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Customer Support Posts

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 Customer Community is Humanizing the Customer Experience

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

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

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

A New Perspective on Negative Feedback in Your Customer Community

Written by Shannon Emery on July 2, 2019 at 1:01 PM | 7 minute read

What if we build an online community and customers just use it to say bad things about us 

Any company adopting an online community has had this fear. Opening your community to your customers, and even prospects, can feel like you’re handing them pitchforks to use against you. It’s scary to think they might be right outside your digital door ready to attack.  

However, I’m here to give you a different perspective. 

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

8 Ways Online Communities Improve the Customer Experience + Retention

Written by Elizabeth Bell on May 28, 2019 at 12:09 PM | 6 minute read

On the day you’re reading this, at least one of your customers is watching a webinar, downloading an eBook, or fielding a phone call from your competition. 

But you know what? Big deal. When you focus more on becoming competitor-proof than on true customer success, you’re getting your priorities wrong. Why?

Making your customers successful is a long-term retention strategy. Your business rises and falls based on the customer. If they love you, they won’t leave you – no matter how many competitors come knocking on their door.

And one of the best ways to ensure your customers’ success and support them throughout their journey?

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Topics: Customer Communities, Customer Experience, Customer Retention, Customer Support, Online Community

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