Company: Joe Mobile
Entry submitted by: Laurent Partouche (lpartouche) Community Manager
Community: Joe Community (communaute.joemobile.fr)
Lithy category: Best New Community
Joe is a new kind of Mobile operator. Real-time, full control over your budget, Joe allows you to finally take control of your phone plan.
Joe is also community-based. It means that the community is at the heart of its business model and allows for very lean operation when it comes to customer support.
Obviously it is easier to achieve this result when it's in your DNA right from the start rather than switching from a regular business model to a cooperative one.
That being said, it might have failed and we could have been flooded with support requests from angry users dying to find an answer to their legitimate questions. Fortunately this has not happened, in fact it's quite the opposite since with a satisfaction rate of 92% and an NPS score of 44 just two months after the start of our operations, our customers seems to be quite happy with their customer experience.
Let's dive into some numbers.
There are 3 ways to find an answer with Joe :
1) Search the community. Chances are your question has already been asked, but also already answered. With 80K searches since the community started, this seems to be the preferred and most effective way to find your answer.
2) Open a topic : 3K new topics have been opened in the Help sections of the community (I voluntarily left out the "Café" section dedicated to off- topic discussions).
3) Fill out a support form : 2.5K have been opened so far. These are treated by our support agents via a dedicated channel and depending on the difficulty, are escalated to Level 3 support.
So how much have we saved ?
Again this is hard to tell since we have no prior comparison point. What we can say however is this :
We have to first make an assumption on the efficiency of the search tool. Let's say, that only 10% of searches guides the customer to the answer he is looking for (we think it is a conservative number when we look at the search terms that are most used). If we assume this hypothesis to be true, that's 8K support "cases" (10% of 80,000 searches) that would get solved without any further interaction with either the community or our support staff.
All in all, this would mean that, out of the 13.5K support cases that you get if you add up 10% of the search to new topics and support forms, only 18.5% of those cases incur a direct cost for Joe (the support staff). That would be quite a compelling result in our opinion and truth is that we have not been forced to hire more support agents so those figure seems to be spot on.
Of course you should take into considerations all the efforts and staff needed to make sure that the community is indeed active and effective but in the long run, it will be more effective to have a few community managers rather than line up support agents that solve cases one by one.
One last takeaway. The community can handle the first level of support effectively because our system is simple and transparent. We don't have the burden of legacy IT or aging tariff plans. That allows the community, in most cases, to know the answers. We have worked a lot to have a simple process and make most information available directly to the customer via self-service. The best way to cut costs on support costs is to take away the root cause of calls.
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Entry submitted by: Hrvoje Puljko (puljac)Community (Forum) expert
Community: Vip forum (http://forum.vip.hr)
Lithy category: The Organization Game Changer
Vipnet is the first private mobile network operator in Croatia, a part of the Telekom Austria Group. By entering the Croatian telecommunications market in 1998, Vipnet introduced competition into mobile telephony. Over the last 15 years Vipnet acquired the status of the most renowned innovation leader on the telecommunications market in Croatia.
Vipnet was the first in Europe to demonstrate the HSPA network, thus offering mobile Internet access that is faster than ADSL. Furthermore, Vipnet was among the first in the world to successfully test HSPA+ technology for mobile broadband. In June 2013 at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing in Zagreb Vipnet set a new world record for the fixed segment with speeds of 5 Gbit/s using the hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) network, and in the mobile segment presented speeds of up to 300 Mbit/s based on 4.5G – LTE Advanced technology. In September 2012 and again this year Vipnet was proclaimed winner in the Best value for money for business in the Business Best Buy Award. Vipnet currently has more than 2 million customers.
Vip forum as a goal has multiscreen customer experience, to increase street credibility, and to be customers' first choice when searching for support information.
Vip forum also has a purpose to increase brand awareness and to be the place for engaging existing and future Vip customers.
REORGANIZATION AND PROJECT KICK-OFF
In just 4 months by reallocating right resources on Vip Forum project, together with support of Lithium partner, Vipnet managed to successfully launch the unique place (Vip forum) for online discussions about telecom technology, products and services in Croatia.
Reorganization was done by shifting a true gamer in the heart, from direct customer care phone/email support into responsibility of developing what was proved to become a self-maintaining and self-developing crowd source care center.
This was highly appreciated by forum members, because, one of their kind is managing the forum.
THE LAUNCH (Video streaming conference)
In order to present Vip forum to a targeted audience, the launch of Vip forum was done via online press conference streamed directly on the Vip forum where journalists, as well as all new community members had a chance to ask questions (to our company MCO and Community Expert) directly on the forum and received answers in real-time.
With this innovative approach to launch presentation, Vipnet opened a new path for presenting all other new projects and products.
And of course, internally Vip Forum is supported by new line processes in company. We are especially proud of our process which is proving maturity of our organization and also is supported by our MCO – customers should test devices & services!
INVOLVING OFFICIAL MOBILE PHONE REPRESENTATIVES
Aside from customers, the significance and importance of Vip forum has also been recognized by several major players in telco manufacturing industry, such as HTC and Nokia, who have chosen to be present as active users on the forum, providing direct support to its customers.
With this move our customers gain additional benefit, not only from Vip as a telecom company, but also from official mobile phone representatives which they use:
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Categories: Best Community Story or Anecdote
Entered by: Dani Weinstein (Dani)
Community Name: HP Support Community
Get to know Erico...
Retired from the US Coast Guard, Erico is a US expatriate living in the Netherlands. During his Coast Guard career, Erico participated in many rescue missions around the world...
A hardware genius, Erico personally owns 6 personal computers and 2 monitors. As a sideline, he operates a small PC repair shop. He notes that it’s a way of keeping his skills sharp and staying in touch...
Erico and the HP Forums...Erico is “addicted” to the forums. Spending many hours conversing with HP users around the world, he loves helping others, and...
HP loves having Erico as an true fan and valued enthusiast.
As a treat, the HP team got to meet Erico and say thank you personally - from L-R: HP EMEA Leads Sabrina Grollier and Wendy Schippers, Erico and Global HP Lead, Dani Weinstein.
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Entry Submitted by: Becky Scott (lolagoetz) Tech Zone Success Manager
Community: Cisco Tech Zone
Lithy Categories: Best Community Technical Integration
Cisco’s internal engineer community 'Tech Zone' was built from the ground up by engineers… for engineers. The community developers are also a part of our target audience.
From the beginning we wanted an agile space where we could incorporate constant feedback and enhancements.
When our community opened for business, it came with an Idea Exchange to solicit any and all feedback from our users. Our users did not disappoint.
We started out by identifying where we want to reuse knowledge. We link open cases to posts and articles to track which content is helpful in solving a case.
We wanted search to be front and center in our workflow, so we implemented a search-before-post feature that surfaces related content – and displays the number of kudos and case links right there in the results. And we’ve used REST APIs to deeply integrate our community into our systems, such as our trouble ticketing portal, our knowledge creation strategy, and our corporate instant messaging system.
Our community is also an application development platform. In order to accelerate wide adoption we have ensured that our community is not a stand-alone tool, rather it is seamlessly tied to the engineers' workflow and seamlessly integrated with (and on an equal footing with) the other service delivery tools. To this end we’ve made 100+ enhancements to the basic Lithium community, based on our business needs. This is where our business drives the tool instead of the tool driving the business. No limited capabilities here!
We’ve taken Lithium’s reputation system and not only incorporated it into our community, but we’ve added custom elements and added our own variables to Lithium’s already strong use of formulas for ranking.
We've built a customized leaderboard to highlight the accomplishments of our users based on our enriched reputation formulas. The result is a reputation system that effectively implements weighting factors to allow us to emphasize our organizational priorities and provides a checkpoint for our engineers.
As we see important behaviors that we want to encourage, we can build additional custom components right into the reputation. This reputation model also feeds into a rich custom metrics portal so engineers can self-evaluate their technical growth as well as arming them with tangible data for performance reviews and career development discussions.
Engineers need a quick way to preview information to see if it’s relevant to the case they are working. So we integrated a locally-grown case preview tool that allows our engineers to preview a portion of a case or bug. This has been hugely helpful in being able to find a quick answer within our community.
And we have even more awesome integrations in the works. Our engineers wanted a way to bump a thread without bumping the reply count, so we’re currently implementing a "raise hand" feature that allows a user to draw attention to a thread in progress in order to ask for additional help.
“The ability to quickly get help from experts and the ease which knowledge can be captured and re-used by others makes Tech Zone the perfect tool for us. I think we should also recognize the [Cisco] and Lithium teams for being so receptive to TAC's feedback and their willingness to tweak/ implement new features, as this is a huge part of what makes Tech Zone successful in my eyes.” – Cisco TAC engineer, Mike Robertson.
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If you are a Lithium customer and you have a great story to tell, you're proud of the impact your community is making, or if it has changed the game for your company, let us know about it. The first ever Social CRM Excellence Awards are open. Find out more now
Category: Best New Community
Launch Date: October 27, 2009
Submitted by: Paypal Community Manager AmandaK
Since its launch in 1998, PayPal has been a global leader in online payments, providing customers in over 190 countries the most loved way to pay and get paid online.
In addition to traditional online customer support options, we recently introduced an entirely new way for customers to interact with PayPal – and each other!
PayPal Community Help Forum (PPCHF) is a peer-to-peer community for PayPal members to come together and help one another.
Since its debut in October 2009, the response from our customers has been active and lively.
Learning about online commerce in the fast-paced, ever growing world of the Internet can be daunting. But by sharing experiences, tips, and advice with other customers, the help forum has truly embraced the meaning of the word “community”.
Visitors from around the world – novice, intermediate, and experienced alike – have made PPCHF a popular virtual social network, regardless of one’s abilities, product knowledge, or even geographical location.
New members use the forum to find hints and suggestions from those who already use PayPal, and experienced customers chat about ways to make payment processing even easier. eBay members learn what happens after an auction closes, how to get paid, or how to send money overseas. Online merchants discuss business-related topics, such as PayPal integration, best practices, or SEO and sales strategies. Many PayPal members use PPCHF daily to share their passion and insight with others. Already having posted more than 3,000 times, top contributor “skier” not only responds to questions but also provides feedback and suggestions to PayPal about improving service and the PPCHF itself.
In return, the forum helps us discover “hot button” and emerging issues, and gives us even greater insight into how our members use PayPal. By offering an online face and personality, our community members feel that their feedback is valued, and we’ve generated positive word of mouth. In only five months, nearly 50,000 PayPal members have registered for PPCHF, with an average of 550 logging in per day.
With more than 5 million searches and 10,000 threads, members have embraced PPCHF as the new way to quickly and easily find answers to commonly asked questions and learn how others use PayPal to their advantage.
The potential for this young community is just beginning to show itself!
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Categories: Best Community Business Integration
Entered by: Karen Marchione (kmarchione)
Community Name: Silverpop Online Community
Launched: May 3, 2011
When Silverpop began searching for a Community Forum solution, many of the key requirements during the vendor selection were system integration related. Silverpop chose Lithium primarily by being able to meet those requirements better than any of their competitors we evaluated.
Silverpop was able to leverage Lithium’s Single Sign-On Solution (PHP) to allow for easy integration with our custom Customer Support portal. Using the Single Sign-On Solution provided by Lithium, Silverpop’s Customer Community was developed in a way that makes it easily accessible to our customers via our Customer Support Portal and direct URL all using their same login credentials.
Single Sign on functionality is a huge benefit to our customers in that they don’t need to manage/maintain multiple user name/password logins when doing business with Silverpop, which has also fueled the adoption of our private customer community by more than 50% of our customer base.
Another key integration feature offered by Lithium and leveraged by Silverpop is their REST API tool set. Silverpop uses the REST API to pass customer data/information between the Community and our existing external systems such as Salesforce.com. For example, Silverpop was able to better and more accurately use Lithium reporting & metric tools by passing client specific data from Salesforce.com into the client’s user profile in Lithium. And thanks to Lithium we finally have a means for effectively managing all the great product ideas we receive from our customers in our Idea Exchange.
Using Lithium’s rest API, we are able to collect all of the Ideas submitted by our customers through our Customer Community and export needed data for further review and analysis. This export and review process has become a key part of our release planning cycle as it allows us to group the data in a variety of ways (by feature, status, customer, kudos, etc) and quickly identify candidates for a release.
Silverpop has additional plans this year to leverage Lithium’s API integration for the following:
Build our own custom Twitter feed/functionality into our Customer Community.
Build out a more robust integration with Salesforce.com for customer support case utilization.
Build a custom integration with our QlikView Business Intelligence system to import relevant customer KPI’s.
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Company: Time Warner Cable
Entry submitted by: Phil Blum (TWC-PhilB) Social Media Customer Care Manager
Lithy category: Best Social Support Program
Time Warner Cable is one of the largest providers of video, high-speed data and phone, supporting over 15 million customers in the United States. In 2010, I was selected to lead the social media arm of TWC’s customer care operations. Our mission was to provide high-quality service experience to customers on any channel for which they prefer to interact and we needed a solid social engagement and response platform that can help us manage the flow of service-related conversations and ensure that my team of social agents are able to address each and every customer need.
We launched Lithium Social Web in April 2012 to my team of 10 social customer care agents and we now have a streamlined platform to identify messages from Twitter and Facebook that need a response and provide timely resolutions. Within 6 months, we have improved our social response rate by 30% and increased agent productivity by 57%. This is driven by the integrated nature of the platform that allows my team to tackle cases more quickly and ability to respond without switching back and forth between different social tools. We were also very honored to be placed on the "Top 10 Socially Devoted Brand" list by AdWeek.
Our social support program proved critical in sustaining customer relationships during one of the worst storms in recent history. As Hurricane Sandy devastated much of the East Coast in the fall of 2012, our customers were anxious to learn when their services would return. Many of them turned to their only remaining avenue of contact: accessing Facebook and Twitter via their smartphones. With the overwhelming increase in volume, my team was able to step up to the plate and even received kudos from grateful customers for their timely response.
Our social support strategy extends beyond this customer care team. We will be launching a community soon because this is a critical way for us to provide support in a scalable way. We also want to bring the conversations that are happening about us onto our own domain so we can engender goodwill, provide more transparency to our customers, and weigh in on those conversations where appropriate. We’re excited to embark onto the next phase of our social support strategy!
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Entry submitted by: Gina Mulic (ginamulic) Manager, Social Media Support
Community: Rogers Community Forums (communityforums.rogers.com)
Lithy category: Best Social Marketing Program
Tech Essentials: Ask an Expert - connecting Rogers product teams with customers in an open conversation about their most challenging technology questions. Our new consumer website, Tech Essentials, was designed to provide Canadians with a deeper understanding of how today’s technology works.
To increase awareness for the site, corporate communications looked to the Rogers Community Forums for support. Over the last year the forums have become a platform for our product teams to engage directly with customers. In 2012, we covered mobile payment security and new product launches by hosting expert events.
Why use the Rogers Community Forums as a platform?
We know that over 90% of registered users are Rogers customers based on SSO ID sign-in
Events such as this give us a chance to present our point of view in an open and transparent way
The event creates link love for programs like Tech Essentials and promotes SEO.
The “Tech Essentials: Ask an Expert” forum series will run throughout 2013, providing our forum users with insider access to our product teams. Our first event covered roaming, a topic that can generate confusion and frustration for customers. We held an open Q&A over a two-hour period and generated a dozen questions and three Accepted Solutions. We received great feedback from customers as we clarified some misconceptions they had.
Marketing integration – the event was promoted through these owned channels:
On our corporate blog Redboard
On our online consumer magazine Connected Rogers
Using direct channels, we invited 90,000 customers via email to the event
Via Twitter - @RogersHelps, @RogersBuzz and using the #techessentials hashtag
We also asked employees to invite family, friends and customers with an intranet story
How does an event like this improve the customer experience?
Product owners get to hear directly from customers. It generates immediate feedback that can be used to improve product offers.
How does an event like this drive revenue?
The event was hosted just a few days before March Break, one of the most popular travel times for Canadians. By targeting customers we believe likely to roam, and providing instructions for roaming without worry, we expect more customers will purchase travel packs.
How does an event like this build advocacy?
The Rogers Community Forums are peer-to-peer. By posting validated answers, we’re empowering members of the community to answer future questions. We’re looking forward to hosting future events, coordinating with the Tech Essentials Monthly Spotlight, some possible topics include data usage and how parents can keep their kids safe online.
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Company: HP Consumer Support
Entry Submitted by: Dani Weinstein Social Media Support Manager (Dani)
Community: HP Consumer Support Forum (http://h30434.www3.hp.com)
Lithy Categories: Best Global Implementation
HP Expert Day Events come of age around the world
HP customers worldwide got their toughest questions answered by HP Experts. Hosted on all seven HP Consumer Support language forums, Expert Days showcased HP’s commitment to our customers by engaging in real time, one-on-one, personalized conversations, sharing, and help on a global scale.
14 Expert Day events were held in 2011 and early 2012 with hundreds of volunteers, known as HP Experts. HP Experts located around the world are a valuable resource for community members, an indispensable part of the HP team, and their participation has helped build and grow HP’s community.
Gathering online for 24 hours to answer any and all questions that community members posted to the forum boards, HP Experts physically and virtually came together in various Expert Villages headquartered at HP sites around the world to confer and answer to questions as a team.
Combined with the power of the Lithium Technologies platform, HP customers could talk with experts at their convenience and in their preferred language (English, Spanish, S Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, and Korean). So, whether you’re an English speaker in Thailand or a French speaker in the US, HP customers have the ability to access the Expert Day of their choice and get the answers they want via a personal, human, and high-quality support experience.
The numbers tell the story
One key measure of the HP’s Global Expert Day program’s success is in the numbers – here are a few we’re especially proud of:
On the English language forum, Expert Day participation grew by more than 50,000 customers between the April 2011 and January 2012 events. In January, customers from 219 countries had their questions answered during Expert Day.
The September 2011 Portuguese Expert Day had 15,000 participants. Additionally, the number of digital “thank yous” (given in the form of “kudos” on the forum) increased by more than 4000% compared to a normal day’s average.
The January 2012 Chinese Consumer Support Expert Day saw a 1526% increase in number of postings over the daily average, while the January 2012 Korean Consumer Support Expert Day saw a 671% hike when compared to daily average.
HP began its Expert Day programs for some key reasons:
To connect with customers real-time to share and help when they need it
To listen and learn from our customers as they share their HP successes and challenges
To introduce first-time users to the HP community by meeting and talking live with other HP fans, friends, and experts and getting the most out of their HP products and services .
Progress toward that goal has been overwhelming worldwide:
September’s English-language Expert Day saw a 195% jump in new registrations compared to an average day.
September’s German and French Expert Day resulted in more than 325% increase in each language forum’s new registrations vs. an average day.
July’s Chinese-language Expert Day resulted in more than 600% more new registrations compared to an average day.
Customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal for HP Expert Days, and based on responses from customers around the globe, the HP Support Forum community is exceeding everyone’s expectations:
“Wow, I get responses from 2 experts so quickly, it’s almost an instant chat” – German Forums Customer, September Expert Day
“I am getting to know much more knowledge. Thanks for experts solution, I know more skills on computer”- Chinese Forums Customer, July Expert Day
“Wow!!! It's working. I can't begin to thank you enough!!! Not enough Kudos permitted to express my appreciation to you for hanging in there until you got the solution to my situation.” – English Forums Customer, September Expert Day
“Fantastic…I can now go to bed (it is 10.43 p.m. here) in the knowledge that I can try that first thing tomorrow morning. Thanks once again for your considerable help - you have been very instructive and insightful and your guidance has been most appreciated.” – English Forums Customer, January Expert Day
Thanks to our fantastic HP Experts, Expert Day events are alive and well. Come join the conversation. We’ll see you in the forums!
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Company: Verizon Residential
Categories: Most Innovative Social Customer Program
Entered by: Becky Carroll (beckyc)
Community Name: Verizon
As digital entertainment and connected applications continue to generate excitement for consumers, more and more of them are looking for answers about today’s enabling technologies.
In response, we’ve added enhancements to the Verizon Community that include a new area called Verizon Room to Learn (http://roomtolearn.verizon.com).
Room to Learn is an educational site that offers relevant tips, shortcuts, and online workshops on hot topics such as apps and gadgets. It also links users to social media sites where they can share their practical application and experience with their social circle.
Tech Made Simple
Verizon Room to Learn focuses on popular home networking and home entertainment topics that include introductions to digital entertainment, wireless networking, making sense of 3D TV, and organizing digital media. Note that these are not workshops on how to use Verizon products and services; rather, they are designed to help people participate more fully in a digital lifestyle. The topics are all around the core of what Verizon offers with our products and services, and customers and non-customers alike can find value in learning more about how to make their technology work for them – instead of the other way around.
Industry Experts Contribute Room to Learn also features weekly posts written by industry expert Alfred Poor, who has contributed for over 20 years to technology publications that include PC World, PC Magazine, Family PC and Computer Shopper. His posts complement the Room to Learn workshops and articles, and they provide fresh perspectives on timely topics. In addition to these weekly posts, Alfred regularly participates in discussions about these topics with our members directly in the forums.
Verizon Room to Learn has been successfully integrated into the Verizon Community. According to the latest Room to Learn metrics, visits and unique visitors are up over 100 percent from last October, registrations are up nearly 50 percent, and the email opt-in rate is up almost 40 percent. Product click-throughs are also up nearly 100 percent from last year, indicating that customers like what they are seeing – and want to find out more about how Verizon can help them live their digital lifestyle.
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Entry submitted by: Jenny Stewart (JST03) Community Content Manager
Community: Sky Help Forum (helpforum.sky.com)
Lithy category: Best Superfan Story or Insight
Best Superfan Story/Insight
In July 2012 we introduced our innovative Super User Program on the Sky Help Forum Community, recognising the super contributions from some of our forum members. Our Sky Help Community Super Users are individuals from within our Community who are the ultimate Sky boffins. Their technical prowess, detailed knowledge and broad range of expertise mean that they are the most valuable commodity in sourcing answers to our Customers questions. Whether they are technical aficionados looking to get the optimum performance of advanced applications or a technophile looking to simply decipher the jargon our Super Users can offer insight and support across our Customer base. All of our Super Users are independent of Sky and offer a true Customer insight in how to get the best from our products and services.
We wanted to implement a Super User program which truly recognised those active members within our Community who were advocates of sharing knowledge and best practice and wholeheartedly encompassed our methodology of peer to peer support and inclusion.
In being an advocate of our Customers and understanding their viewpoint our Super Users can offer a definitive insight into the sentiment of our audience and work with us to envisage a cohesive community built upon our core values. Our current base of 12 Super Users, have been recognised not only by Sky but by their peers as frequent, knowledgeable contributors with the Kudos and Accepted solutions to prove they are ‘worthy’ :)
To recognise the contribution of our band of expert Superfans we provide them with enhanced access to encapsulate them as part of the Sky team. “The Boardroom” our Private Community boiler room allows us to engage with our Super Users at a unique level understanding their views, ideas and feedback on new product trials, services and general discussions about almost everything. Not only that, but their contributions to our dedicated Knowledge Base and Monthly Blog articles truly gives a unique view of what it means to be a Super User and a true Sky Superfan.
One of our original community members on the Sky Help Forum was Annie+UK who registered on 27th October 2010 and has become a mainstay Sky boffin across our Help Forum offering insightful help and support to our Customers.
As a respected senior member within our community Annie+UK is our ultimate Superfan and was a first choice to join our Super User Program when launched.
However, it wasn’t always that way. During the early days, Annie+UK felt frustrations with regard to issues she was having related to her service provision and how this was handled from a customer support point of view, all of her frustrations were evident in her posts. A lot of this had to do with transparency, product development and honest communication. In case managing the issues experienced by Annie+UK we began to develop a foundation of open communication and feedback which offered us key insights into the sentiment of our wider community. Her insight was invaluable as a true testament of the value of our Customer’s knowledge and experience. Cultivating a strong relationship based on a mutual support and shared knowledge has integrated Annie+UK and our wider Super Users into the Sky team.
Being part of the Super User program and having the opportunity to build relationships with the Sky team allowed us to be more open and honest and along with having the opportunity to be involved in beta trials has helped change Annie+Uk’s opinion and rather than leaving the community she has become an advocate, this is evident in her having read 90%of all posts across our Community Forum and in supporting her peer customer group has responded to in excess of 2,750 Customer queries.
Her continued support of our Community members in sharing her knowledge and advice has assured her respected status as one of our key Super Users. She is not afraid to ask difficult questions and pose feedback directly to us based on Customer experiences which, assures that we can continually improve our service for our Customers. Her inspirational and engaging manner has assured she is an advocate of both our Customers and Sky which, has been key in the continued development of our Community and indeed our service provision.
In essence, Annie+UK has spent over 1 ½ years logged into the community, for a community that is less than 3 years old…making Annie+UK our ultimate Super Fan.
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Company: AppDynamics Entry submitted by: Steve Levine (appslevine) Senior Product Manager, Community Community: AppDynamics Community (http://community.appdynamics.com/)
Lithy category: Lithium Platform Innovator
We are a leader in the explosive Application Intelligence space. Our users are very technical and we provide enablement to this audience through our Lithium Community. We strive to maximize customer satisfaction and adoption and see that clearly in the stats coming from Lithium Social Intelligence each week.
The community is linked from our .com site, directly through our software product and outbound e-mail marketing campaigns. We also obtain subscribers through organic search on the web. Our boards are divided into a small number of product categories. By creating hoards of new company-generated rich media content alongside user-generated, we now believe to have the algorithm for technical enablement and have measurable results coming in regularly.
In order to create a framework where product management, engineering, education, customer success and the SE orgs are able to create their own enablement content on Lithium, we devised an HTML/CSS widget scheme with some 40 different templates. The framework allows Idea boards to be used to host completely custom page layouts implemented by widgets. This includes video embedded players, image lightboxes, styled titles and body text with standard layout rules. We stage new content right on production using a ‘curator’ role assigned to reviewers. Our own page code enforces this so it isn’t seen by the public until we unlock it.
We also moved all of our Studio components into an offline Ruby environment called ‘Middleman’ which is used in conjunction with GitHub to stage content and code outside of our Staging site before pushing it. This way we created an optimized, development environment spanning multiple time zones and geos. We can now adjust and preview any Studio function offline in our Middleman environment before pushing to stage and then test in stage before using Studio Publish to push to prod. Robots push the studio components back up from Github in seconds and can do it incrementally.
We provide what is represented inside the AppDynamics circle. Average users come in with questions and lacking knowledge, and the advanced/expert users and AppDynamics team help them become experts themselves. This is based around Content > Experts > Analytics as depicted in the below graphic.
We have measured increased subscriptions and higher engagement metrics in the new content areas. Our traffic in the 90 days prior, from September 2013 to December 2013 was 70k page views, 20k visits with 10k uniques. In the 3 months since the new content went live, from Dec-20 2014 – March 20, 2014 views increased 15% to 80k, visits 18% to 24.5k and uniques by 24% to 12.9k. We have also seen heavy downloads of our product extensions which are hosted on the community. Product extension downloads went from 0 to approximately 600 in 3 months. Extensions development grew from 0-62 in that same period. Sales have queried community engagement metrics during land and expand lifecycles in order to leverage user behavior against sales strategy.
Additional Technical Accomplishments
Front-End Development Approach
By using GitHub to maintain all development branches, we rarely experienced an out of sync codebase. Teams in India and the US worked independently on separate branches with no conflicts, saving precious time during rapid deployments. (2-week agile sprints). We also maintained the ability to deprecate code and revert production in the event of regressions.
Our progress was hyper fast with an extremely low bug count and we refreshed and rebuilt the community in 6 months, faster than any other project of this magnitude in the company’s history.
Custom User-Based, Off-Site Analytics Facility
Initially we did not have an API to retrieve user behavior against actual users at scale. However, we were able to implement page code that monitors button events for downloading product extensions. Each time a registered user clicks this button, we capture their user info, time/date and the extension they downloaded and store it in an offsite Django-based MySQL db. We can then pull log files of these actions and generate dashboards of this behavior. This is very useful to sales teams in the midst of upselling enterprise customers.
In addition to our custom analytics we also instrument every page of the community with Google Analytics tag code and report it (minus user info) to GA.
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Company: Research in Motion
Categories: Best Community Story or Anecdote
Entered by: Kerri Birtch (kerrib), Social Support Planning Team
Community Name: Blackberry Support Community Forums
What is a Super User? On the BlackBerry Support Community Forums they’re more than just active community members: They are truly the super glue that holds our community together.
Many of our Super Users spend more than 20 hours a week participating on our Forums and their individual post counts range from 1,000 to more than 30,000 posts! They’re always glad to answer questions, investigate issues and occasionally discuss the best way to prepare a cheeseburger. When asked why they keep coming back to the BSCF, the most common response is: “Because I love to help people and I love my BlackBerry”.
We recently celebrated our 3rd Birthday and to show our love for the community, we launched a rockin’ new redesign as well as a brand new Spanish instance.
In honour of our Birthday, Super User 'Bifocals' offered these kind words which we feel demonstrate the bond of all our Super Users:
“Through this forum I have met people from every spot on the globe. They have given me the priceless opportunity to learn about customs and cultures I could never have otherwise experienced. I am honored to have formed close friendships and share personal experiences with people I have would have never have had the pleasure of meeting outside of this forum. I joined this forum to learn about my Blackberry Curve. In retrospect of all I have gained here the technical knowledge I was looking for is actually a bonus. Happy Birthday BSCF!”
We can’t imagine what our Forums would be like without the glue that holds us together. So, to encourage these great community contributions, we as Administrators of the BSCF make every effort to maintain a great relationship with our Super Users.
Whether it’s our weekly Happy Friday posts, our quarterly Conference Calls or a chance to meet in person with our special invitation to attend BlackBerry World 2011 (formerly Wireless Enterprise Symposium), we make sure that we’re truly connecting with them on every level. They have our email, our phone number and our BBM PIN’s – and can get access to us just about any time of day.
This relationship allows us the chance to get feedback directly from the heart of the community, and to be honest, we also have a lot of fun along the way! By allowing them direct access and encouraging a feeling of camaraderie, there is a great feeling of mutual respect and understanding.
Without the super glue that is our Super Users, we would not be the vibrant support community we are today.
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Categories: Best New Community (Launched after June 1, 2010)
Entered by: Stephen Marshall (stephenmarshall)
Community Name: Sky Help Forum
Launched: 25 October, 2010
Sky Support Forum launched on 25th October 2010 with the aim of creating an engaging and active community for Sky customers to connect and support each other with Sky products and services.
A team of dedicated Sky Experts is also at disposal when queries are a little too complex to be resolved by peers. Even with very limited promotional activities, the community has been growing steadily and we have exceeded 16,000 registered members in less than 6 months.
We have 5 established superusers who have consistently been helping members with their questions and technical issues, and supported by the team of Sky Experts.
The forum is also linked to Sky’s online Help Centre to support our customers journey online and there are a range of video tutorials on a variety of useful guides such as how to programme your remote control or set up your wireless router.
Examples where we have used pictures to guide the customer through their journey:
The forum has been positively received by our users and every day there is a constant flow of activity on the forum and we are averaging 67,000 page views per day, over 1,500 posts per week and as mentioned above, we have over 16,000 registered users since launch.
A recent post by a forum user below:
“I think we should congratulate sky on setting up a forum, where on the whole they are likley to get a lot of flack. I for one was very dubious that we would get answers, especially those actually admitting some things are wrong. We did get answers and it appears we have got a fix. Result.”
Other results include:
Over 2,000 Accepted Solutions to date
Averaging 700 new registrations per week
CHI (Community Health Index) Score of 638
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Categories: Most Innovative Social Customer Program
Entered by: Dani Weinstein (Dani)
Community Name: HP Support Community
Expert Day Key Feature: Ask questions, get answers LIVE from HP enthusiasts and experts
On the forums, we strive to nurture a highly engaged and robust support community by reaching out and talking with customers and cultivating and rewarding high-powered community members. The HP Ambassadors are dedicated HP employees who converse with customers and share their expertise to solve issues, find information, and help customers get the most out of their HP products and services.
As of December 2010, over 100 HP Ambassadors were actively participating on the forums with impressive resolution success and a healthy contribution to the community’s overall health and effectiveness.
The results were notable:
5% of the total number of posts were written by Ambassadors
and they authored 10% of Accepted Solutions,
while receiving 7% of Kudos.
In addition to the HP Ambassadors, Forums SuperContributors are enthusiastic customers who voluntarily share and help fellow peers on the forums. SuperContributors are growing in numbers while making a significant global impact through tremendous participation and engagement.
In December 2010, there were over 50 SuperContributors worldwide. They created a whopping 52% of Accepted Solutions, and received 54% of Kudos.
Bringing further excitement and value to the community are the Expert Day events on the HP Forums, which are held periodically throughout the year.
In January 2011, the Global Social Media team hosted a global Expert Day that spanned across all printing and computing topics for customers.
Most recently on March 23 rd a highly successful Expert Day was held in German.
Fondly termed the “Super Bowl” of expert assistance, these events give customers 24 hours of free access to a wealth of technical experts in 4 languages:
The broad appeal to our customers was apparent with over 100,000 customers attending the event online, and over 230 HP experts sharing their knowledge and experience with customers that day.
In the English Forums, there was a 707% increase in solved threads, a 555% increase in posts, and a 307% increase in new members.
In the Chinese Forums we saw a 975% jump in new customers who chose the Forum as a trusted channel for troubleshooting. These new members came to post with an overwhelming 1406% increase in posts and a 100% increase in solved threads.
The Korean Forum also exhibited impressive success. Though it is uncommon for Korean customers to readily extend “thank yous” in online communities, their Expert Day wrapped up with a 200% increase in kudos and a 200% increase in solved threads attributed to the enormous 2075% increase in posts!
Needless to say, customers were thrilled to connect with the best and brightest minds HP has to offer, and LIVE! HP Expert Day has been an incredibly powerful way to effectively increase problem resolution via the web and, most importantly delight customers real-time!
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Entry submitted by: Danielle Beeken (dbeeken) Customer Marketing & Advocacy
Community: SuccessFactors Customer Community (community.successfactors.com)
Lithy category: Best Community Technical Implementation
Why should we win this award? “We want our customers to love work again!” To ensure that our customers have the best tools and resources to help them achieve success using our products, we launched the SuccessFactors Customer Community in April 2012. The primary goal of our community is to promote peer-to-peer engagement, but we also want people to use the platform for best practices knowledge, tips and tricks, discussion forums, blogs, new ideas, and much more.
After launch we realized that our customers still had to access multiple systems during the day to get to our training and professional services resources. We needed to enable a single sign-on solution between our community and our SharePoint sites. We have a private community with a registration process so that only customers, partners, and employees are able to join. We have an active directory that authenticates users as they register. The two other critical resources we wanted customers to be able to access through the community were our SuccessFactors Training and SuccessFactors Professional Services. Both of these teams provide extensive knowledge and resources, but they do so on separate SharePoint sites.
Our exceptional technical implementation, which connects the Lithium community to the SharePoint sites with the click of the button, has resulted in a completely seamless community experience for our customers. In order to achieve this technical implementation, we worked with Lithium partner Cloudsquads and a Cloudsquads partner SusQtech. This project enabled the single sign-on capabilities with a custom integration effort. The team first explored the solution, which started with the ADFS authentication issue. The technical teams then built an integration account, which provided credentials to access SharePoint. Then they developed a custom widget within Lithium that enabled easy access to the shared documents by using an iFrame housing the SharePoint sites, within which customers can download the documents. The custom-logic widget was placed on the community forums via the Lithium studio layout editor. The widget is modular and placed in the Lithium Studio Editor. A new page was created to host this service, the content is filtered by the SharePoint app, and Lithium passes whatever available fields that are specified by the integration protocol.
After clicking the button on the homepage with single sign on users are brought directly to the PS SharePoint site.
Training Page “Get Training” button
The Training SharePoint Page after you click on the “Get Training” button single sign on brings you to the Training SharePoint Page
Customers are extremely satisfied with this seamless integrated solution. When customers and partners need information, documents, training, or other resources, the SuccessFactors Community is their one-stop shop! Once they are in the community, if they need to access the SuccessAcademy (training) or the Empower Methodology/Welcome Kits (Professional Services), they can easily access these SharePoint systems with a click of a button without logging in again. This is a huge win for us, and it creates an exceptional community experience for our customers.
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Company: National Instruments
Entry submitted by: Jordan Groves (jgroves) Web Project Engineer/Forums Manager
Community: NI Discussion Forums ( www.ni.com/forums)
Lithy category: Best Superfan Story or Insight
“Are two Knights in one day better than two days in one night?” <Hint, the answer is yes.>
When the NI Discussion Forum was launched in 2004, we could not have predicted how successful it would be in fostering passionate, proficient, and accomplished advocates for National Instruments. Our super users are not only incredibly engaged, but they also constantly push the envelope and drive innovation. They are an extension of the passionate company culture we have built and strive to maintain internally at NI.
Our community members chose the ranking Knight of NI based on a shared love for the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Members who reach the 10,000-post milestone virtually receive the Knight of NI title and physically receive a shrubbery. This group has only seven members but is a respected and revered resource within our community. Collectively, the Knights have a vast wealth of knowledge. When we ask why they continue to engage in the NI Discussion Forums, we consistently receive the same response: They enjoy helping others, solving difficult problems, and sharing their knowledge to develop and empower future engineers. The Knights of NI participate because they truly recognize the value of our company, products, and industry.
We recently recognized two Knights of NI on consecutive days! Becoming a Knight does not happen every day; in fact, it does not even happen every year. However, in their race to Knighthood, these two loyal users have consistently been neck and neck for over eight years.
As a group, our Knights’ engagements make up 8 percent of our total community activity, and they receive more than 20 percent of the total kudos in the community. They frequently create quality content and have authored 12 percent of our total solutions. These numbers are extremely significant considering we have seven Knights in a community of over 200,000 users! The sheer volume of posts and solutions that the Knights provide significantly drive down support costs for our organization. We are thankful for their passion and strive to nurture their behavior through recognition, sneak previews before products releases, and direct channels to engage with NI engineers, just to name a few. The Knights lead by example and inspire fellow community members to engage to earn the greatest reward: knowledge.
There are many more examples and statistics we could mention to further sing the praises of this valued group, however one of the greatest outcomes of this recognition system is the bond our super users have built with one another. Their discussions are helpful, interesting, cutting edge, personal, and always entertaining. A great portion of the success of the NI Discussion Forums is absolutely due to these loyal SuperFans.
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Entry submitted by: Scotty Jackson (deturbulence) Sr Strategy Manager
Community: TELUS Neighbourhood (forum.telus.com)
Lithy category: The Organization Game Changer
In 2010, we started listening and responding to customer mentions of “telus” on Twitter. This was done using our enterprise platform (formerly Radian6) with a very small team of contact centre agents, looking at only our Mobility line of business. As we gained more and more experience, the channel became more active, and we found we could not only serve customers, but also exceed their expectations by listening to discussions and engaging.
We learned that we could have a legitimate service channel that not only displaced contacts from our live contact centre, but also deliver risk management by ensuring that negative comments from influencers or media did not go unanswered. To this end, in 2012, we added additional agents to support Home Services, and started creating more robust processes to enable communication and hand-offs between operations, public relations/corporate communications, and marketing. These processes have evolved into meaningful partnerships, with the business aligning behind common goals of putting out customers first, and having teams that historically did not inter-operate collaborate on a daily basis.
As we were getting more and more involved from a social service standpoint in delivering customer experience and support through engagement, we found that we needed tools and technologies focused on engagement to suit the needs of this growing channel. To that end, in the back half of 2012, we undertook an evaluation of a multitude of social tools to not only underpin our engagement and customer experience needs, but also to grow our social capabilities. We selected Lithium Social Web as the best tool for our needs based on routing, case management, tagging, and reporting. These capabilities not only empowered the operational teams to really own social engagement, but also gave them credibility internally.
In early 2013, LSW was implemented, enabling our operational team with clear lines of accountability and responsibility on a case by case basis, also giving us insight to volumes, times, and topics of conversation. Supported by this capability, we opened our historically closed Facebook wall to customer posts, allowing customers another communication channel with TELUS, and in to a sustainable workflow process.
To further our strategy of putting customers first and our goals of delivering strong social experiences, we began work on the TELUS Neighbourhood, a Lithium community, in March of 2013. Launching in June, our community serves as an opportunity to ensure support content does not expire/evaporate as it does on Twitter (due to Twitter’s velocity), as well as to enable the growth of superusers and brand advocates. Further, we can leverage it as a draw to bring social experiences on-domain, closer to self serve capabilities and to shopping.
What's next for us
Our efforts in the social space have taught us the need to develop people and skillsets directly related to social service. To that end, we are developing a formalized team (outside of the typical contact centre agent pool) with a distinct mandate, learning and development track, and set of success metrics to properly grow and sustain our social service efforts. This team will own all operational activity, and will continue the active collaboration with PR and marketing teams.
As we move in to 2014, we are finding new ways to leverage social insights internally. We are partnered with web teams, as our community activities demonstrate content customers are most hungry for, based on authorship and views, which inform web development and content authoring/promotion. Operational enablement teams are also receiving our feedback and insights to better tune our processes.
Additionally, we are able to springboard off of our community design and internal partnerships to launch TELUS Ideas, providing us yet another stream of insights in to the customer experience, directly from customers. This, coupled with our work to introduce a gamification strategy, continues to unite the organization internally to better hear and serve our customers.
Our business results in 2013
Ended year by reaching an average total response time of 25 minutes in Q4
Quality survey results say:
If a colleague, friend or family member were looking for services such as home phone, Internet, TV or Wireless, what is the likelihood that you would recommend TELUS to them? 77% Top 2 Box
How would you rate the performance of the TELUS social media support agent for the level of service you received? 88% Top 2 Box
After your experience with TELUS’ social media support team, how likely are you to share your experience with others? 86% Top 2 Box
Ended year by reaching an average total response time of 118 minutes in Q4
TELUS Neighbourhood (Lithium Community)
5.6k+ forum posts
1.3k+ Accepted Solutions
Estimated 28.7k+ live contacts displaced
11k+ completed registrations, 254k+ logins
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Company: Spotify Entry submitted by: Meredith Humphrey (Meredith) Community Manager
Community: The Spotify Community (Community.spotify.com)
Lithy category: Most Creative Promotion or Launch
Spotify is a music streaming service based in Stockholm, Sweden that is currently available in over 55 markets. With over 24 million active users and over 6 million paying subscribers, our customers use Spotify to discover, share, listen, and organize their music.
This growing customer base has also meant a need for various customer support channels since Spotify’s launch in 2008. In February 2012 we launched our Spotify Community with Lithium and now have over 200,000 registered users. Our Community is now top source for customers with queries on everything from their account to device troubleshooting, maintenance, product feedback, and music discussion.
Since the launch of the Community in 2012 up until mid-2013 we also had a core group of around 20 Super Users. These included users that were newly, currently and formerly active across the boards.
Our main focus for the past year was encouraging the growth of our Super Users across the Community so that self-help was promoted across the forums as we continue to look toward Spotify’s future growth.
We’ve always taken great effort to reward the Super Users that make their way to the Spotify Community.
Using Lithium’s metrics, we determine the Top 10 Super Users each month and recognize them in our Community Blog. These Top Contributors are rewarded with anything from Spotify merchandise, a month of free Premium, a blog post on our official news site, and branded playlists.
Those Super Users are also invited for other perks including Skype calls with team leaders for Q&A sessions, access to early version of updates, and direct emails to some Spotify.
However, we knew in 2013 that there was still a large untapped group of users that would make great additions to our Spotify’s Super User team. With close to over 200,000 registered users there was clearly room for improvement and retention with interested users.
We also knew that our Lithium Community was the place to find these brand advocates and Super Users that are vital the future of Spotify’s support channels.
In an effort to not only encourage new Super Users to become active, but also to raise awareness of Spotify’s Community and praise the efforts of our current Super Users in 2014, we established the Rock Stars Program in November 2013.
"The Rock Stars Program is really an extension of what we were already doing organically over the years. Since we've made it something more concrete, we've seen a massive increase in the funnel of new Super Users in our community. We're grateful to have so many new fans who are passionate about our brand and helping people." – Rorey Jones, Spotify Global Community Manager
Previously, when Moderators reached out to welcome users that stood out in their accepted solutions, kudos and post count it became clear the benefits of being of a Super User were intangible and difficult to grasp.
Thanks to the Rock Stars Program (RSP), all the benefits of being a Super User are now visible to everyone—not just the Super Users already getting perks.
The Rock Stars Program is a three-tier system: Registered Users, Rising Stars, and Rock Stars.
The first step in the program invites all registered users to simply start posting. They can then rank up 26 different music-themed positions as they start participating in the Community. Our ranks were adjusted to go from “Newbie” and “Casual Listener” up another 26 musical ranks, including “Gig Goer”, “Festival VIP”, “Garage Band”, Radio Producer”, “Singer” and at the top “Senior Producer”.
Users that are gaining kudos, writing accepted solutions, getting to know staff and bringing a great disposition to the forums are then invited to be Rising Stars. For three months these users are given access to a few private boards, meet the staff, and start learning more about Spotify.
At the end of three-month period they can be invited to be Rock Stars—the rank given to top group of Super Users.
Rock Stars are defined as users that are actively helping other customers, gaining kudos, posting accepted solutions, and establishing relationships with Moderators. In the RSP, Rock Stars have a rank structure as well—they can rank from “Label Star” up another 14 ranks to “Musical Legend”. Finally, Rock Stars that slowed in participation and left the community are retired as “Veterans”.
Once a Rock Star, there are different roles users can take as a member of “the band”: The Fun Master, The Protector of Newbs, Community Yoda, The Ideas Guardian, The Blog Maverick.
When we launched the RSP we invited our established Super Users to join as Rock Stars right away. We then invited some new users to join as Rising Stars so they could learn a bit more before gaining all the Rock Star perks.
The public, tiered structure the RSP provides has given users an incentive to start participating, getting to know staff and increasing their overall presence in the forums.
When comparing the month after the launch (November) and the second month after the launch (December), our Accepted Solutions were up by 19% to 611 while Completed Registrations were up 18% to 12,264 from Dec 7, 2013 to Jan 7, 2014.
Our Overall Topics also increased by 11% while Logins and Overall Posts increased by 5% and 6% respectively.
Since the launch of the RSP not only have we seen not only a jump in the User Sessions per month by 4% to 3,869,869 and Searches by Users up 27% to 60,303--but we’ve seen an increase in the post frequency and quality from best top Rock Stars.
At the end of the first three months we nominated four of our Rising Stars to become Rock Stars. We then initiated another six Rising Stars to the program.
Our top Rock Star Peter has increased his post count by 20%--now averaging 85 posts a day. Marco has been a consistent top 10 Super User for years and has increased his post count by 169%.
With these results just four months after the launch, our team is eager to see what a full year of the program will bring. Our ever-expanding Spotify user base means the need for knowledgeable, supportive Super Users is become more vital to our Customer Service future and we want the Rock Star Program to be at the center of the Community.
To give you a proper tour of our Rock Star Program, let us introduce the Spotify Community Moderator Greg. He’ll take you through the register user’s journey through our Community and into the Rock Star Program. See you backstage.
Watch video here:
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