Customer communities: the key to retention?_background

62% of customers believe that companies consider them as just a number (source: Gladly). And if more than 6 out of 10 customers think that way, it's time to take action.

So, how can we bring more meaning to each customer relationship? How can we enhance communication with our clients to improve their experience and promote customer retention? Discover our insightful answers in this article. Let's dive in!

Revolutionizing Customer Communication: A Paramount Priority

Customer expectations are ever-evolving, and in 2023, it's crucial to address two key priorities:

  • Firstly, both B2B and B2C customers crave more personalized and humanized interactions with businesses.
  • Secondly, these customers are increasingly drawn to the power of collective experiences. Beyond a mere connection with a brand, they seek meaningful interactions with their peers.

This calls for immediate action: businesses have a golden opportunity to communicate in a fresh and innovative manner, catering to these evolving expectations. At MeltingSpot, we have a valuable suggestion: prioritize the development and engagement of a vibrant customer community. Together, let's forge stronger bonds and create exceptional experiences!

Customer Communities: The Solution to Enhance Customer Experience and Retention?

A customer community is a group of clients brought together by a company. This collective enables customers and consumers who share similar profiles, values, or common interests to connect and engage.

In the realm of B2B, creating a customer community holds significant benefits. This win-win strategy offers several advantages, especially for customers:

  1. Mutual Support: Customers can easily exchange ideas and help each other with their challenges.
  2. Proximity: Clients benefit from personalized relationships with other customers, as well as with the company, within the community itself.
  3. Responsiveness: Customer service is streamlined, allowing clients to receive quick answers to their queries through the power of the community.
  4. Satisfaction: Whether it's customer satisfaction (externally) or employee satisfaction (internally), both are greatly influenced by the community, which serves as a platform for sharing and fostering goodwill.

From the business perspective, creating, nurturing, and engaging a community also yields significant benefits. It is a fruitful endeavour and a true growth lever. In fact, 70% of companies even plan to increase their investments in the years to come (Source: CMXhub, 2021).

And it's not without reason: a community serves as an excellent channel for acquiring new customers and fostering retention. Did you know that in B2B, it's possible to activate 30% of free trial customers within 30 days through community building?

Here's a clip from Joshua Zerkel at the CLG Summit 2023, where he explores how Community has a profound business impact. Watch the replay now exclusively on The Community Lab!

Indeed, the community is the key to upselling. It enables customer education, fosters a special relationship, and nurtures their engagement. Once this bond is established within the community, it becomes easier to foster loyalty and sell additional products and services of higher value, all without the need for a massive budget dedicated to advertising campaigns, marketing automation, or traditional prospecting.

For instance, at CFO Connect by Spendesk, retention rates are 18% higher for customers belonging to the B2B community. Furthermore, within this community, the closing rate is 3 times higher for community members compared to non-members.

Discover other inspiring and successful examples in the realm of B2B communities 👇Customer Communities: The Solution for Enhancing Customer Experience and Retention?

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3 examples of B2B customer communities

1- Pennylane

Pennylane is a financial management platform. But that's not all! In addition to their SaaS product, the company offers a comprehensive community experience. B2B customers can engage with peers on a forum, participate in webinars, and access specific content that addresses their challenges.

To enhance the brand community, Pennylane also offers a gamified experience using badges. The more customers use the platform, the more badges they receive and the higher levels they achieve. This gamification approach serves as a lever for upselling and customer retention!

Lastly, the company offers the "Pennylane Academy" to support customers in their individual progress. Each customer can undergo training, learn more, and gain maturity with the tool and topics covered by the company. This is an opportunity for the company to foster customer loyalty and build long-term relationships.

2- Plezi

Plezi is a marketing automation solution. B2B marketers who are clients of the platform also have access to a community experience beyond using the tool. They can benefit from the Happy Academy.

Customer Academy

The Happy Academy is a knowledge base updated based on customer demand and accessible 24/7. Its goal is to provide customers with all the keys to improve their skills and enhance their proficiency with the tool. They can find articles, tips and tricks, a FAQ section, and more. But that's not all!

Plezi's community experience goes beyond asynchronous interactions. The company offers live chat support as well as in-person events every two months through the "Club Plezi." These events enable customers to meet and exchange ideas on marketing challenges.

3- Dataiku

Dataiku is a data science platform. B2B clients benefit from a community platform that allows them to:

  • Engage in discussions with peers, ask questions, and seek assistance.
  • Take advantage of a Customer Academy to enhance their skills and obtain certifications.
  • Access additional documentation online, available anytime.

To optimize user experience, Dataiku offers sub-groups within the community. This includes a community specifically for users in Paris, dedicated to regular meetups and events.

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B2B Customer Community: 3 Essential Insights

Still on the fence about leveraging a B2B community to enhance customer experience, drive acquisition, and boost retention? Here are three compelling reasons that will make you a believer:

  • Forge Emotional Bonds: Embrace a community-driven approach, and your customers won't just have a transactional relationship with your brand—they'll develop deep emotional connections. The power of attachment, mutual support, a sense of belonging, and meaningful exchanges will foster unparalleled loyalty and advocacy.
  • Unleash Community Dynamics: Within a thriving customer community, roles vary. The majority are Lurkers (80%), while others are Opportunists (10-20%) or Contributors (3-10%). However, it's the coveted Creators (0-3%)—the passionate ambassadors—who drive engagement to new heights. Through their proactive involvement, bestowed privileges, and entrusted responsibilities, they inspire others to strive for greatness within the community.
  • Embrace Customer-Centricity: Relying solely on product-led strategies is a one-way ticket to failure. Today, it's imperative to prioritize customers at the core of your marketing, sales, and product initiatives. By adopting a customer-centric approach and fostering a vibrant customer community, you unlock the full potential for accelerated acquisition, unwavering retention, and co-creation of innovative offerings.

Enough theory—it's time for action! Discover how our comprehensive solution can empower you to build and nurture a thriving customer community. Get ready to revolutionize your business: [insert solution details].

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