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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Company: Groupe Casino
Entry submitted by: Marina Lin, Project Manager
Community: C'Vous (www.cvous.com)
Lithy category: Best Community Design
In February 2012, we launched Cvous.com, the first community in France where customers can interact to create products and services for stores. C’Vous is the oral abbreviation for “C’est vous” meaning “It’s you”. Designed to be a community space and not a commercial website, we deliberately chose to develop a new graphic identity, different from our stores' branding.
We wanted a simple and colorful website that would convey a sense of proximity, a key value to the Group. The website tone also had to be positive so the members give useful ideas, comments and don’t use the community to complain about their individual problems. Our agency developed characters to embody the community: funny and happy, they have become a key element of the C’Vous identity. Their language is fresh and catchy and draws users’ attention.
Our avatar library:
With its bright colors, banners and icons, the website is welcoming and easy to navigate. The community interface is simple and playful with an incentive to participate: we revamped the kudo and branded it “C’Top” (meaning “it’s great”). The green button turns grey when you have voted. The colors are especially vibrant when visiting the community on an iPad.
We have also adapted the content to allow 2 levels of user experience: For new users who are not yet logged in, the homepage displays a large carousel explaining the 3 main sections of the website. It is much more pedagogical while the logged in user's experience is more personalized with our notification system that allows returning members to see immediately what's new.
Finally, the community identity has been extended offline in store promotions, catalogs and product packaging and they are all by-products of C’Vous! The characters can be found in our stores as they help to highlight the community’s favorite products.
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Entry submitted by: Juana Dehanov (jdurande) Community Strategist
Community: Cisco Tech Zone
Lithy category: Best Community Technical Implementation
Tech Zone is Cisco’s internal engineer community that was built by engineers for engineers. 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. And our users did not disappoint!
One of our top priorities is to drive content creation and reuse. We leverage the knowledge of our engineers to create content that not only will help them in addressing their customer issues but ultimately will be externalized to Cisco.com to directly support our customers.
With this in mind we developed features to link a support case to a post or an article that assisted an engineer in solving the customers’ issue. In this way we are able to track if that post/article was helpful.
We wanted the search engine 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 in the results. A version of this feature was later incorporated by Lithium in to the platform.
Another exciting feature we introduced is the ability to flag content to be externalized on our main website Cisco.com. Engineers are empowered to create content that will be shared with our customers.
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 attributes to Lithium’s already strong use of formulas for ranking. We've built a customized leader board at the community and at each category level 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 – providing solutions, creating and publishing articles – 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. The healthy competition of engineers wanting to show up at the top doesn’t hurt, either .
Our engineers wanted a way to bump a thread without incrementing the reply count, so we implemented 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.
In order to tap in to the creativity, enthusiasm and technical expertise of our community members, we launched the “Best Greasemonkey Widget Contest” in which we asked all our engineers to create a widget that would enhance the Tech Zone user experience.
Over 300 engineers submitted, commented and voted on the contest entries. After much deliberation, the Tech Zone community selected the winners. Our engineers created some incredible features, such as a Table of Contents option for the rich text editor and a site wide Navigator to enhance the user experience.
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 deeply integrated with our case management tool.
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!
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Entry submitted by: Jenny Stewart (JST03) Community Content Manager
Community: Sky Help Forum (helpforum.sky.com)
Lithy category: Best Social Support Program
Best Social Support Program
BskyB has become an integral part of our modern entertainment society with in excess of 10 million subscribers across the UK and Ireland.
As part of our core vision of “Believe in Better” we have implemented a multi-platform Customer interaction and engagement model to create a culture of entertaining, exciting and inspiring our Customers. As a pioneer of modern entertainment and Customer service we developed a fully integrated Social support Customer program encapsulating Sky Help Forums, Facebook and Twitter delivering service excellence whenever and wherever our Customers need us.
“To ensure our existing Community and Social Media channels are kept relevant, informative and engaging. To develop emergent channels to engage our current subscribers, enhance our brand/recognition with our Online Customer base.”
Our core goal in implementing a cohesive Customer Service structure is centered upon the integration of our Social Channels and Customer support services, whilst promoting a culture of peer to peer support and online self-help.
Empowering our Customers to utilise the wealth of self-service options online supports the fast paced lifestyles of our Customer base allowing them to access the information they need at the click of a button at a time that suits them. In increasing community traffic and engagement, we have identified a core improvement in Customer first time resolution, Customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Scores.
Our core methodology within Sky is “Believe in Better” from investing in our Customers, our product and our people we have created a culture of continuous improvement and development. Our social support streams are unique in their integration as a cohesive Social Customer Support program combining an end to end Customer experience.
The Sky Help Forum launched in October 2010 since then our community has grown to nearly 250,000 registered users, which is 250% up on last year.
We have seen our engagement on the community increase in the last year and we now have 9,708 marked accepted solutions. Over the last six months our thread views have reached in excess of 1.5 million each week.
We have also introduced Ask a Question and a Knowledge Base to help support our Customers in getting an answer to their query or issue quickly.
Our Knowledge Base is proving a great success to both our Community and Sky as a whole. We currently have 65 articles within the Knowledge Base with in excess of 127,813 article views in one month alone (February – March 2013) Our Knowledge Base is fast becoming a “One Stop Shop” for troubleshooting guides, hints & tips and ‘How To’ guides for our Community members and visitors.
To enrich support for our Customers we have expanded our Communities & Social Media team at Sky to incorporate a Community & Engagement team and a Designated Case Handling team. In optimising our Customer Service strategy in terms of social support we have utilised both the traditional Customer insight frameworks based upon KPIs of Customer sentiment, traffic and SEO analysis but also we have implemented a core Customer insight strategy to ensure that we continue to improve the service we offer our audience.
Our Customer insight strategy includes the implementation of Customer direct feedback sessions based both in an online WebEx environment and Customer closeness events to understand the experiences of our Customers. This insight has proved invaluable in the continued improvement of Customer support with the future implementation of gamification and supportive resources. The insight provided in terms of the continued optimisation of our social platforms, use of KPI metrics in terms of sentiment, SEO analytics and Customer satisfaction also support continued improvement across our Contact Centre operations providing key insight into service provision, product insight and Customer engagement thus influencing improvement programs across the organisation.
As part of our Customer improvement initiatives we have launched the One Service Programme offering an individualised Customer support stream within our Contact Centres and our dedicated One Service online Community.
The core ethos of One Service is to provide our Customers with continued Service Excellence in their end to end Customer journey from joining Sky to help and support. The initial One Service programme has launched to a pilot group customer base of 400,000 Customers in a key geographical location.
The measures of success in terms of individualised support have been resoundingly successful in terms of core operational metrics of Customer First Time resolution, Customer satisfaction and NPS. We have introduced brand new online features exclusively for One Service Customers including “My Help Request” that allows our Customers to manage their account and get in touch with us should they have any questions or experience any issues.
The My Help Request Portal is a central hub to raise help requests and manage any existing enquiries related to Sky products and services. All My Help Requests are case managed by our team of specialist trained Sky staff who resolve queries and answer any questions within 24 hours providing updates via text alerts or email.
In offering our Customers multi-platform help it was key that our internal structure in terms of processes and insight was robust and inclusive in terms of shared knowledge and best practice. Developing a core network of Specialists across our varying products and services assures that our audience demographic receives simply great service regardless of their chosen channel. Historically, our internal operational structure and process was designed to support Customer interaction in a standardised contact centre format however, with the inception of help and support across social channels outlining Customer journeys based upon each individual social channel was imperative in offering tailored solutions based on the method of contact.
Our core Customer Response Management system is now reflective of each individual Customer’s journey across all products and contact channels. Individual case management of each Customer’s enquiries across both our Lithium Social Monitoring/Social interaction platform and our internal Customer Response Management system provides a holistic view of each Customer’s activity and interactions allowing our people to provide an individualised service in understanding our Customers.
“Just knowing this has been achieved with the customer only needing their use of their smartphone/tablet/laptop opens up a world of possibilities. No more waiting on hold, no more call flows or robotic responses, just 100% satisfaction! And the best part of it all? The system is still in its infancy and will get even better with future updates!” - Dave Charleston, Community Co-Ordinator
As a pioneer of multi-platform entertainment and Customer interaction we continue to develop new and innovative ways to engage and offer support to our Customers. From Social Media to Interactive help via their Remote Control we have assured that our Customers are at the heart of our business.
The introduction of social interaction across multiple platforms has shown not only seen an increase in interactivity– over 82,000 interactions per month - but an increase in Customer satisfaction to 87%. Similarly, NPS for both Twitter and Chat Services has also increased substantially to 61% and 64% respectively.
In addition to increased usage and satisfaction, BSkyB has seen significant savings through call deflection with circa 11% Customers saying their visit to the forum partially resolved their query; and a further 29% of customers surveyed within the forum stating their query had been fully resolved to their satisfaction negating the requirement to contact us via telephone.
“I think that our use of social media along with our own in-house help forum is second to none due to the interaction we are enabled to have with our customers. Actually dealing with their inquiries through this form of communication allows us to deal with a customer at a time which is convenient for them, but it also allows us to deal with a customer from their initial query all the way through to a resolution for the most part.” - Fraser Hughes, Community Co-Ordinator
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Entry submitted by: Claudius Henrichs (Claudius) Community Manager
Community: Skype Community (community.skype.com)
Lithy category: Best Business ROI
Skype’s peer-to-peer community improves 1st contact resolution to 70% and reduces support cost by 10%
What happens if you flip on all switches for “Community” and put the spotlight on a previously hidden tech support forum? Skype did just that and turned it into a vibrant location for exchange around everything Skype, resulting in 1 st contact resolution at 70% and reduction of company-wide support costs by 10%. On top of that we discovered that community members are 30% more likely to use long-term subscriptions, connect on more platforms and show double usage of paid minutes.
With more than 200 million connected customers every month, Skype cannot rely on traditional, resource-intensive methods of customer support alone. Reflecting their truly global product Skype launched the community in ten languages to offer answers on new and trending support questions faster and deliver them on a more direct channel. The landing page was designed to showcase the various language communities and the current activities and hot topics. Members appreciated the fact that they could exchange in their language and had experts covering all time zones around the world. To drive direct exchange with their customers on product improvements, Skype launched #SkypeTalks live events where questions were streamed into a dedicated community board and Twitter and were replied by product managers inside Skype. This helped prioritize the developments sprints through the insight gained and gave users a very rewarding feedback experience.
Additionally Skype aimed at improving the capabilities of listening to its users through open discussions. Turning the previously used tech discussion forum to a real user community proved the answer to both demands. The community is looked after by a team of 30 moderators, both volunteer and Skype staff, and a team of 16 dedicated Super Users, expert users that like to share their knowledge and help other Skype users. The Skype Support Network community is offering support and discussions for the whole range of Skype products, from desktop via mobile to the living room. Within our first year already more than 400,000 individual topics have been replied on.
Making the community a place you wanted to stay and return to was Skype’s primary goal. To that end, Skype came up with several programs to reward their most engaged visitors. The Community News highlights weekly activity, discussions and user participation. Eventually the community helped Skype identify and resolve new product issues within 24 hours of a product launch that would normally have taken days to identify. Upon launch of a new product for the Android platform, the community compiled a list of problematic devices that prohibited them from using video calling. Armed with this critical feedback, Skype was able to issue a hotfix within days after the initial launch.
Another goal was to offer answers on new and trending support questions faster and deliver them on a more direct channel. Skype accomplished this by integrating the most helpful peer-submitted content called “Accepted Solutions” with related topics from their knowledge base to be prominently displayed on the Skype Support page. A category-based selection logic ensures that related topics are pulled from the correct community boards.
The Lithium-powered community is thriving with passionate users who share their expert knowledge and creative solutions on using Skype products.
Community helped Skype identify and resolve new product issues within 24 hours of launch that normally would have taken days.
First contact resolution at 70% for 5 millions users/month
10% reduction in traditional support costs
Community members are 30% more likely to use long-term subscriptions, connect on more platforms and show double usage of paid minutes
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Company: LEGO Systems Inc.
Entry submitted by: Mark Fothergill (MarkF) Head of Children's Community & Moderation
Community: LEGO Community (community.lego.com)
Lithy category: Best Superfan Story or Insight
Girl members of the LEGO.com community had been a rare breed. On our old message board platform, we had around a 5% female portion of active users. Since we upgraded the platform, we’ve been enabled to improve our ranking structure and better reward both active and creative participation. Girls have become very active in our story-writing forums, as an example; reading, writing and providing encouragement to others. Since the changes, we’ve seen an increase in activity from girls and they currently make up around 15% of the active community user base.
We have stories about passionate role players who know the finest details of the Lord of the Rings movies and help to keep the forum role plays “canon”/on story. We also have brother and sister pairings who have grown up building LEGO together and write stories, role play and submit creations both separately and together. Possibly one of our best user stories centers on a user who couldn’t be considered anything less than “super”! The user in question is JayZX535.
JayZX535 had been a non-active browser/reader on the old forums, having registered in July of 2012, and was 13 years old at the time. When we migrated our community from our old forums to the new Lithium platform, we were able to create a new ranking structure. We set up participatory ranks whose levels were based on LEGO through the ages, so that you begin at Caveman, move to Pharaoh and upwards and onwards through Gladiator, Samurai Warrior, Ninja and many more.
In addition, we were able to create reader ranks that were based on more passive participation such as reading posts and liking content. The first rank of which is “Apprentice Reader” and the second of which is “Master Reader”.
In December 2012, a month after launching the new forums, we could see we had a solitary Master Reader on the forums and both users and staff began speculating about it. The users asking what criteria were necessary for reaching the rank and the community team wondering why a user might be so highly passively participatory but have never posted a single comment (at the time, JayZX535 spent 4340 minutes online, with 546 likes/kudos given and had read 16551 posts). We were all intrigued.
Shortly after, we had begun a user interview initiative where we would identify positive and pro-active community members and ask them questions to publish their answers in full view of the rest of the community. This provided the users selected with some community celebrity status and also acted well for us to be holding such positive members up as role models.
We decided that we couldn’t resist inviting this intriguing “lurker” to participate in an upcoming interview and so we sent an email to the registered address with the interview questions. We immediately received an automated security response that said:
“To control spam, I now allow incoming messages only from senders I have approved beforehand.
If you would like to be added to my list of approved senders, please fill out the short request form (see link below). Once I approve you, I will receive your original message in my inbox. You do not need to resend your message. I apologize for this one-time inconvenience.
Click the link below to fill out the request:”
With some slight trepidation, we continued to fill in the form and sent in the request, only to receive an error message. We thought that would be the end of our opportunity to have an interview with the enigmatic JayZX535.
The next day, we checked the mail folder for the other interview requests we had sent and found the following interview responses from JayZX535:
It seems we had lifted the lid on months of pent up desire to be heard and to participate and it was only parental approval that was previously holding the user back. Once the parents had received this request from us and could see we were a safe, creative and friendly community, they had given the green light not just for the interview but for ongoing active participation in the forums. The next revelation was that JayZX535 turned out to be a girl when everyone had assumed she was a boy! She began posting at an exponential rate and, with a lot of the active rank groundwork covered as a Master Reader, began shooting up the ranks faster than any other user we’d seen. Posting stories, roleplaying and generally making friends with all of the users who had wished her well via the interview, JayZX535 is now at Rank 8, a Samurai Warrior, and has submitted 1244 posts! Since the launch of the new platform in November of 2012, JayZX535 has now spent 40,059 minutes online and received 2290 likes/kudos! She has read 68,180 posts and given out 1663 likes/kudos, herself.
She received an overwhelmingly positive reception from the other active users:
You can read some of JayZX535’s Ninja stories here:
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Company: Google Inc.
Entry submitted by: Agata Kryzsztofik (Agata) Community Program Manager
Community: AdWords Community (http://www.es.adwords-community.com)
Lithy category: Best Superfan Story or Insight
Our superfan story shows how like-minded and passionate Community members can take the lead and create high-quality, engaging content around their favorite product without any involvement of the Community Manager. All you need to do is to bring them together!
After the Google AdWords Communities Summit (October 2013), when we brought all of our global Community superfans to California, our Spanish Top Contributors initiated a project aimed at creating AdWords performance user generated content. Project included:
1. YouTube channel with content around online advertising
22 videos, 2-9 min. each
Channel location: http://www.youtube.com/user/proyectosem/videos?view=0&flow=grid&sort=da
Fun fact: first videos were shot in Mountain View at the Google campus and in San Francisco straight after the Google AdWords Communities Summit.
2. Integration with Community
Top Contributors proactively promoting videos from the YouTube channel in the AdWords Community creating new performance content, engaging other users in discussions and providing advice on how to be successful with AdWords.
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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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