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Customer Success Posts

Online Communities in 2020: Unlocking the Power of Community with Data

Written by Heather McNair on June 17, 2020 at 11:24 AM | 3 minute read

Heather is Higher Logic’s Chief Community Officer. She was the first to hold the position at Higher Logic and one of the earliest to hold the title in the industry.

I’ve been involved in community management for around 13 years. When I started, I didn’t even know it was a profession, and I was flying solo.

I think a lot of us started that way in the early years.

The techniques that we developed back then and refined over the years were based on gut instinct, combined with marketing techniques, behavioral psychology, and trial and error.

We accomplished many amazing things this way, but fortunately, we now have data that proves what we’ve always known: What we’re doing is worthwhile.

The Community Roundtable’s annual report, the State of Community Management, is one of the biggest data sources grounding the community industry and the community management profession.

Their research helps us power the things we do with data-driven decisions and enables organizations to feel confident about adopting communities.

And what does the data show? Change is happening because of communities.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Customer Communities, Member Communities, B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Associations, Member Retention, Customer Engagement, User Group Management, Customer Retention, Member Engagement, Customer Support, Customer Success, Online Community, B2B

Intro to Customer Communities: 3 Ways a Branded Online Destination Builds Your Business

Written by Elizabeth Bell on May 28, 2020 at 11:03 AM | 5 minute read

Customer communities – what do they do for your business, really? Is a community a nice-to-have or a must-have?  

Michael Torok and Chris Detzel lead community efforts at their SaaS companies, Delphix and Imperva, respectively. 

They joined us to share why they began their communities, and the benefits they believe community will create for their customers and their organization.

We’re sharing those big ways a branded community benefits your customers and your organization.

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

Why Every SaaS Company Needs a Branded Customer Community

Written by Elizabeth Bell on May 6, 2020 at 2:18 PM | 3 minute read

Business-to-business software as a service (SaaS) companies are rushing to dedicate resources and specific teams to improve the customer experience (CX). In fact, 80% of customer success teams have grown in the last year (Totango).

The problem is, customer experience issues usually don’t lie just in one department, like sales, or product.

If you do a quick search on LinkedIn to find the titles of people involved in customer experience, you’ll find a range of departments and titles, speaking to this unique problem: CX teams have to address challenges that come from across the company, and it’s not often clear where to start.

Your team of customer success managers (CSMs) and support agents could be the hardest working, most personable people ever, and your customers may still be unhappy. The point is, it’s often a mixture of departments and processes that come together to create a poor or great customer experience.

With such complex challenges, it can be a painstaking task to try to create a plan of action or adopt new tools to support your customers better.

But one approach to solving this company-wide challenge is to pursue customer engagement, by connecting your customers to each other and to you in an online community.

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

Life After Jive-x: Choosing a New Home for Your Customer Community

Written by Billy Volpone on April 9, 2020 at 3:32 PM | 6 minute read

If you’re a Jive-x customer, you know Khoros has given your external community platform an official end-of-life date: December 2020.

This announcement got me thinking about my time at Jive Software and my transition to Higher Logic. I started at Jive in 2007 when the platform was still known as “ClearspaceX.” After Jive was acquired and things started changing, I knew I wanted to continue building customer communities that would make a difference for organizations and their members, but where to do it?

I joined Higher Logic because I saw (and see) in them a company who is passionate about community networks and understands the power of engagement to transform businesses and the customer experience.

As you decide on a new platform for your customer community, I think your journey will mirror mine. One of the most important questions I asked, and that you should ask too, is whether the vendor shares your vision for how a customer community should be defined and what it could potentially become.

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Topics: Engagement, Customer Communities, B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Online Community Software, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Collaboration Tools, User Group Software, Customer Success, Online Community, B2B

10 Ways to Learn with Higher Logic

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on March 24, 2020 at 8:00 AM | 7 minute read

Here at Higher Logic, we’re passionate about lifelong learning and dedicated to providing resources to drive our customers’ to achieve their goals. Education is the foundation of success. 

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Topics: Member Experience, Customer Success, Marketing Automation, Online Community, Super Forum, Learning Management Systems, Product News

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

MTI's Story: Harnessing Community to Digitally Transform

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on February 24, 2020 at 8:30 AM | 7 minute read

The Metal Treating Institute (MTI) is a nonprofit trade association built to support its members, companies in the heat treating business. It has 370 member companies across 40 U.S. states and Canada. MTI adopted an online community in 2009. This is their digital transformation story.

Wondering how your association can stay relevant, effectively connect with younger members, save staff time, increase revenue, and boost retention? We’ll let MTI tell you. 

Before MTI adopted an online community, it was short on staff, didn’t have an AMS, and its revenue was decreasing. The trade association needed to update its value proposition dramatically to thrive again. That’s where the value of communities came in.

MTI chose community as a tool for digital transformation, and has achieved the following successes with less than 4 full-time staff members: 

  • 50% decrease in transactional requests due to community
  • 2600% revenue growth in 14 years
  • 97% member retention rate

How do they do it? We sat down with Tom Morrison, MTI CEO, and Kristen Speer, MTI Director of Member Experience, to hear their story and learn about how they’ve harnessed the power of online communities to tap into the future of their membership and provide maximum value. 

“We’ve used technology, including our online community, our learning management system, and our benchmarking database to empower our members, help them do more for themselves, connect with them, and expand services without expanding staff. We’ve turned MTI around.” -Tom Morrison, MTI CEO 

As you scroll on to soak up lessons from MTI’s strategy, be sure to watch the videos featured throughout to hear about MTI’s digital transformation directly from Tom and Kristen.

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Topics: Communications, Millennials, Associations, Member Retention, Customer Success, Online Community

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

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