As a long-time community consultant I often encountered companies that were excited about the possibilities of integrating their community directly into their products. Sadly, many of those ideas fizzled under corporate politics and different priorities in the business.
When I came to Alteryx two years ago, integration was a core tenet of our community strategy. We want our customers to experience and interact with community directly inside our software products. Today we delivered the first implementation of that vision in the form of Global Search. I put together a short video to demo the features:
So far our customers love the feature. It will be very interesting to see how this impacts community traffic, engagement with our products, and ultimately the business. We have a lot of ideas about how we can further integrate in the future.
I'd be interested to see who else out there has integrated community into their products? What results have you seen? Where do you want to go next?
We haven't integrated community into our products. We have integrated community content in Salesforce so that agents, when looking for solutions, will also be presented with content from the community.
Would be interesting to think about this conceptually and imagine HP Software with community solutions integrated. I can immediately think of some hurdles that would need to be addressed first such as linking the right content to the right product (our content is not product contextual..we have thousands of different HP Products) and the other big brain breaker today, which is the current search relevancy. When customers do a search on the community the search results are often completely irrelevant.
I think these 2 would make our use case a little challenging..surely not impossible.
Thanks for giving some food for thought and congrats!
I'm curious how you are tracking the impact of this integration. Are you looking purely at the normal community search and traffic metrics? Or did you create some web analytics tracking codes that allow you to determine the amount of traffic originating from the new global search results?
Did you launch with a certain % target of an increase? If yes: How did you come up with that as it's a brand new CX?
Also maybe you want to share some of the obstacles you had on the way and how you overcame them. @Wendy_S raised some of the common questions that are asked:
- How to ensure relevance? Are you using Lithium Community API for search or do you use an intermediate search aggregator? Are you limiting topics by date?
- Are you searching all content (including unanswered discussions, blogs, group discussions) or did you restrict to certain types (e.g. solutions and tkb only). Maybe you experimented with some different types and can share learnings from those.
- Why did you position community results at the end after help articles while most search engines rank them higher than help content?
I think community content and entry points to ask a question can become really power- and impactful if they are integrated in products on a contextual level. E.g. think of all the (?) info buttons next to many UI elements and forms in software products. When instead of showing a few lines of in product help you would also be surface related discussion and an option to quickly ask a question.
All good questions, @ClaudiusH. Answers:
- Yes, we have the ability to track usage of the Global Search feature.
- We certainly do have goals in mind and it will be extremely interesting to track usage. We're mostly interested in how it impacts the speed and efficiency with which customers learn how to use the product, how they increase their usage of the product as a result, and, of course, if it leads to a reduction in their need for traditional support touches. We'll take what we learn and bake that into future ideas for bringing community into the product.
- We're executing a standard search via the API (the same results you get natively in the community via search).
- We discussed limiting results to TKB articles and Solutions, but decided that we don't know enough about how our customers will use it yet to make a decision like that. Our community is relatively young as well, so limiting results may have significantly reduced the content users could access. We'll keep an eye on the data and optimize as needed.
- We think there is a lot of cool things that could be done and look forward to exploring those.