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Elizabeth Bell

Elizabeth is a content specialist at Higher Logic. When she's not writing about online communities or marketing automation, you'll probably find her cooking, reading, or playing volleyball.

Recent Posts

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

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

How to Start a Mentoring Program People Want to Participate In

Written by Elizabeth Bell on November 20, 2019 at 7:43 AM | 5 minute read

Think back to your first job out of college. You were probably excited and wanted to learn everything.

Along the way, did you have someone who mentored you and helped you along in your profession? If so, you probably never forgot that relationship and the people who made an impact on your career (and possibly your life).

Many people want a mentoring relationship like this, but don’t pursue one because of barriers like feeling intimidated or not finding the right match.

Your association is the perfect place to connect members with the perfect mentor or mentee. In fact, Marketing General revealed that 48 percent of associations say participation in their mentoring program has increased—a clear indicator that members are seeking this benefit.

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

­­25 Things You Can't Miss at Super Forum 2019

Written by Elizabeth Bell on November 8, 2019 at 3:37 PM | 7 minute read

Whether you’re attending Super Forum 2019 or putting our annual community conference on your wish list for next year, there’s plenty to look forward to. Here are the 25 things you will be glad you didn’t miss at our 10th Super Forum.

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Topics: Marketing Automation, Online Community, Super Forum

3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Customer Effort Score (CES) with Online Community

Written by Elizabeth Bell on September 26, 2019 at 11:55 AM | 4 minute read

The Net Promotor Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score, and the Customer Effort Score (CES) are the current trifecta of tools for measuring the customer experience. Together, each survey type provides a valuable, unique perspective on how your customers feel about their customer experience.

The Customer Effort Score is the newest of these survey tools and is gaining popularity as companies and customer experience experts uncover more of its value.

What exactly does the Customer Effort Score measure, and why does it matter?

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

Reduce Customer Support Costs the Community Way

Written by Elizabeth Bell on September 5, 2019 at 9:30 AM | 4 minute read

Do you want to make customer support more convenient for your customers?

And reduce your support costs?

Well, we’ll let you in on customer support’s best-kept secret: your own customers.

Your customers are a wealth of knowledge about your product or service. They ask your support team questions that other customers may have already asked and gotten answers to. So why not create a space where they can search for answers and share knowledge, instead of sending them straight to a support ticket queue?

The benefits of connecting your customers in an online community are vast and varied. You might see improved brand awareness or customer loyalty. You will gain valuable insight into your product.

But one area where communities are particularly effective is reducing customer support costs.

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

Build Your Customer Journey Map with 7 Community Touchpoints

Written by Elizabeth Bell on August 29, 2019 at 10:15 AM | 5 minute read

A great customer experience is all about delighting your customer by making them successful. After your customers complete the buyer’s journey and become customers, they enter the post-sale customer journey, or the “delight” phase.

For many software as a service (SaaS) companies, the delight phase is shared across multiple teams. For example, your customer success, support, product management, implementation, and customer marketing teams may all have a hand in influencing the customer journey.

You may have a customer journey map – an agreed-on, cross-departmental plan for how you will support customers throughout their experience with you, with the goal of delighting them and creating loyal brand advocates.

So where do online communities come in?

An online community, besides being the next wave of customer engagement, is the cross-functional tool or Swiss Army knife you need to support each step of your customer journey.

Learn how to build your customer journey map with these seven online community touchpoints.

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

4 Reasons Great Customer Experience Makes a Difference in Your Revenue

Written by Elizabeth Bell on August 22, 2019 at 9:45 AM | 5 minute read

Everybody’s talking about how to improve the customer experience (or CX) these days, but if better customer experience doesn’t translate into dollar signs for your revenue growth, then is the effort even worth it? Maybe focusing on customer experience is just a feel-good idea. 

For quality answers to these concerns, we’ll defer to data from Qualtrics XM Institute’s study, ROI of Customer Experience, 2018. They analyzed feedback from 10,000 U.S. customers and used CX scores from the 2018 Temkin Experience Ratings, which analyzed 318 companies across 20 industries.

They used this data to estimate how a modest improvement in customer experience would impact the revenue of a typical $1 billion company across 20 industries.

Their top finding puts a dollar value on customer experience:

"On average, companies can gain $775 million over three years. Software companies stand to earn the most ($1 billion over three years), while utilities stand to earn the least ($476 million over three years)."

So is customer experience worth the expense? This data suggests a resounding “yes,” that even a modest improvement in customer experience could change things big time for companies.

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Topics: Customer Communities, B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Customer Experience, Customer Retention, Customer Success, Customer Advocacy, Online Community

EdTA’s Online Community Energizes + Inspires Theatre Educators

Written by Elizabeth Bell on August 13, 2019 at 9:45 AM | 5 minute read

“No man is an island entire of itself; every man

is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”

John Donne

Members flock to the Educational Theatre Association’s (EdTA) public member community, the Theatre Education Community. EdTA uses the community to bring theatre educators and professionals all together, with the ultimate goals of boosting their careers, igniting their passion, and helping them help students pursue theatre.

We caught up with Ginny Butsch, community engagement manager at EdTA, to hear more about how the community connects and empowers members.

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

3 Ways to Improve Membership Acquisition at Your Association

Written by Elizabeth Bell on August 1, 2019 at 9:42 AM | 4 minute read

Developing a growth strategy for your association takes time. It takes hours of debating the best methods to use to reach prospective members, and days of content creation and campaign management. It's stressful. And, it could all result in nothing if you don't use effective tactics to drive meaningful growth.

A balanced, comprehensive growth strategy will include a mix of focus on both member retention and member acquisition.

In this post, we’ll focus on member acquisition strategy and how associations can effectively reach potential members and convince them to join.

However, the outlook isn't all bleak. You don't have to test every communication channel to find out the best way to reach your prospects, thanks to data from fellow associations.

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Topics: Marketing, Member Communities, Associations, Email Marketing, Marketing Automation, Online Community

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