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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

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

Creating a Great B2B Customer Case Study: 16 Tips for Marketing + Sales Enablement

Written by Elizabeth Bell on July 25, 2019 at 11:17 AM | 8 minute read

Quantifiable, well-presented customer case studies are how business-to-business (B2B) companies prove their solution works. And what does a great B2B case study come down to? A compelling customer story that demonstrates the success of your product or service, and makes others want to buy.

It’s no secret that consumers rely heavily on reviews, and buyers of enterprise software or other services are the same:

  • Prospects view case studies before requesting demos
  • Sales teams rely on case studies to support and close deals
  • Executives use case studies to prove to investors that your company’s product works

So, when customers will vouch for your company and back up your claims with numbers, that’s gold.

But now we get to the reality, which is that finding and producing effective B2B customer case studies is challenging for marketing teams. Why? Customers are busy, they might be unhappy with your company, or they simply might not be ready to share their story. Often, case study requests end in some form of “no” or a non-answer.

However, great case studies can be created! We’re here to help customers marketers rise to the top with 16 case study tips, organized by each stage in the case study process.

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Topics: Customer Communities, B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Customer Engagement, Customer Advocacy, Online Community

Association Tips: 6 Irresistible Member Benefits that Convince People to Join and Renew

Written by Elizabeth Bell on July 18, 2019 at 9:45 AM | 7 minute read

Getting people to join your association is like making a sale. You need to offer them something they want enough that they’re willing to pay for it.

The problem is that many other organizations have similar offers and value propositions. So what benefits can you provide that convince people to join – and stay – with your association?

Here are six member benefit ideas that should do the trick.

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Topics: Engagement, Volunteer Management, Member Communities, Associations, Member Retention, Member Experience, Member Engagement, Marketing Automation, Online Community

What is Net Negative Churn? 4 Strategies to Grow Your Revenue

Written by Elizabeth Bell on July 10, 2019 at 1:22 PM | 5 minute read

Even the greatest companies out there are bound to lose a customer once in a while. It can be hard to pinpoint a single reason that your customers stay with you or leave. However, if there's one thing we know for sure, it's this: change leads to churn, especially in the SaaS world.

When services or products evolve, your new offerings aren’t always going to be the right fit for all your customers. Customer churn simply comes with the territory of doing business.

Since we know at least some churn is a given, is there any way for businesses to offset these costs? 

This is where net negative churn comes in. Although the wording can be confusing (isn’t churn already negative?), this metric is actually an effective growth strategy to help you counteract churn and increase overall revenue.

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

39 Online Community Stats You Should Know in 2019

Written by Elizabeth Bell on June 13, 2019 at 8:58 AM | 6 minute read

The Community Roundtable annually releases the The State of Community Management Report, and it’s chock-full of timely online community stats to help inform your strategies in the year ahead.

Community is increasingly recognized as a valuable and effective way to create complex organizational change, and The Community Roundtable’s research has backed up and lead that effort by finding hard data and facts.

We’ve pulled out 39 of our favorite stats from the report (but don’t worry, there’s more stats and info to be had in the full report!)

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

Public Social Network or Private Online Community? 11 Tips to Guide Your Decision

Written by Elizabeth Bell on June 6, 2019 at 2:10 PM | 8 minute read

Would you build your house on rented land? Or move all your belongings into a hotel room?

The answers are obvious. No, you wouldn’t, because you’d be trying to create something permanent in an impermanent place that you don’t own, where things could change at any moment.

Could the same concept apply to building a community for your customers or members on social media? We think so.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Customer Communities, Member Communities, B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Associations, Online Community Software, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Member Experience, Member Engagement, Online Community, Integration, Advertising

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