Entry submitted by: Ben Shute (benshute) Social Media Manager
Community: CommSec Community (commsec.com.au)
Lithy category: Best New Community, Best Community Technical Implementation, Best Community Design
The CommSec Community is a unique proposition within the Australian online broking space. CommSec, as Australia’s largest online broker, has created a place for customers to connect with each other and discuss the share market, trading strategies, charting and other aspects of online trading. Regardless of how long they have been trading, or what their trading style is, this is a place where all customers can feel comfortable and learn from each other.
We launched in early February with a migrated client base from our previous chat room functionality. Over the last 6 weeks, they have populated with content - insights into sectors and stocks, charts on the price of gold, silver, oil and currencies, and offered up many ideas for enhancements to make the community a better place for all.
From a design and technical perspective, we have a number of custom enhancements to the platform which we believe are firsts in their field:
We have the latest market indices and traded stocks constantly updating within the Community.
2. We have integrated ASX stock codes within the posting functionality, which allows us to:
Generate sector and company specific views of the community
Pull in and display the latest price information as it relates to the particular stock
Display any company announcements that are made
Members can buy and sell stocks directly from within the Community, add a stock to their watch list, or get a more detailed quote
3. We have also included a sentiment indicator as part of the post creation page, where members discussing a stock can tell us if they think it’s a buy, hold, sell, reduce or accumulate. This allows us to:
Measure market, sector and stock sentiment
Compare that sentiment to the most traded stock data from the ASX
While we are in our infancy, we are looking at a number of future enhancements that will take the aggregated data we are capturing and use it to foster the vision of our customers learning from each other.
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Entry submitted by: Patricia DiPasquale (pmdCanon) Sr. Manager, Internet Marketing
Community: Canon Forum (forums.usa.canon.com)
Lithy category: Best New Community
The Canon Forum has been a long time in the making. Not being permitted to respond on other forums, we wanted one of our own, although the risk factor was high since it would be living on a Canon property. Our risk mitigation plans had to be spot-on and accepted by executive management, as well by the Canon Call Center since they would ultimately be responsible for moderation. After great success with our Facebook launch, we knew the community would appreciate a forum hosted by Canon, and we were proven right.
Going with best practices, our Web Intelligence team scoured the web for active, positive, passionate Canon advocates to participate in the beta release. All who were invited were excited to be a part of the launch, with one gentleman making his way out from the wilderness to find a signal in order to respond.
We gained a great deal of valuable insight from these Pioneers—as we have tagged them—from functional issues to suggestions as well as asking what was to be expected from a Canon Forum… both how Canon would participate and what the members would be able to discuss. The Canon Community is vocal and passionate, leaving us to walk a fine line between providing information when possible and remaining quiet when it would otherwise spiral out of control.
The Forum was implemented to provide both a place for these passionate Canon fans to congregate with like-minded people as well as allowing Canon to hear the voice of the customer, meaning, hearing firsthand what people were saying. We want to know the good, the bad and the ugly so that we can learn from it.
Our initial marketing plan included a post to Facebook, a press release and an email to our over 2MM person email list.
However, the spike in registrations we saw after the Facebook post (1) and Press Release (2) went viral (over 1,000 registrations in a single day!), caused us to postpone our email plans. Our Call Center was just beginning to get acclimated to this new platform, and feared that the email might be too successful and overextend their resources.
The Canon Forum was launched publicly on November 5, 2012 and since then we have accumulated over 5,100 registered users and have over 2.8MM page views. Of those registered users, almost half are Contributors, with less than 1% of the Contributors (17 members) providing 27% of the content. The Community Health Index (CHI) score is a respectable 525.
*Top 17 are comprised of Frequent, Super and Valued Contributors
As of March 10, 2013, the stats are as follows:
Just recently, two of our members became Super Contributors and another became a Valued Contributor, rank levels 9 & 10, respectively. They have 778 posts, 17,068 page views, 224 kudos received, and 22 accepted solutions between them. And this was in a just under four months time.
We went from 5 boards to 16 boards in a matter of weeks. As expected, the Camera board grew the quickest, first splitting into three boards and soon thereafter splitting into the seven separate boards that it is now.
Our moderation rules are such that Canon will not respond for at least 48 hours, unless it is something that cannot be answered by the community, such as a warranty question. But when it’s a question of quality, it is the Canon way to be quiet until a full review has been completed by the parent company (Canon Inc.), which is something we know isn’t acceptable in the social arena. It didn’t take long before an issue bubbled up from other forums and an investigation began in earnest.
First we responded by saying only that we got the message, but once the issue was determined, details of the cause were revealed and that a firmware update would be released as soon as it was ready. The community was ecstatic—even though the solution wasn’t ready to go—and the thanks came pouring in no sooner we announced that a fix was in the works… 25 minutes to be exact!
This occurrence has made it crystal clear to executive management that the Community is beneficial, even when the news isn’t good. We are working out faster response times that will benefit both Canon and our end user.
And now that we have gained the trust of our most ardent fans, we will continue to listen and respond in a timely manner, without shying away from hot issues. The next steps for enhancing the Forum will be to have a bi-monthly “Chat with an Expert” events. The Forum has provided the opportunity to interact directly with our customers, and from there, almost anything is possible!
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Entry Submitted by: Catherine Buzzitta Community Manager (cbuzzitta)
Community: Webroot Community ( community.webroot.com )
Lithy Categories: Best New Community (Launched after 1 June 2011)
Community Launch Date: 2 February 2012
Webroot is the perfect example of a company that needed a community.
We had a compelling story to tell, a revolutionary product that people wanted to talk about and a loyal army of advocates. Also, customer service and product innovation are at the crux of our business success.
Yet with so many undefined channels of communication, we struggled to have the kind of dialogue we needed to really drive our products forward and to resolve customer issues quickly.
It became clear that Webroot customers needed a place to talk to Webroot employees, ask questions, find answers, suggest ideas for our products, and stay in the loop on security industry news. And so with the help of Lithium’s team and our small project development team, we created the Webroot Community.
Success! It appears that a Community is exactly what our Webroot fan base wanted!
After an initial "sneak peek" launch on February 2, 2012 to about 20,000, we gained 30,000 page views in the first five days.
We launched to our entire customer base on February 15th. In just over a month since our public launch, we had over 525,000 page views and over 190,000 user sessions.
After one month, we had 770 registered users - 18% being Webroot employees. This metric is a testament to not only our early success in registrations, but also company involvement.
We have 34 ideas in our Ideas Exchange and all are reviewed bi-monthly with our Product Team. Half of the ideas have already been scheduled to be implemented in the next quarter.
We have 1493 posts and 681 kudos in our Community - with the most activity being in our 'Mobile for Android' forum. This showed us that our users have a lot of interest and questions about our Android app - which then spurred involvement from our mobile team in the Community.
WHAT LED TO THE SUCCESS?
The "sneak peek" roll out was huge because our highly technical advocates. They enjoy being a part of our betas, so we leveraged that in the Community as well.
We featured the community on Webroot’s homepage at the very top of the page, giving it easy accessibility.
We promoted the Community on our social channels, in our email newsletter, in our product and at events.
Webroot Employees were appropriately trained and encouraged to participate in the Community.
We engaged with our superusers early on - PMing them and making them feel important using ranks and roles.
We sent a friendly email out on behalf of the Community Manager asking for early feedback from select users.
We created an "intro" video, welcoming users to the Community and explaining how to use it.
In addition to setting up and customizing the overall architecture of the Community, we also implemented a secure SSL login to remain consistent with our security protocol. (very important to this security-savvy community)
We continue to evolve our forums to make it easier for users to set up their accounts (e.g. “Helpful Pointers for New Members,” a new internal-use-only employee forum, and a business forum to launch alongside our new business product).
We used the Community to cross-promote offers and sweepstakes.
In just one month, the Webroot Community developed into a knowledge resource for security-related topics and a rapid-fire response system for customer support issues. In fact, the response was so great we had to bring on additional support team members to remain dedicated to resolving customer issues on the community.
As a result, the correspondence between our support team, moderators, administrators, and users has been nothing short of impressive.
And lastly, don't take OUR word for it.
Hear what the Webroot Community has to say!
“Any questions or suggestions about your Webroot product, this is the forum to post them. Excellent Forum.”
“I have to say again Congrats to all of the Webroot teams from Development all the way to Support and now the Community Support Forums keep up the great work!”
“Thank you to the Webroot support team for all of your efforts! You ALL are the BOMB!”
“Well done. Keep up!”
"Nice to see Webroot with its own forum and a very nice once as well..I like the forum options...Love WSA keep up the good work."
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Entry submitted by: Jennifer Grinold (jgrinold) Marketing & Communications Manager
Community: Navis Online Community (community.navis.com)
Lithy category: Best New Community
Navis, the global technology software standard for managing the movement of cargo through terminals, has been on the forefront of tech innovation in the marine shipping industry. Their use of the Lithium platform has helped to bring social media to an industry that otherwise would have not adopted it. The Navis Online Community, better known by its users as “The NOC,” is leading the way by providing a platform for information sharing and collaboration, uncovering key knowledge from container terminal operations experts and driving innovation in the industry overall.
For Navis, a significant amount of knowledge-share takes place at Navis World, Navis’ bi-annual user conference. Navis felt that it was time to move industry networking opportunities online, truly making Navis World a 24/7/365 experience. In short, Navis wanted to effectively reach employees, customers, and major shipping community members in one place, which is how the NOC came to be. Navis knew that the NOC needed to be more than just a marketing channel in order to be successful. Instead of using the Lithium community as a platform to publish Navis products and company news, the NOC passes the microphone to professionals in the marine shipping industry – opportunities to share perspectives, start discussions, ask questions, get product information, get advice from Navis and broader industry experts and shape future product roadmaps. The NOC also features the Salesforce connector for full social support integration. Cases can be submitted from the NOC, and there is a single search for Salesforce and community content. The NOC has also become an invaluable medium to highlight Navis’ loyal customers and promote personal successes for the very people that use its technology on a daily basis. Every month, Navis highlights a customer site and the people running it as part of its ongoing Terminal Spotlight Series. While early Terminals Spotlight Series posts honor customers who have faced, and thrived, during industry challenges (such as Port Newark Container Terminal and the impact of Hurricane Sandy), future posts will cover all notable stories impacting Navis customers.
The biggest and most successful promotion for the NOC took place at Navis World in October of 2012. During the conference, Navis selected and appointed special NOC ambassadors to educate and excite attendees about joining the community. NOC ambassadors, as well as Navis’ PR agency, Affect, also posted a steady stream of Navis World content to the NOC—session recaps, best practices, interviews with attendees, videos, presentations and more—enabling those who couldn’t attend to follow along from afar and for those that did, to keep industry discussions going long after the conference was over.
“One of the advantages of buying from Navis is that you join the largest community of TOS users on the planet,” says Brian Hibbert, General Manager of APM Terminals. “It is this collective brain trust that makes Navis and its customers stronger together.”
“We have come a long way in getting Navis to host an online community that includes all levels of their employees as well as the customers,” says James Burgess, Technical Project Engineer at APM Terminals. “I have used the NOC as a resource to solve issues and answer questions before opening a Salesforce case. By going to the NOC first, I have received answers within minutes and hours instead of days.” As a result of promotional efforts to date, 60% of Navis’ customer base today is registered on the NOC, and that number continues to grow each week. Additionally, over 75% of Navis employees are signed up for the site, making the NOC truly one of the only places where industry professionals can share what they know, get the feedback they need and gather information do the best job possible for their terminals located all over the world. In the future, Navis intends that the online community will be the medium that will help the industry innovate, share best practices and collaborate on a global level, making it the go-to resource for the marine shipping industry.
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Entry submitted by: Thomas Kearsley (tkearsley) Community Manager
Community: Ooyala Community (community.ooyala.com)
Lithy category: Best New Community
Ooyala offers leading cross-device video analytics and monetization solutions, streaming over 1 billion videos to nearly 200 million unique viewers per month. The Ooyala Community was officially launched on 10/8/12. Since the launch we have seen 4,108 unique visitors with 20K+ page views. Our community is not open to anyone, only customers who have an account (Backlot) can comment. This limits the community to a low number of participants, but the community will grow as the company scales up.
My goal is to make the community a portal to everything Ooyala. A place to find solutions to technical issues, stay up on the latest trends ,and be informed of everything happening at the company. Since my start at Ooyala, I have implemented Google analytics into the site, giving us real-time information on who is visiting, OS, location etc.
I have integrated a Twitter feed for keeping up with the latest Ooyala mentions in social, and embedded Ooyala TV (video) on our home page where users can watch helpful videos. We are using the latest Lithium search (2.0) while building out our TKB with new content every day. I am excited to see our community grow in the months and years to come.
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Company: Autodesk, Inc.
Entry submitted by: Katinka Sante, Strategic Social Programs Manager
Community: Autodesk Expert Elite
Lithy category: Best Social Support Program, Best Superfan Story or Insight, Best New Community
On November 28, 2012 at Autodesk University, Autodesk’s annual user conference, we announced our formal customer advocacy program: Autodesk Expert Elite. This program is designed to recognize community members who make extraordinary contributions to the company's online community. The program builds on, and is an evolution of the Autodesk Community rank and reputation model.
Members of the Expert Elite group are characterized by their regular and responsive participation in Autodesk's discussion forums, advanced knowledge of the company and its products, and leadership in the user community.
Individuals are selected after a detailed review of their Autodesk Community contributions, which include assisting other customers by sharing product knowledge and displaying engaging and positive styles of communication and collaboration. The goal of the Autodesk Expert Elite program is to deeply engage this important group of individuals and empower them to better assist their peers and support the Autodesk community. The program has a one year term and members are reviewed bi-annually.
As part of the Autodesk Expert Elite program, members receive a number of benefits including access Autodesk’s portfolio of design products, access to a private forum known as the Expert Elite Lounge. This Lounge is only available to our Autodesk Expert Elite members and is geared toward opening the lines of communication between Autodesk and its most valuable customers.
Expert Elites are also given additional administrative permissions within Lithium to help curate and highlight valuable forum content. For example, our Expert Elite members can accept solutions for their posts as well as posts authored by other customers. Additionally, Expert Elites have the ability to escalate their own posts into our CRM system for support assistance. We’ve also created an Expert Elite community badge for members to include in their forum profiles, which they are very proud of.
Today, Autodesk has 64 Expert Elite members from 11 different countries. These 64 members represent 28% of all posts, 30% of all accepted solutions and 27% of our community kudos. Here are just a few of our Expert Elite members:
- Adrianna Schneider
- R.K. McSwain
Our Expert Elite members are a key group of stakeholders helping us shape our community programs, strategy and policy.
Watch this video to hear from some of our Expert Elite members as they talk about the importance of supporting our community http://youtu.be/xNsDzbZc58I
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Company: Joe Mobile
Entry submitted by: Laurent Partouche (lpartouche) Community Manager
Community: Joe Community (communaute.joemobile.fr)
Lithy category: Best New Community
How long does it take to build a new community?
Some weeks at least, a few months probably. Joe's community was born in a day. We remember it very clearly - it was last Oct 23 at 1PM.
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.
We launched that day of October after a month-long teaser period consisting of a single video on our website with very few information inside. At 10pm, we broadcasted a live Google Hangout from our offices that was watched live by 12,000 people and opened the service early in the afternoon.
It took only minutes for the first curious person to register for an account and order a SIM. The first questions started to pour into the forum and while the team took on the role to try and answer them we soon found this effort was futile. Indeed, in less than one hour, a few good men had already visited every corner of our website, read every information that they could land their hands on and started posting and answering questions way faster than we were able to.
By 4 PM we just sat there and read, amazed by what was happening.
Three months later the community is going strong. With 50,000 posts over 3,900 topics it is very active. Each new subject gets 14 answers on average but what we pride ourselves with is that 49% of questions are tagged as Solved. This helps a lot the new users to quickly find the answer to their questions.
There is still a lot of work to do for the community to keep growing. We need to build engagement and give everyone a good reason to come back every day.
Joe is a pure community-based model. Each and every Joe customer is a community member thanks to a one-step subscription process that allows us to have a single ID for both the community and our self-care.
We also provide an invitation system inspired by Dropbox where a member can invite his friends and relatives to join the community and earn a few euros for each new member that actually activate a SIM.
This allows for funny initiatives such as the member map : a google mashup where members can pin their location on the map and insert their invitation link.
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Entry submitted by: Richard Broer (richardbroer) CEO
Community: The Station Community (community.landlordstation.com)
Lithy category: Best New Community
LandlordStation is a startup company founded in 2010 which provides web-based software apps to property managers and landlords throughout the US. Although our community (and company) are new and small, both are growing at rapid clips. More importantly, we understand and value the importance of communities and other social platforms and have made a concerted effort built them into the core of our business.
The LandlordStation Community was launched in January of 2013, as a way for our uniquely independent clientele to have a convenient and open way to communicate with each other, ask and answer questions, and generally connect to their peers in a very fragmented industry. Our goal with the community is to grow awareness of our brand in the wider property management industry and improve our traffic channels with new and unique content.
We have already begun to see a return on this investment as traffic from the community and searches for the community have grown rapidly over recent months and are already causing a noticeable difference in the cost of our traffic generation as we chip away at the percentage of our traffic that is generated by PPC and other advertising channels. We already have hundreds of excellent users (and a few budding Superusers) as well as posts that continue to receive hundreds of daily views by landlords from across the country. Our number of total post views is at 100,000 within 75 days of launch. As we continue to gain traction with both our community and company, we expect to continue to see rapid growth in our user-base with the goal of being the premier community for this industry.
Community Impact since launch:
Conversion rate for purchases on our main site for traffic referred by the Community (and referrals from Community oriented social campaigns) is more than 2X the conversion rate from PPC traffic.
Dramatic increase in organic Google searches for LandlordStation by name (or close variation) in Q1 2013 v. Q4 2012 suggesting a higher brand awareness driven in large part by the Community.
Increase in traffic driven by real-time keywords. For example, we recently noted revenue generation from keywords based on a popular real estate news story that was referenced and linked in our Community. SEO for real-time or newsworthy keywords is an incredibly difficult thing to accomplish and we are very pleased that we are seeing this in such a young community.
As illustrated in the screenshot below, we received significant traffic during this period for the keyword "landlord whipped tenant" which was the subject of a news story referenced in the community.
As we continue to grow our company and our community, we feel strongly that social is core value, not an add-on strategy. We will shortly being moving all of our customer service forums and knowledge base inside the Community as well which will increase traffic and hopefully create an even more vibrant area for our clients and our contributors.
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Entry Submitted by: Terry Starr (tstarr) Community Manager
Community: Tech Talk (techtalk.dice.com)
Lithy Categories: Best New Community
Community Launched: 18 January 2012
I think our Lithium Success team could speak volumes on why we should win. However, to keep it simple, after attending LiNC 2011 and seeing what was possible, Dice had a vision of where they wanted to be by 2012.
Dice's team had a vision for its tech forum.
Through perseverance, a lot of hard work and dedication, we were able to pull off an incredible transformation:
We completely redesigned and developed a new structure, including the introduction of Talent Communities which has been integrated across all of Dice.com
We changed the name to: Dice tech talk.
We added a number of new features such as Video, Contests, and Q&A (including Facebook) to name a few, to allow our tech audience to engage more deeply.
The structure was built around the suggested idea that "people interact by topic area, not by style of engagement." We took this advice from Lithium to heart when trying to integrate Q&A style into a discussion board forum.
We will continue to roll out new programs throughout 2012 and beyond.
A pictures worth a thousands words - and we're hoping that Lithium will review our 2011 community vs where we are today - need we say more?
A huge thanks goes out to all those who took on this monumental, but incredibly rewarding effort, particularly my wing-women, Clair Whitmer, Rachel Haskell-Weeks and my wing-men, Steve Butterbaugh, Mark Feffer, James Henry, Adam Fudala - and of course, Jon Wishart and the Lithium team!
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Entry Submitted by: Matthew Savage (msavage)
Community: Tagged (help.tagged.com)
Lithy Categories: Best New Community, Best Business ROI, Best Community Technical Integration
Community Launched: 26 Sept 2011
Tagged's Community, launched in late September 2011, is one of our proudest achievements of the year.
We wanted to provide our users with a venue to ask questions, crowdsource solutions, suggest ideas, report bugs and read updates about important changes to the site.
With the power of Lithium's platform and expertise, our small team of 2-3 people implemented a customized solution that supported all of those goals and integrated with a number of other systems and products.
We've organized our Community into five main areas to allow users to communicate with us and each other:
Forums- for user support and discussion
FAQs- to answer popular user questions
Ideas- to listen to user suggestions and potential improvements
Bugs- for users to report site issues and view resolution statuses
News- to broadcast information about important events and changes to our site
Integration into other systems was another key goal of this project and we've successfully leveraged Lithium to authenticate and interact with our login process, global navigation bar, games, contact form and ticketing system.
Users are logged into Lithium via SSO- all they need to do is pick a nickname and they're ready to post! They can also use our overall site nav. bar from any Lithium URL.
We've created landing pages for each of our main game titles so that players can easily access the corresponding forums, ideas, FAQs and bugs for their favorite Tagged games.
Perhaps our crowning achievement is the integration with Parature, our ticketing system. We've maintained consistent UI across on our contact form, so users have the option to jump from the Community to contact us directly. In addition, community posts that require personal support can be escalated directly to a queue in our ticketing system in 2 simple clicks! This allows our agents to respond publicly to posts or take the discussion to a private email when necessary.
This solution has vastly increased our ability to provide excellent customer support, as solutions can be provided by our agents or other members of the Community with ease.
Five month in, the stats have been amazing. In the first three weeks of February, we've averaged almost 95,000 page views/day and nearly 285,000 post views/day.
Just last week, we set our Q&A app as our default Facebook page tab and saw search metrics soar exponentially as those users also harnessed the power of our expanding body of content! Most importantly, we're glad to report that our users view over 2,000 marked solutions each day!
This sustained growth each month has been great to see and we're quite excited about future plans to engage and utilize the full arsenal of our Community as we progress.
We're incredibly proud of what we've created and hope to continue building an amazing destination for our users, developers and support agents to interact!
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Company: Telefónica Digital
Entry submitted by: Aurelien Poma (Elixor) Head of Community
Community: TU Me Community (support.tumeap.com)
Lithy category: Best New Community
Hello everyone, I would like to nominate the TU Me community for the Best New Community Lithys. TU Me is a free app, all-in-one global communicator for iOS and Android.
I’ll try to keep this short. :smileyhappy:
The aim of our newly opened community is customer support using the model giffgaff has brilliantly put in place: we empower community members and reward them for their help and contributions.
On top of providing amazing customer support the TU Me community has become a massive group of friends from all over the world.
To give you an idea, the map below is a snapshot of where users are registering from on the TU Me community.
In addition to the friendly, multicultural and multilingual atmosphere of the community, our members have suggested amazing features and improvements for the app.
Seven of their ideas have been developed and implemented in the app.
And another seven ideas have been accepted and will make it into the app. Having community members directly impact the development roadmap and influence the priorities for improvements made our work challenging and even more exciting.
We also received impressive new design suggestions for the app, new avatars for the Lithium forum and banners for our Facebook fan page.
Finally I thought I would share a nice story that happened a few weeks ago. To thank one of our community members from Bolivia for his positive contributions we decided to send him a goody bag as a present. This is what we got as a reply when we asked for his postal address:
I've just seen your message about the present, like I said I live in Bolivia, and over here we don't have a mailbox, the apartment where I live in doesn't have a mailbox, I think that the only place that has one is Cochabamba. To be honest, just being part of this community is super cool, and a very good present is to have had the pleasure of meeting you all.
Thank you for reading this nomination, I’ll just finish with one image which is our TU Me user of the week wall, so everyone in the office knows how great our community members are. (I wish we had a bigger wall though :D)
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Company: A1 Telekom Austria
Entry Submitted by: Claudia Religa Customer Interaction Manager (A1_Claudia)
Community: A1 Telekom (http://www.a1community.net)
Community Launch Date: 16 November 2011
Lithy Categories: Best New Community, Best Social Customer Experience Program, Best Business ROI, Best Community Technical Implementation
The A1 Telekom Support Community - A vital community for our customers
The vision for our new state of the art support community was to build a vital community for customers, available 24/7 all over the world. We see the community as a steadily growing platform, which we develop in cooperation with our users in constant game workshops. In only 40 days the community was ready to go live after a beta test with 450 postings in just three days and 16 community members providing testimonials.
We are building the community around the needs of its members – to motivate our users to help and support the community we started an incentive program:
Users are given the opportunity to customize their profiles with special signatures. We added icons that show the status of the community member – our most active users have earned VIP ranking. Ongoing improvements and changes are communicated transparently to the community users on our community events board.
A team of employees service the community. The moderators provide support when needed and brand-new information and updates on certain topics.
We take the customer feedback seriously and use it to steadily develop our services, products and solutions.Together with our super fans we developed a brand new design for our community homepage which will be implemented shortly.
We also launched the idea module - the target of the project is to develop a new concept for simplified use of the “Mein A1” page in cooperation with the support community users.
The benefits for our customers are:
the opportunity to take part in an innovation process
possible realization of user ideas
to exchange thoughts and ideas with other users
incentives for participating
How we benefit:
communication with users
interaction with the support community
identification of consumer needs
opportunity to integrate consumers into the realization process
The project itself and the output from the workshops around “Mein A1” are continually promoted on facebook and in the community.
The new A1 support community is directly linked to our A1 blog. It was created as a platform for both community members and product managers to release product news, features and tips and tricks regarding our portfolio.
The A1 blog is a category, where we can cover a lot of successful stories for interacting with customers, e.g. our popular smartphone test reports written by our community members.
Crossover Solutions for Customer Service Communication and Crowdsourcing
To guarantee the best social brand experience we are linking different channels with each other.
www.a1.net – the Lithium newsfeed on our portal
The FAQs and the company's support community are integrated via tabs onto our facebook fan page – which means: one database manages all user postings. Facebook users have access to the support community in real time to knowledge without a login.
The fictional figure “Robert Hauser” takes care of customer support on the facebook wall – behind the figure are employees from our service team, who answer user questions on any kind of topic. With 160,179 fans after starting our facebook fanpage two years ago we are ranked second in the German-speaking TELCO provider area.
By implementing our own facebook CMS, we were able to design our very own application and multimedia info sites for lotteries, promotions, company news, etc.
On YouTube, we are the only provider in Austria with a branded channel. We provide short movies about our products and solutions. We also provide inhouse produced A1 video guides. The video guide with the most views ranks around 252,508 views. For sharing YouTube videos we offer our community members a share button.
Output from our A1 blog is posted on facebook.
Our Technical Implementation
Deep Integration into Portal SSO
The A1 community has been tightly linked to the portal SSO. While it does not require you to log in as long as you’re only browsing, logging in is a requirement for all actions like posting or replying.
To enable this integration we developed a mechanism where the Lithium server would “talk” to our SSO servers “behind the curtain” to retrieve the login data of the current user. Thanks to Lithium's ability to support different channels (web, facebook, mobile) this approach works for all of these.
Deep Integration with User Data
As the community integrates with our SSO this demands that user data is maintained by the A1.net authentication systems. Thus, user data (e-mail and nickname) cannot be edited within the Lithium community but need to be managed by the A1 portal.
For this a similar mechanism to the above mentioned SSO handshake has been developed, where Lithium redirects the user to the appropriate A1.net application, and the “behind the curtains” handshake reflects any changes immediately back to the community. Again this approach works transparently for all of the available channels.
Deep Integration into A1.net look & feel
The marketing requirements demand that the community should look & feel as part of the A1.net portal, the fact that it is cloud-based should not disturb the user’s perception of a common portal experience.
The HTML framework that makes up the portal look & feel had to be the foundation of the web-based channel of the community presentation. Together with Lithium we were able to link the existing A1.net framework with the flexible HTML construct that’s provided by Lithium, successfully offering our users a continuous experience. In our service box we can also embed YouTube videos from our branded channel.
Integration of Social Media Buttons
Of course sharing of content is very important for a vital community. Therefore we implemented Social Media sharing buttons such as facebook Like, Google+, Twitter in user postings.
Our Business ROI
Since our launch on the 16th of November, 2011 the community KPIs increased steadily. Our continous online survey proofs that we are constantly saving customer support cases (email, call, letters).
Compared to our competitors A1 has the biggest and most active community in Austria.
We created a short video to highlight our A1 Social Media success story since spring last year.
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Entry Submitted by: Becky Scott (lolagoetz) Tech Zone Success Manager
Community: Cisco Tech Zone
Lithy Categories: Best New Community
Community Launched: 10 October 2011
Our organization tends to be very email-centric, as many companies are. One of the problems we had with email was the lack of centralization, accounting, and the ability to capture and reuse knowledge.
It’s tough to search through thousands of emails to find an answer to your question. And what happens if you join a group mid-discussion? You don’t get the benefit of prior conversations.
The value of the contributions and the impact experts were making went unnoticed as the mailing lists didn't feed into the overall metrics system.
We decided to go with a community-based platform so we could auto-archive discussions and provide a rich, comprehensive and flexible reputation model. This allowed us to transition into a reusable content model. The adoption rate in our organization has been phenomenal, with many more people visiting than our original roll-out group. In fact, we've gone viral! Word of mouth has increased our visitors to three times what we expected – and we only launched the community in October.
In order to accelerate wide adoption we have ensured that our community is not a stand-alone tool. It is seamlessly tied to the engineers' workflow and deeply integrated with our other service delivery tools. To this end we’ve made 100+ enhancements to the basic Lithium community, based on our business needs.
The forums reputation model has helped us acknowledge contributions that would have previously gone unrecognized. Engineers who never participate in email discussions beyond asking questions are actively posting answers in the forums and helping other engineers. And they’re competing to see who can get on our leader board.
But the biggest win for our group at Cisco has been the ability to bring experts together from all areas. Engineers from across the globe are asking and answering questions for each other.
Collaboration is growing and we’re seeing instances of these conversations helping other engineers solve cases faster.
Cases that were taking months to get a resolution are getting answers on our forums within days and solving issues for our customers because of the ease of collaboration in our community.
And it’s accelerating engineer learning, too, as anyone can read documents and update their knowledge on new products and how to troubleshoot issues. And we’re seeing engineers do just that, and helping other engineers with their new skills.
"Tech Zone has been by far the best forum/resource for helping engineers that I have seen in my past 5 years of TAC experience." – Cisco TAC engineer, Anoop Saxena.
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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: Sony Electronics
Entry submitted by: Doug Heavener (heavenerp) Community Manager
Community: Sony Support Community (community.sony.com)
Lithy category: Best New Community
Why should our Sony Community win the “Best New Community” Lithy Award? Well here’s just a few of the incredible things we think stand out with our community.
We get personal:
We welcome all community members by embedding a welcome video into our community from our Sony Experts. We want our community members to immediately be able to relate/bond with our community experts.
We listen to our community:
We have also embedded a monthly live webcast. These webcasts showcase Sony products and our Sony product experts. Our webcasts are geared towards our customers based on the types of questions we are seeing within the community. Our members are able to ask questions in real time and have them addressed by our product experts during the live webcasts.
We have the support of our employees:
We are taking an aggressive approach to assist our community member by having a large amount of Sony employees actively participating in the community as product experts. Our employees spend an average/minimum of 1 hour a day moderating and answering member posts. This allows us to proactively address customer’s issues in a timely manner. Whether it’s a technical post or a customer service issue, we can address the customers’ needs in real time. For example, if a post comes in addressing poor customer service, our product experts will immediately escalate those post to our community relations team to handle. This has proven to be an effective way to keep issues from blowing up within the community. …. This is our way of trying to stay ahead of our customers and actively.
We showcase our expertise:
We are using Sony Heritage for our upcoming Sony expert bios. Our current product experts that we have participating in the community have an average of 15 years of service with Sony. The amount of knowledge our employees have is incredible. You can say we’ve grown up with Sony products, have seen the technology grow and the products evolve to what they are today. But we still remember the first Walkman, first CD player, seen the technology Are our Sony Heritage goes beyond us…… to our parents, our grandparents, those who owned the first Sony TV, the first Transistor Radio, the first Walkman, etc. Our Sony heritage is strong. We’ve witnessed leaps and bounds in the evolution of our products and technology and we are all ready to share the knowledge we possess with our customers.
We get results:
Our Search Engine Optimization using Google has increased to an incredible 490K. Our metrics continue to grow and have moved steady upward showing positive results. Lithium is one of the best customer service tools. None of them can even compare to the potential that the Sony Community brings to our customer service world. I can truly say, I have never been so excited about a customer service tool as I am about the Sony Community. It is an amazing tool that will change the way we do customer service forever!
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Company: Demandforce by Intuit
Entry submitted by: Becca Piastrelli (twitchee27) Community Manager
Community: Generation Demandforce (community.demandforced3.com)
Lithy category: Best New Community
Generation Demandforce is a private B2B community that, in its first 100 days of life, exceeded all our expectations for growth and customer engagement. The Demandforce community was designed for scale. Upon launch of our community, Demandforce had experienced its 26th consecutive quarter of over 80% growth and had just been acquired by Intuit. We had a rapidly scaling customer base that needed to be supported and empowered despite our potential growing pains. Our customers are hard-working small business owners, who tend to operate within the silos of their own industry verticals (think auto shops, dentists, and veterinarians).
By providing a private community for Demandforce customers, we have been able to foster cross-industry relationships between our thousands of customers that hadn't previously existed. These are small business marketers doing what it takes every day to succeed in an internet economy. Small business owners typically don't have the time to get support or share best practice ideas during business hours. The majority of our posts come in overnight between 5pm and 7am PST. The 24/7 Generation Demandforce Community provides that added support and network during those key off-business hours.
We've encouraged adoption by introducing customers to the community as soon as they are deployed with the Demandforce product. We host over 100 training videos and webinar recordings in Generation Demandforce and are about to launch a real-time (industry-segmented) community widget in the Demandforce product to promote awareness for our customer base. We also host a monthly video blog series called "Generation Demandforce TV" hosted by our two community managers to provide quick tips for using the community as well as giving a face to the people behind the community, letting our customers know the community is a trusted place for them to stop by and find answers.
And all of this has worked. 102 days after launching, 50% of our customers had registered in the community and, in January 2013, Generation Demandforce was featured at one of Intuit's Top 20 Innovations at their annual Innovation Gallery Walk.
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