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Customer Advocacy 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

How to Give Your Customer Success Team Superpowers

Written by Calista Rollogas | on August 8, 2019 at 9:45 AM | 7 minute read

Is your customer success team burnt out? How about stressed? If the answer is yes, I’m not surprised. With recent emphasis on customer success programs and the rise in rapidly scaling tech companies, customer success teams are often strapped for resources and time.

Obviously, burnt-out customer success teams digging through disparate data sources and patching resources together for customers isn’t ideal.

These issues are roadblocks to your customer success team’s ultimate goal of improving customer satisfaction and growing your revenue. But how can you get past these roadblocks to activate your customer success team’s success?

It comes down to connecting your customers online.

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

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

From Stagnant to Stand-Out: 3 Strategies to Differentiate Your Customer Experience

Written by Kate Zimmerman | on June 19, 2019 at 11:04 AM | 4 minute read

Customer experience executives from around the world gathered in New York last week to receive some disappointing news from Forrester Research at the Forrester CX NYC Conference. Despite investments of $56 billion last year, customer experience index scores remained stagnant for the second year in a row.

Thankfully, the mood was far from despair. To combat the problem, many organizations are looking at ways to deliver a better customer experience and differentiate themselves in the market.

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

3 Benefits of a Customer Advisory Board for Your Software Company

Written by Elizabeth Bell on May 9, 2019 at 10:53 AM | 5 minute read

Do you have a Customer Advisory Board (CAB) or customer advisory council? A lot of software companies do. It’s one of those boxes that you check because you know it’s a best practice.

But something else that’s common is when companies check the CAB box just to have one, but don’t end up doing much with it (likely because of the workload it takes to manage). Rather than becoming the product and customer experience-changing entity that it has the potential to be, many CABs go into hibernation, never to be heard from again.

It’s time to change that. It’s time to mobilize your CAB for action.

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Topics: Customer Communities, B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Customer Support, Customer Success, Customer Advocacy, 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 Reasons Why You Should Be Marketing to Your Existing Customers

Written by Elizabeth Bell on April 2, 2019 at 9:24 AM | 5 minute read

Bringing in new business is and always will be important. However, marketing doesn’t end when the ink is dry on the contract. Where are you focusing your efforts after that initial sale?

Your new customers shouldn’t disappear into a black hole, never to hear from you again – that initial transaction should be the start of their defined customer journey, complete with strategic touchpoints for success.

Engaging current customers positively impacts overall business goals in several ways, including increasing revenue by generating opportunities for sales of additional products and services.

The problem is that not enough companies connect these top goals with customer marketing. Let’s explore three reasons why you should hone in on marketing to your existing customers.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Customer Retention, 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

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