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Collaboration Tools Posts

8 Reasons Your Customer Support Improves with an Online Community

Written by Nick Mignogna on May 1, 2019 at 10:14 AM | 9 minute read

In today's global economy, you're no longer competing with just the businesses in your town. You're competing around the world, and you may offer similar products and services to half a dozen other vendors, maybe more. You need a way to differentiate yourself outside of product and price, which can only be tweaked so much.

Smart businesses that find themselves in this situation turn to customer support as the differentiator.

Excellent customer service and support are highly effective ways to stand out because they also build loyalty among your customers. It will often cause them to select you for renewals and recommend you even if your prices are higher than the competition. Just consider these stats:

  • 95% of global consumers said good customer service is an important influencer of their brand loyalty [Microsoft]
  • 61% have stopped doing business with a company due to poor customer service [Microsoft]
  • 75% of companies believe they’re customer centric, while only 30 percent of consumers agreed [Capgemini]

Clearly, there’s a major divide between perception and a hard reality.

So how do you create a great customer service experience that puts you on the right side of these statistics?

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Topics: Online Community Management, Customer Communities, B2B Communities, Customer Experience, Customer Support, Collaboration Tools, Customer Success, Online Community

Build a Sustainable Brand with Purpose-Driven Marketing

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on April 18, 2019 at 1:48 PM | 5 minute read

Purpose – what is it? If you’re thinking “the name of Justin Bieber’s fourth album”... that would be correct, but this word carries more weight than his millions of fans.

In the 14th annual Global Consumer Pulse Research, titled ‘From Me to We: The Rise of the Purpose-Led Brand,’ Accenture Strategy defines purpose in the following way:

“pur·pose /ˈ pərpəs / Noun: The reason why something exists. For companies, it is the foundation of every experience. It is the underlying essence that makes a brand relevant and necessary.”

In an increasingly competitive landscape, purpose-driven marketing is about more than building your brand or boosting your revenue. It’s about building a better world, long-term, alongside the people who share your brand’s passion to drive positive change and make a real impact.

To build a sustainable brand, equipped with valuable brand advocates and stakeholders, make an effort to strengthen it by delivering something beyond price and quality.

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Topics: Engagement, Customer Communities, Customer Engagement, Member Experience, Member Engagement, Collaboration Tools, Customer Success, Customer Advocacy, Marketing Automation, Online Community

3 Lessons from a Unicorn: How to Harness Customer Feedback to Drive Brand Growth & Success

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on March 28, 2019 at 8:49 AM | 5 minute read

Facts: The Unicorn is Scotland’s national animal; you are reading this right now; and Glossier, a direct-to-consumer beauty brand, recently joined the ranks of other female-founded “unicorns” (privately held startup companies valued at over $1 billion). How? Customer listening.

Emily Weiss, Glossier founder and CEO, managed to transform what started in 2010 as her beauty blog Into the Gloss... into a beauty brand valued at $1.2 billion, and they recently launched Glossier Play, their colorful spin-off brand. On what she did differently, Emily says:

“Many of the beauty brands I grew up with were expert-led. They told me what products were in style and how to use them. From the start, I wanted to take a different approach with Glossier by co-creating the brand and products with customers.”

If you haven’t harnessed the power of customer feedback, you’re missing a serious opportunity to grow your brand into a community of advocates with customer success and satisfaction in mind. 

You don’t need to have the same business structure as Glossier to heed lessons from their approach - B2B brands can benefit from using engagement tools like online community and marketing automation to tap into their customer base on a more personal level for product collaboration, customer feedback, and brand growth. 

So, let’s talk about the power of people, since all companies are really “people to people” at their core, you know?

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Topics: Marketing, Customer Communities, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Customer Retention, Collaboration Tools, Customer Success, Customer Advocacy, Online Community

Continuing Education Offerings: 5 Engagement Strategies

Written by Amber Bovenmyer on February 26, 2019 at 12:46 PM | 7 minute read

When I was a kid, I always thought that once I had graduated from high school or college, my days of taking classes would be over. What I didn't realize then was that education never really ends. My teachers tried to impress the importance of always learning upon my classmates and me, but it didn’t sink in before I entered the workforce.

Now, I’ve found that everywhere I look in the professional world, individuals continue to learn until they retire, and sometimes even after that. Continuing education is key to professional development, and some professions even mandate it, like the healthcare and teaching industries.

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Topics: Engagement, Collaboration Tools, Marketing Automation, Online Community, Learning Management Systems

Engage Your Membership with Social Technology [Case Study]

Written by Caitlin Struhs | on February 6, 2019 at 7:45 AM | 3 minute read

The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) was ready to take member engagement to the next level. As its member base grew, the association needed to adjust member communications to match. So it gave members a voice and a platform with powerful social networking, discussion, and information-sharing tools.

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Topics: Engagement, Member Engagement, Collaboration Tools, Online Community, Integration

[New eBook] The Community Module Guide: How to Support Your Organization’s Business Objectives

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on October 8, 2018 at 8:00 AM | 4 minute read

Have you ever heard someone say “there’s an app for that!” when you complain about your smartphone? Well, if you want to elevate the success and business impact of your online community, trust us –  there’s a module for that.

Customizing your online community is a great way to maximize its impact, propelling your capabilities from basic to extraordinary. But selecting the right add-on modules to invest in can be tricky if you aren’t familiar with their functionality.

Even trickier is this often overlooked fact: what’s our community for in the first place?

There is no one-size-fits-all package of tools on the road to success. When you’re ready to further enhance your community, that’s when the fun of “shopping around” for new modules starts - because your core objectives are already front and center. When that time comes, The Community Module Guide will map you in the direction of the right tools to support your goals.

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

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

Debunking 5 Marketing Automation Myths

Written by Shayna McGroggan | on April 19, 2018 at 8:30 AM | 7 minute read

 

In my quest to educate on marketing automation, I run across a lot of misconceptions. These take on a life of their own, and often feel like epic myths that would give Homer a run for his money. Someone always has a story about some other marketer, from some other organization, that had some sort of major difficulty or near catastrophe, caused by a malfunction of an automated campaign. Or they stumbled upon an unforeseen dead-end that prevented them from automating. More often than not, these issues are over-exaggerated marketing urban legends.

So, let’s uncover some epic legends and debunk some myths.

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Topics: Communications, Marketing, Collaboration Tools, Marketing Automation

Is Your Organization Risking Members' Privacy by Connecting on Facebook?

Written by Sara Maloney on April 12, 2018 at 8:30 AM | 3 minute read

They say to "never build on rented land," but is that always true? And, if this is the case, why do we continue to put our personal and business' intellectual property on public platforms owned by third parties?

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Topics: Social Media, Member Communities, Online Community Software, Collaboration Tools, Marketing Automation, Online Community

Are Your Teams Cooperating or Collaborating?

Written by Mark Ace on March 27, 2018 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

Imagine you’re customizing a product for a client. Managers from different teams work together to determine the requirements, and each team works on the customizations in their area. But when some changes are implemented, it triggers adjustments for other teams. The project’s deadline is extended and the workload increases.

This is one of the scenarios Ron Ashkenas wrote about in Harvard Business Review a few years ago. It’s a simple example of the difference between cooperation and collaboration and how easily they can be confused. In the example, every team is cooperating to customize the product, but they’re not collaborating so their changes work when put together. The result? They don’t reach their desired outcome – or they reach it a lot later, with a lot more work.

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Topics: Collaboration Tools, Online Community

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