 5.4 times greater annual increase in customer satisfaction rates.
  • Achieve 41% greater average customer profit margin
  • Are 2 times more likely to have a formal strategy to encourage loyal customers to become brand advocates
  • Improve (decrease) support costs by 32.9% year-over-year
  • Grow customer retention rates by 15% year-over-year

Since migrating your online community to a new community platform vendor is a big commitment, I’m sure you’ve carefully considered the change. As you project manage the migration, rely on these tips to guide you (and preserve your sanity) as you progress.

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Topics: Community Platforms & Updates, Online Community Management, Customer Communities, B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Online Community Software, User Group Management, User Group Software, Online Community

6 Email Deliverability Pitfalls and Best Practices

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on December 5, 2019 at 8:15 AM | 7 minute read

If you want your marketing emails to earn a home in the right inbox, you’ll need more than brilliantly crafted content and personalization working for you. Those factors have the potential to pay off when your email hits the inbox and is opened, but what if it doesn’t make it that far? It’s important to understand what goes on behind the scenes after hitting send.

If you’re up against poor email deliverability rates, or simply need a refresher on deliverability best practices, assess your strategy for these common pitfalls then get busy making improvements to impact how you’ll send emails moving forward for maximum exposure.

If you were at our recent Super Forum conference, you may recall these tips from an engaging breakout session on deliverability presented by Amanda DeLuke, Higher Logic Deliverability Analyst, and Dean Canellos, Manager of Deliverability Operations.

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Topics: Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Marketing Automation, Super Forum

12 Examples of Thriving Communities for Online Community Builders to Learn From

Written by Elizabeth Bell on December 2, 2019 at 12:07 PM | 7 minute read

We’re always talking about building community and how engaged communities can have an undeniable impact on our organizations. However, sometimes the concepts behind an online community can feel a bit abstract. 

Aren’t communities built in person? How can an army of strangers online make a customer feel seen? 

To make the idea of an online community and its benefits more concrete, we used our internal employee community to crowdsource 12 of our favorite examples of thriving communities around the web. 

These examples can help us answer the question: What really makes a community a community?

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Customer Communities, Member Communities, B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Customer Engagement, Member Engagement, Online Community

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