Entry Submitted by: Claudius Henrichs (Claudius) Community Manager
Community: Skype Support Network (community.skype.com)
Lithy Categories: Best Business ROI, Best Global Implementation
The Skype Support Network, launched in June 2011, is Skype’s peer-to-peer support community and provides a direct channel for feedback and exchange between our users and product teams.
What happens if you flip on all switches “Community” and put the spotlight on a previously hidden tech support forum? We did just that and turned it into a vibrant location for exchange around everything Skype. Within just over 7 months page views skyrocketed and have more than doubled. A highly engaged, dedicated user base presented with the right tools utilize them every day now to improve theirs and other’s Skype experience.
Several aspects lead to the huge success – both outside and inside the company – of this project, each itself worth highlighting.
Best Global Implementation
Reflecting our truly global product we launched the community in eight languages. The landing page was designed to showcase our language communities and the latest activities and hot topics in each of those. Our visitors appreciated the fact that they could exchange in their language and within days we had Super Users covering all time zones around the world
Best Social Customer Experience Program
Making the community a place you wanted to stay and return to was our primary goal. That’s why we came up with several programs that rewarded visitors. The Community News highlight weekly activity, discussions and user participation. The highlighted user and topic of the week invited users to stay while longer and engage in the conversation.
We are most proud about our #SkypeTalks live events: Questions raised simultanousy via a dedicated community board and Twitter were replied on by product managers inside Skype. This helped prioritize the next developments sprints through the insight gained and gave the user a very rewarding feedback experience. And in the end it raised awareness of our product features.
Eventually the community has helped us identify and resolve new product issues within 24 hours of launch that would normally have taken days. E.g. the community compiled a list of problematic devices with regards to video calling on Android. Based on that we were able to issue a hotfix within days after our initial release. This extended the list of supported devices and thereby consumer satisfaction.
Best New Community
Already the first week after the launch in June 2011 our Community Health Index passed 600 and it’s rise has not stopped yet. We have since passed a score of 700 which put us in line with other Lithium established communities that have been developing for much longer than the 7 months we did.
But the CHI is more than just a number: It reflects that our users are on average getting a reply quicker than via our own customer service. In the majority of cases even answering their question right away providing is with a first contact resolution rate of around 70%. We now engage 3 Million users per month, growing 10% month over month since last June.
Best Community Technical Implementation
Another goal of the community switch was to offer answers on new and trending support questions faster and deliver them on a more direct channel.
We achieved that by integrating helpful content (Accepted Solutions) and related topics to our existing copywriter authored knowledge base content on our Skype Support page. A category based selection logic ensures the related topics are pulled from the correct board.
It works as an additional motivational factor to our Super User: “Great to have our work surfaced to more users to get their problems solved”. Eventually this integration serves as an attractive entry point to join the community discussion with latest stats reflecting the activity taking place.
Behind the curtain we also made full use of the Single-Sign-On feature in Lithium. It is not only used for authenticating users to access with their Skype Name, but we also implemented a tight integration allowing Skype Customer Service staff to one-click quickly check back office user data for cases escalated from the community. The sleek integration ensured the feature to be attractive in everyday use.
Best Business ROI
Best of all we were pleased to see a 10% reduction in our traditional support costs through reduced number of contacts that we could relate to the introduction of the new Lithium community platform. Much harder to quantify but definitely present are the revenue improvements gained from the increased customer satisfaction through the product improvements we could introduce based on the community feedback. Compared to previous methods if gathering feedback (e.g. through web based forms) the round trip time is much shorter and we can react quicker.
Best SuperFan Story or Insight
In the end the whole community stands or falls with our dedicated Super Users sharing their expert knowledge and creative solutions on using our products. They have spent 1½ years online time on their community while it had not even had it’s own birthday yet. During that time they contributed 14% of all content including 38% of the very valuable accepted solutions. As a token of appreciation we highlighted five of them in our end of year awards on our Community news blog with a short interview and portrait.
Our stellar Super User goes by the nickname “TheUberOverLord”, is a self-proclaimed “White Hat” computer expert and contributed 5% of all posts since the launch. His engagement inspired several other users to become engaged and eventually Super users as well.
I want to close with inviting you all to our community and taking this opportunity to thank our community members for their passion and engagement that makes this such a success. We are entering this award as a way of saying thanks to our Super Users!
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Company: Best Buy
Entry Submitted by: Gina Debogovich (gina) Community Manager
Community: Best Buy US, Best Buy Canada, Future Shop
Lithy Categories: Best Global Implementation
Best Buy is a multi-national retailer with operations across the United States, Canada, Europe, China and Mexico and customers around the world.
In addition to the Best Buy brand, the family of brands includes Best Buy Mobile, The Carphone Warehouse, CowBoom, Future Shop, Geek Squad, Magnolia, MindShift, Pacific Sales.
All these brands leverage social media as a means to connect with current and future customers to raise awareness of their brand, to gain insights and to support customers. From specific brand Forum boards and helpful blogs to engaging on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Yelp and Pinterest, social media connects with millions of customers.
To help support our global customers, Best Buy USA, Best Buy Canada and Future Shop all use the Lithium Technologies platform. Every year we help millions of customers and facilitate thousands of conversations in multiple languages (English and Spanish for Best Buy USA, and English and French for Best Buy Canada and Future Shop).
As e-commerce continues to increase, more customers will interact with brands online. We also align our blog content strategy with our other social support channels, promotional activity and product releases. For the past year, the global brands have been connecting on a monthly basis to help share out best practices for social and community management.
Our global brands help bring the knowledge from our employees, customers and superusers together on our social platforms.
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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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