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User Group Communities Posts

Introducing the 2020 Community Movers + Shakers

Written by Elizabeth Bell on January 27, 2020 at 12:48 PM | 13 minute read

Online communities are powerful. Not only are they complex solutions for complex organizational problems, but communities can create real lasting friendships, powerful professional connections, and loyal brand advocates.

Today, we’re recognizing 20 influential people for their work in the online community industry.

Our 2020 Community Movers + Shakers are champions of communities, who see the value in the community movement, and we wanted to highlight, honor, and share the work of their creative and innovative minds with the rest of the industry.

Because online communities can transform any organization, you’ll see a range of industries. Because real change can start at any level of an organization, you’ll see a range of titles.

Without further ado, we’ll introduce the people you’ve been waiting to meet: Our 2020 Community Movers + Shakers.

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Topics: Customer Communities, Member Communities, User Group Communities, Associations, Online Community, Company News

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

5 Tips for Staying Sane During Your Online Community System Migration

Written by Elizabeth Bell on December 6, 2019 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

Most of us hate moving. It means hassle, stress, PACKING, money, and time, but it’s one of those things you just have to do sometimes. And in the end, it’s usually worth it for a bigger space, a better yard, a faster commute, and more bathrooms.

It’s the same way when you’re planning a system migration, especially when it’s a software platform you’ve invested a lot into, like your online community.

Just remember that moving your online community to get it right is totally worth it. According to Aberdeen Research, firms with online communities:

  • Enjoy 5.4 times greater annual increase in customer satisfaction rates.
  • Achieve 41% greater average customer profit margin
  • Are 2 times 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

Since migrating your online community to a new community platform vendor is a big commitment, I’m sure you’ve carefully considered the change. As you project manage the migration, rely on these tips to guide you (and preserve your sanity) as you progress.

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Topics: Community Platforms & Updates, Online Community Management, Customer Communities, B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Online Community Software, User Group Management, User Group Software, Online Community

12 Examples of Thriving Communities for Online Community Builders to Learn From

Written by Elizabeth Bell on December 2, 2019 at 12:07 PM | 7 minute read

We’re always talking about building community and how engaged communities can have an undeniable impact on our organizations. However, sometimes the concepts behind an online community can feel a bit abstract. 

Aren’t communities built in person? How can an army of strangers online make a customer feel seen? 

To make the idea of an online community and its benefits more concrete, we used our internal employee community to crowdsource 12 of our favorite examples of thriving communities around the web. 

These examples can help us answer the question: What really makes a community a community?

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Customer Communities, Member Communities, B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Customer Engagement, Member Engagement, Online Community

How to Use Customer Engagement Data to Identify New Sales Opportunities

Written by Ryan Turcotte on October 10, 2019 at 2:00 PM | 6 minute read

Customer upsell and cross-sell is a huge revenue opportunity for subscription-based software businesses, but many sales teams tasked with account expansion face a similar problem: It’s not always easy to tell which customers are ready for an upsell or cross-sell pitch, and which ones you should continue to nurture. 

Determining where each customer is in their (ideally) lifelong journey with your company can be challenging, and just like new-customer acquisition, trying to make a pitch or close a deal without first segmenting customers will decrease your effectiveness.

But don’t worry: there’s something to look forward to in the world of customer expansion. In today’s business climate, we have access to more data on existing customers than ever before. You can follow your customer’s digital footprint to find qualified growth opportunities within your customer base.

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Topics: Customer Communities, B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Customer Engagement, 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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