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Customer Experience Posts

Talkin’ SaaS Stats: Customer Success is Having a Moment

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on April 11, 2019 at 1:47 PM | 6 minute read

Which begs the question…what took so long? It’s simple. Without customers, you don’t have a business. Without happy customers, you don’t have a successful, profitable, sustainable business. For B2B Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies, investing in customer success isn’t optional – or, at least it shouldn’t be, at this stage in the game.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Customer Success, Marketing Automation, Online Community

The Importance of Language for Your Community

Written by Ben Rossell | on April 4, 2019 at 9:21 AM | 4 minute read

I recently read Trevor Owens’ book, Designing Online Communities, which looks at the design process for web communities from a cross-disciplinary perspective. He discusses how psychology, sociology, history, linguistics and other fields of study can influence and inform our thinking about online communities.

Owens showcased the value of taking time to think about and develop a language for an online community. After reading his case, I’ve put together three questions on language that you can consider to improve your community’s language.

Let’s discuss the importance of language for your community, highlight where we’ve seen language used effectively, and dive into what we can do better as online communities.

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

You might be familiar with these oft-quoted stats:

  • It costs 5x as much to obtain a new customer than to keep an existing one [Invesp]
  • Increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95% [research by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company]

As made clear, many companies are leaving money on the table if they don't continue marketing to existing customers once they make an initial purchase.

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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

What is an Online Community? The Basics & Benefits

Written by Hunter Montgomery | on March 7, 2019 at 11:25 AM | 6 minute read

In the fast-paced world of modern technology, many leadership executives and organizations understand that building online communities for their customers or members to learn, share, and collaborate is critical for increasing growth and relevancy.

They know that successful online communities can help them engage and inspire their audience, creating the unique and individual experiences that improve the overall customer experience (CX). Focusing on CX in tandem with your online community is incredibly valuable in terms of driving loyalty, by the way.

Research from the Temkin Group found that companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to gain, on average, an additional $775 million over 3 years of investing in customer experience (with SaaS companies standing to earn the most, at $1 billion).

For those who are still learning or want to brush up on their knowledge, we’re here to offer some clarity on what a successful online community is and how it can benefit organizational growth by helping you deliver value to your customers, partners, members, or prospects.

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

Does Your Community Throw Love at the World? (Time to Start)

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on February 14, 2019 at 2:58 PM | 8 minute read

So, I’m sitting here amid three monitors reveling at my flourishing desk plants, surrounded by my fellow marketers and community builders, as the sound coming through my earbuds drowns out their faint keyboard clicks and nearby sneezes, when it hits me: some of y’all aren’t showing your community enough love... and it shows.

I’m listening to the ever-so-delightful Jonathan Van Ness, of Netflix’s Emmy-winning show Queer Eye, chat with Reese Witherspoon about lady entrepreneurship on his podcast Getting Curious. As if their charming and gracious voices streaming into my ears wasn’t enough, their conversation is topical and genuine… and Reese just said something low-key amazing:

“I think the most profound thing you can do if you are an artist or a community builder is just throw love at the world, in any capacity you can.”

-Reese Witherspoon

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Topics: Engagement, Member Retention, Customer Experience, Member Experience, Customer Retention, Marketing Automation, Online Community

SaaS Customer Onboarding: A 3-Step Guide for Streamlined Success

Written by Elizabeth Bell on February 12, 2019 at 8:18 AM | 5 minute read

Like making a first impression with a new acquaintance, SaaS customer onboarding has a big effect on whether your customer’s trajectory with your company is positive or negative.

Imagine you’re the main point of contact or user of the software element your company has purchased. You had a great experience with the salesperson, but now that you’ve signed the deal, you’re unsure about next steps. You find yourself poking around on your own and investing lots of time figuring out what to do next…

This situation doesn’t spell great news for a new customer.

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Topics: B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Customer Experience, Customer Success, Marketing Automation, Online Community, Integration

Customer Journey Mapping 101: The What, Why, and How

Written by Renee Schaefer on February 5, 2019 at 8:01 AM | 8 minute read

Renee presented on this topic at Higher Logic’s annual user conference, Super Forum.

Talk about the importance of the customer experience is everywhere these days, and it’s not just analysts or leading organizations doing the talking anymore. Delivering a consistent, low-effort customer experience from end to end has huge business benefits, but requires a fundamental organizational commitment that must cut across departments and teams.

A great way to get your organization on board to measurably improve the customer experience is to step into the customer’s shoes and experience that journey from their perspective – what your customers are doing, thinking, and feeling along the way.

Customer journey mapping will help you identify, with data, what’s working, what’s not, and will compel you to take necessary actions to improve.

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

3 Ways Online Communities Help Software Companies Drive Revenue

Written by Brian Sugarman on December 20, 2018 at 8:17 AM | 8 minute read

As consumers, we know that brands that consistently deliver value and make our buying experience effortless will continue to win our business over time. In my household, for example, we’re more likely to buy add-ons like Audible and Amazon music because we know the same level of convenience we get with our Prime membership will exist.

Our relationships with companies like Amazon remind us of the high bar that’s been set for the modern day customer experience, not just in the consumer world, but also for business-to-business (B2B) sales. Whether consciously or subconsciously, this standard of service influences our expectations for our buying relationships with B2B technology vendors.

This is nothing new, by the way...although technology has changed how and where we buy, successful brands have always focused on delivering valuable products to their customers and making it easy for them to purchase. However, companies that compete in markets with little to no competition have found ways to be successful over time, simply by being the best or only option available.

Think old school cable television – with so few consumer options, your area provider could win your business despite a reputation of delivering horrendous customer service. Now, with the rise of Over-the-top (OTT) streaming subscriptions, I’ve found that the level of service and ease of doing business has actually improved with my cable company.

The software business model is another example with (historically) limited competition – until now. In a sea of growing competition, it pays to focus on your customers.

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Topics: Marketing, Customer Experience, Customer Retention, Customer Success, Online Community

Customers for Life: Meet the Zenoss TechZen User Community [Case Study]

Written by Caitlin Struhs | on October 30, 2018 at 5:10 AM | 5 minute read

Today’s preferred customer experience combines support, community, and outreach into one unified platform.

Zenoss has facilitated a user community for over 10 years, becoming the de facto online gathering place for IT Ops customers. Recently, Zenoss enhanced customer experience by revamping its online community – name, brand, and all.

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

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