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B2B Communities Posts

Run Your Virtual Event with Confidence: Tips for a Great Show

Written by Gina Vavra on March 19, 2020 at 12:56 PM | 6 minute read

As COVID-19 forces events from in-person to virtual, the first and most essential thing is a mindset shift: Going digital was not your plan, but it’s your chance to make the most of a bad situation.

While you take a step back and re-orient yourself to running a virtual event, you have some freedom to re-envision what your event will look like. Your virtual conference can still be meaningful and engaging for your audience.

Speaking of your audience, they’re craving connection and support right about now. Your event can be one of the things that meets that need.

Let’s refocus together.

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

Why a Customer Community Should be Central to Your Customer Experience

Written by Elizabeth Bell on March 17, 2020 at 10:57 AM | 4 minute read

If you’re trying to improve the customer experience, start by looking at whether your digital customer experience is disjointed.

As a SaaS provider or B2B company, “digital” might be the only way a customer interacts with you. If all they experience is disconnected, frustrating processes where they have to login multiple times and go to multiple systems in order to get their problem answered, you’re not delivering an optimal experience. 

One approach to fixing the problem is to centralize the customer experience around a customer community.

A customer community creates a space where customers can connect with you, connect with each other, and find what they need for success.

Your customer community should be a digital hub; a place where customers can access everything they need regarding your company or product during every stage of the customer lifecycle.

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

Are You Facing These 3 Community Building Challenges?

Written by Morghan Cope on February 27, 2020 at 8:30 AM | 5 minute read

Communities are becoming a staple for healthy organizations to reach and interact with their customers and members, but they can be hard to navigate.

To help guide your community building efforts, two of our 2020 Community Movers + Shakers sat down for a webinar to share advice in response big community challenges that attendees were facing.

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

7 Hard Questions to Evaluate Your Digital Customer Experience

Written by Elizabeth Bell on February 21, 2020 at 8:45 AM | 5 minute read

The hard truth: Your digital customer experience may be disjointed. Forrester Research writes, “Digital experience delivery is a business-critical obligation.” 

For many companies today, especially B2B or SaaS companies, the digital customer experience is the customer experience. Your customers likely interact with you almost entirely online (as they do things like submit support tickets, tag your business profiles on social media, or visit your website), making evaluating your customers’ digital experience a key step on the road to improving it.

You might think your digital customer experience is pretty good. But you won’t know until you take a closer look. Asking these seven questions will help you assess and improve the state of your digital customer experience.

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Topics: Communications, Engagement, Customer Communities, Member Communities, B2B Communities, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Customer Retention, Customer Support, Customer Success, Online Community, B2B

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

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

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 Use Customer Engagement Data to Identify New Sales Opportunities

Written by Ryan Turcotte on October 10, 2019 at 2:00 PM | 6 minute read

Customer upsell and cross-sell is a huge revenue opportunity for subscription-based software businesses, but many sales teams tasked with account expansion face a similar problem: It’s not always easy to tell which customers are ready for an upsell or cross-sell pitch, and which ones you should continue to nurture. 

Determining where each customer is in their (ideally) lifelong journey with your company can be challenging, and just like new-customer acquisition, trying to make a pitch or close a deal without first segmenting customers will decrease your effectiveness.

But don’t worry: there’s something to look forward to in the world of customer expansion. In today’s business climate, we have access to more data on existing customers than ever before. You can follow your customer’s digital footprint to find qualified growth opportunities within your customer base.

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

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