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Customer Support 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 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

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 SaaS Company is Humanizing Its Brand and CX with a Customer Community

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

3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Customer Effort Score (CES) with Online Community

Written by Elizabeth Bell on September 26, 2019 at 11:55 AM | 4 minute read

The Net Promotor Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score, and the Customer Effort Score (CES) are the current trifecta of tools for measuring the customer experience. Together, each survey type provides a valuable, unique perspective on how your customers feel about their customer experience.

The Customer Effort Score is the newest of these survey tools and is gaining popularity as companies and customer experience experts uncover more of its value.

What exactly does the Customer Effort Score measure, and why does it matter?

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

Customer Retention: 7 Signs to Help You Identify At-Risk Customers

Written by Calista Rollogas | on September 12, 2019 at 9:55 AM | 6 minute read

Many customer success teams are short on time and understaffed. Maybe you’re even a team of one. In an ideal world, every account would get the same amount of time, but that’s not always possible. It’s imperative to prioritize your time and your customer list, especially when a customer might be at risk for churn.   

Fortunately, we’ve identified seven key areas where you can watch for customer churn, and the types of behavior that signify they’re at risk. These indicators will help you identify areas where you can step in before a customer doesn’t renew.

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

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

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