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Contact: Karen Le (Community Manager)
Community: My Optus Community
Lithy category: Social ROI Titan
As Australia's second largest Telecommunication provider, Optus is in the business of connecting people. We offer a broad range of communications services including mobile, telephony, internet, business network services, satellite services and subscription television to over ten million customers every day.
While we are a company that is focused on enabling homes and businesses with technology and entertainment, our vision is to lead Australia in providing outstanding customer experience.
Like many companies, the provision of customer service through traditional channels contributes to a significant proportion of our operational cost base. In parallel, we continue to see an ever increasing appetite from our customers to engage with us through digital channels - most notably, live chat and social media, with both achieving double digit growth in the preceding year. While these channels offer operational efficiencies over voice and retail channels, channel switching customers alone would not enable the organisation to achieve our cost reduction objectives. Optus is a Total Community customer, leveraging the Lithium Community Platform, Lithium Social Web and Social Media Analytics products.
Our 2015 goals for community and LSW
Optus implemented a Lithium powered community in early 2012. After the hard yards of community establishment were carried out, the focus on fully leveraging the asset was lost, resulting in stagnation and faltering interest from it’s 20,000 members. The development of this year’s overarching Customer Service Strategy was firmly rooted in digital with the dual purpose of meeting the shift in customer expectation and reducing support costs. The underutilization of community based customer support was recognized as a key area of opportunity. The resulting business objective was to actively utilize My Optus Community to deflect an incremental 350,000 calls from the call center during FY16 (March ’15 to April ‘16). In doing so, we would not only achieve in year financial benefits, but re-invigorate an asset and truly unlock the potential of peer-to-peer customer support.
In parallel, we also embarked on an ambitious goal of extending our best in class social response into the relatively unchartered territory of targeting apathetic competitor customers through active listening and considered engagement to generate sales.
Our focus areas and tactics
Our approach to achieving our ambitious cost reduction goals was made up of 3 parts:
Secure executive sponsorship: By constructing a narrative around best practice, both within and outside telco, we were able to successfully articulate the size of the opportunity offered through peer to peer support. This proved critical in the removal of barriers that presented themselves around internal positioning of the community as the default support channel as well as securing the resources required to make it a reality.
Strategy development: To capitalize on the executive sponsorship required the rapid development of a robust multi-pronged strategy which focused on 3 key pillars to drive call volume reduction, while ensuring that the customer experience was protected.
Drive increased traffic to the community
Increase the customer reported resolution rate
Retain and recognize community participation
Investment in people: The execution of the plan required the establishment of small team of experienced community practitioners, that we capable of bringing the plan to life. This included a mix of internal staff with exceptional networks and external hires. The team was kept intentionally small (3 FTE) and dedicated to the delivery of the operational plan that was generated out of the strategy. This proved to be the single most important investment that we’ve made.
Social Response (LSW)
By augmenting the existing service based response team with skilled sales agents, we set out to create the right processes, deploy the right technology and hire the right people. The team had to be highly visible both internally and externally and most importantly we wanted to enhance the customer experience in the new Optus brand.
To do this, the aim of the team is to respond to any post where an opportunity for a sale is clear in either of the following instances:
When a prospect mentions @Optus or Optus in conversation and expresses an interest in taking a new product/service
When a prospect indirectly references a competitor and expresses an interest in taking a new product/service
When any of the above references are made in the social space these are seen as clear opportunities (cries for help) to initiate a sales conversation. LSW makes the routing and prioritization of these instances to allow the team to engage immediately (within 30 min) with the prospect responding directly to their post. We utilize the Social profile to engage in a personalized, fun manner ensuring that we offer the customer a compelling reason to respond and engage.
The combination of executive support, solid strategy and a focused team has delivered an outstanding set of outcomes for My Optus Community.
Listen to what the VP of Customer Service has to say about the results and the impact they’ve had on the organisation’s performance.
Increased Traffic and visitation: We have seen a 107% increase in traffic to the community over the course of the past 12 months, which has been driven through a number of key initiatives. This has included the inclusion of contextually relevant widgets that surface community conversation through the optus.com.au website, inclusion of strong CTA’s on all electronic communication, but most importantly we’ve made the significant cultural change to position to community as THE default support channel for our Go To Market programs. For example when Optus launched a new mobile App in September, WiFi Talk (gives customers with limited indoor mobile coverage can use the app to make and receive calls over a WiFi connection), My Optus Community was used as the primary support channel and for the very first time all the customer broadcast communications directed customers to My Optus Community with a blog post with all of the key details. Over 67,000 people viewed the post and resulted in 230 comments on the thread, yet only 20 support calls logged about WiFi Talk issues. This has been successfully replicated a number of times since with equal success and is now considered BAU practice. WiFi Talk Launch
An extension of our online integration strategy has been to develop campaign landing pages directly within the community, giving customers the opportunity to directly ask questions, comment and respond directly. These questions are work flowed into to LSW where moderators are able to respond where required. This has worked so well the Pre- Paid team have made the community landing page part of the customer on-boarding journey, allowing all new Pre-Paid customers ask questions at the time of setup in a seamless experience. Pre-Paid Welcome Hub
In June of 2015 we launched the My Optus Community Blog, which has played an important role in our content marketing strategy and has been an excellent vehicle for the discovery of community content. Since launch, we have maintained a steady rhythm of content production with over 125 articles published, which have received over 500,000 page views and contribute a significant proportion of search referrals.
My Optus Community Blog
We’ve acknowledged the trend of needing support on-the-go by making My Optus Community the first fully responsive community in Australia, ensuring that members have the same experience across all of their devices. This has resulted in a jump from 510K mobile visits last financial year to 1.3 million this year. Today over 50% of our traffic is generated by mobile devices.
Resolution Rate: In a world first, we customized the way that the Tribal Knowledgebase (TKB) module is traditionally used to change the way articles are created and published. In doing so, we give community members the control to identify support content they want and think other members might need, allowing us to scale the volume of content available. Wiki articles can be nominated by the community, who can also make updates to the content, giving them power to help other members. Since we launched this module in September, 63 articles have been authored and received over 26,000 views.
My Optus Community Wiki
This combined with prioritised routing of unanswered posts into the social media team through LSW has seen the customer reported resolution rate increase from 9% to 37%
Retain & Recognise: The implementation of a formalised Super User program and the implementation of Premium Gamification has seen the contributions made from our super users increase by almost 300% year on year. This translates to almost 1,500 hours being spent in the community by our top 5 users. The program runs on a 6 month cycle, is built on deep personal relationships (that extends into the ‘real’ world) and actively recruits users from other communities based on a set of attributes.
The execution of our strategy in combination with attentive and responsive community management has seen us exceed the 350,000 incremental call reduction target by more almost 60%, delivering a 230% increase on Opex saving. And this is just the beginning…
Social Response (LSW): The social service team been consistently recognized as the #1 Socially Devoted brand in Australia by Social Bakers for the past 4 quarters. We also received a top 10 global award in Q1 2015. The introduction of a sales capability into the response team has yielded some very encouraging early results. We have engaged almost 5,000 prospects over the course of the last year through intensive social listening. We have seen a staggering 89% engagement rate. Of those who did engage, we saw a 13% sales conversion which has contributed more than $400K of annualized revenue to the business. While the volumes remain relatively small, the performance of social as a prospecting channel significantly exceeds many of our traditional telesales cross sell campaigns.
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Company: Telkom SA Ltd
Entry submitted by: Adam Wesson (Operational Manager)
Community: Telkom Community
Lithy Category: Community Design of the Year
Telkom SA Ltd was founded on 1 October 1991 and today is Africa’s largest provider of fixed telephone services, operating in the Fixed and Mobile voice and data space. It is our vision to lead in the converged ICT market through deep and credible relationships and a distinctive customer experience.
Our community goals
The Telkom Community isn't just a place where customers can help themselves, it's a very real manifestation and important part of our business turnaround strategy from a reactive, closed-off organization to a customer-first, proactive company.
The Telkom Community has been a critical component of our brand strategy, which aims to win hearts and minds and drive customer trial. Our Community's ultimate goal is to connect with users who have a service challenge, and to provide a place where other Telkom customers can quickly and efficiently resolve their issues. The Community has solved thousands of users' problems, reducing the load on our call centre, improving our digital NPS, making us more operationally efficient, and making us as a company more responsive to our users' service needs. The Telkom Community is making a meaningful, measurable contribution to changing perceptions of Telkom for the better.
The design elements make our community unique and stand out from the rest
The Telkom Community makes use of a fresh, funky design developed from the primary Telkom CI, but specifically adapted for the Community. A gregarious illustrative style, clear, accessible iconography and a full, saturated colour palette make for a Community that's bold, outgoing and friendly. This differentiates the Telkom Community from other communities as having a warm, unreservedly approachable personality, consistent with our aim of winning our customers' trust. The design goal for the Telkom Community was to evoke a strong emotionalresponse through delightful visuals and a helpful experience.
We achieved this in 3 ways:
1. Organising the information
2. Visualising progress & reward
How we showed growth related to Badges and Ranking.
Icons showing gamification progression
Fun designs for Avatars
3. Guiding the user to a solution
How we executed our community design
The design goal for the Telkom Community was to evoke a strong emotional response through delightful visuals and design flourishes. To reposition the brand as being customer-first, the design goal was to create a "Smile in the mind" in the users' minds. In order to achieve this, the Telkom Digital Marketing team worked with the Lithium team to leverage their in-depth knowledge of community management, and tapped the expertise of our digital agency for insights into user behaviour and design thinking.
Below you can see how we have used the Community Hero banner to bring in the marketing themes from our corporate website to create a unified design theme.
Use of ‘Usain Bolt’ add campaign artwork in the Community Hero Banner.
We launched our Community on 27 November 2015 and in the next 5 months, we have notched up a staggering 624460 Page Views from a total of 186195 visits. In total, 151000 unique visitors have already come to see what our Community is all about.
In 5 months, we have surpassed 4000 member registrations.
SEO for the site has ranked our Community #1 on Google Search when searching for “Telkom Community”.
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Company: TELUS Entry submitted by: Scotty Jackson (Sr. Strategy Manager)
Community: TELUS Neighbourhood
Lithy category: Total Community All Star
TELUS is Canada’s fastest-growing national telecommunications company, with $12.5 billion of annual revenue and 12.5 million customer connections, including 8.5 million wireless subscribers, 1.5 million residential network access lines, 1.6 million high-speed Internet subscribers and 1.0 million TELUS TV customers. TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services, including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and video, and is Canada's largest healthcare IT provider.
Our Road to Lithium
In 2010, we began engaging and supporting customers through Twitter, leveraging the opportunity of conversations that customers were already having. We followed their lead going to where they were, wanting to join in the conversation. As this sustained and grew, our organization’s listening/marketing tools no longer sufficed; we needed a toolset focused on conversation and case management. Through 2012 we explored tools across the market, and at the end of 2012, after a very successful pilot, we signed with Lithium for LSW.
In 2013, we opened our Facebook wall and established it as an additional customer engagement channel beyond its previous focus of marketing and brand conversation. Additionally, seeing the opportunity to crowdsource knowledge and bring social conversation closer to our own domain, we embarked on a journey to build an on-domain community. After the comparison of several solutions, we selected Lithium, and were able to launch our community forum platform, the TELUS Neighbourhood, eight weeks later. It was augmented with Ideas in 2014 to capture and create conversation around customer concepts and suggestions, as well as with a Blog and Articles (Tribal Knowledge Base) in 2015 to broaden our customer engagement.
Everyone Wins with a Total Community
Our team strives to create a meaningful social experience for every customer and each interaction. In 2015, we reimagined our social strategy, developing a new operations team focused on not just customer service and engagement, but on content development and deep communication skills. Pairing this team investment with existing LSW capability, the launch of the Tribal Knowledge Base inside our community, the TELUS Neighbourhood, and LSW campaign and publishing capability, we have developed and implemented a virtuous cycle of customer listening, engagement, and needs fulfillment (see supporting visual).
Identifying and listening to customers needs, both through active participation (LSW analytics of Twitter, Facebook, and the TELUS Neighbourhood posting across interaction styles) and passive participation (LSI analytics of most popular on-domain forum content), we gain a deep insight into customer experience needs. With this insight, and leveraging the robust skillset of our social media operations team, we can polish and curate the most desired content in to Articles (our community Tribal Knowledge Base implementation). Then, leveraging the LSW Publishing Beta and other tools, we market and promote that community-inspired/authored content through our established social channels as well as contextually in the course of related support conversations.
A key example of this strategy in action was our development and maintenance of a software update schedule. Upon hearing social conversation and having customer concerns expressed, we were made aware of an opportunity to more transparently share the process for and schedule around delivering software updates to mobile devices. We created a Blog post and Article that addressed these needs, and have leveraged them to great success in fielding inquiries and concerns.
A second example was the StageFright campaign. When Android customers were vulnerable to the StageFright exploit and it started gaining media attention and driving social conversations, we wanted to get in front of the questions. As such, we rapidly developed an Article about the StageFright vulnerability, leveraging content from users already posting. Customers could then be referred to this not only in social, but via our IVR when phoning in and through a mass text campaign where we promoted the Article and community to all Android device users.
This all happens while engaging and supporting customers in near real-time response on Twitter and Facebook. In 2016, we have already supported over 11,000 off-domain social conversations, with over 80% of Twitter responses done in under 35 minutes. This is springboarding off of the over 48,000 conversations we supported in the whole of 2015, and a sign of ongoing engagement.
Using Total Community practices internally, we developed a wholly cross-functional working team, combining the strengths and perspectives of the new operations team, our Marketing Communications Team, and Media Relations teams to deliver an entirely aligned experience for key brand initiatives, namely our #ExpectMore campaign, where we drove and contributed to conversation about customer experience. This enabled rapid development of content and responses, both written and in video.
To support and grow the on-domain portion of our Total Community, we completed the work on migrating our on-domain custom community in to Lithium responsive, launching it in January 2016. This more reliable, better performing, and more feature-rich implementation of the community has spurred on over 1,600 community posts YTD, a sign of strong growth compared to the 5,889 posts seen in 2015. It should be noted that over 90% of that content is customer-generated (i.e. not moderator or community admin). More exciting than that is that we have already welcomed over 330,000 unique visits so far this year, a more than 28% growth over this same period last year and a strong start as we plan to improve over the 1.33 million total unique visits we enjoyed in 2015.
Lastly, we quietly launched our Community Power User (CPU) Program, which more formally enlists and engages our most influential and active community users. Each was presented with a formal welcome package, and has regular live conversations with our community management team, as well as participation with one another in a private CPU community board. While we work to expand and develop a public plan for the program, this launch helps sustain the contributions of three key individuals who contributed 26% of community content in Q1 2016.
This integrative total community strategy resonates well with our users. When surveyed in Q1 of 2016, they shared a 98%+ satisfaction rate with their social experience with TELUS and, based on that experience, 90% are likely to to recommend TELUS to friends and family, and 89% are likely to share their social experience. These results are all improved substantially over historical, reflective of the value of our new operational model and integrative total community approach.
Quantitatively, this total community approach also serves the business. By serving in social and cultivating content of need to our customers, we are targeting, and are well on track to meet, $3.6M in operational support cost savings through 2016, which continues to grow the value we have realized each year.
Our Q1 2016 Total Community Results
Harnessing the power of social and our total community strategy, we meet the needs of our customers, we delight them, and we save organizational cost. Win, win, win. A summary of the benefits realized in Q1 2016:
> 11,000 Twitter and Facebook conversations and over 30,000 responses sent
80% of Twitter conversations responded to in 35 minutes or less
> 1,600 community posts, 90%+ community-created
> 330,000 unique community visits
98% customer satisfaction
90% likelihood to recommend TELUS (NPS)
89% likelihood to share experience
Offsetting of over 66,000 live contacts (call, email, web chat, or store visit)
$3.6M in annualized operational savings
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Company: Fido (Rogers Communications)
Contact: Caroline Lalonde (Social Media Support and Community Manager)
Community: Fido Community
Lithy category: Support Savings MVP
Fido connects Canadians to the things they love through its ultrafast LTE network, as well as services such as Fido Pulse Plans and Fido Home Internet (Fido Home Internet currently only available in parts of Ontario).
Fido was originally launched by Microcell Solutions Inc. in 1996 and went on to revolutionize the wireless industry in Canada with a unique approach to pricing, a money-back satisfaction guarantee and more. Today, we continue to move ahead with new voice and data technologies as well as the latest in wireless Internet services to keep you connected to what matters most in your life.
The Fido network consists of three network technologies GSM, 4G HSPA+ and now LTE – the new global gold standard of wireless technology. Fido wireless compatible devices fall back onto each network, assuring you have a network to fall back onto. Fido also offers its customers access to the Fido TM wireless network coast-to-coast and with over 300 roaming partners in over 200 countries your device will be compatible wherever you travel.
Meeting Our Business Goals
Consumers have grown accustom to reading reviews and researching products online. “What do you recommend?” is a question anyone who’s worked in the servicing industry has heard. One of the greatest advantages of having a Community is that all this information is centralized, tabulated, searchable and kept up to date. Another great advantage is that a lot of traffic directed to the Community is traffic deflected from our contact centres, resulting in the reduction in operational costs.
In most communities, questions are answered publicly, but on our Community we answer our customers in private as well. This is very useful for when customers have questions concerning their services or account, requiring us to discuss and exchange confidential information. Our customers also love that we can treat their requests directly from the Community, as opposed to referring them to our other contact channels.
We also use the Community as a means of communication with our customers. For example, we inform our customers of upcoming software updates, Fido sponsored events, known issues, etc. This transparent approach is truly appreciated by our community members. But why stop there? Our contact centres also send our customers links to useful articles found in the Community, such as ways to pay your bill, ways to activate services, etc. The Community is used to support our customers even when they call in. Talk about versatility.
How do we keep track of all this information and manage all this traffic? That’s where LSW comes in.
LSW proved to be the perfect tool for our Community moderators, as it helped improve our response time by keeping on top of all Community posts, as opposed to sorting through them individually. To do this, we created a Community queue in LSW to receive all incoming Community posts. LSW allows us to “snooze” Community posts to allow time for our members to respond, based on our response strategy. We also created a common “FidoSolutions” Community profile, which we use for all of our Community PMs only, to make the process seamless from a customer perspective. In turn, this helped us be more efficient, improve our CHI score, response time, call deflection rates and resulted in cost savings.
LSW also proved efficient to help our Social Media Specialists to manage our incoming social media posts, improve on our response time and promote the Community thanks to the knowledge base feature. A single click allows us to answer our customers by sharing articles found within the Community and our website. It’s an incredible time saver and our Specialists and customers love it!
Here are some of the LSW features that help us deliver best in class service:
Community response time: Moderators can “snooze” posts for a certain amount of time, based on our response strategy. The snooze functionality is essential to our Community moderation process. We snooze non-account specific inquiries, to give other Community members a chance to respond. If no one responds, we step in and assist. This incredibly useful functionality ensures no one is ever left unanswered.
CommunityPMs: Moderators can take over the PM conversations from other moderators once their work shift has ended, greatly increasing efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Information centralization: All customer information is now centralized, including contact info, and even notes for internal purposes.
Profile merging: LSW allows us to merge customers various social profiles, so we always know who we are speaking with.
Analytics and tags: This LSW feature helps us with reports and the analysis, such as our volumes (incoming posts, responses), response time, top topics…. Thanks to Analytics, we can clearly see what our customers are talking about, which allows us to address potential issues in a more efficient manner.
Rules and Routing: Through key words, we can proactively engage with people who aren’t specifically reaching out to us. This shows our customers that we’re always willing to help and we’re not afraid to be proactive.
Klout: Allows us to prioritize influencers within our Queues and offer support accordingly.
Changing How We Operate
Based on our target market, the Fido brand's main focus is to enhance and grow servicing through self-serve. Our Community is a big part of this focus as it allows customers to help out other customers, and houses a lot of searchable information/solutions.
We are changing how we use the Community as a means of communication with our customers. We now use the community to inform customers about useful information which can reduce contacts to our other channels. We now inform our customers of upcoming software updates, known issues, etc. directly on the Community, and proactively refer them to the Community to increase our support savings. Amongst other initiatives our contact centres send our customers links to useful articles found in the Community, as opposed to spending considerable amounts of time over the phone discussing what a simple short and visual article can explain. Talk about versatility.
In the past, people would call, chat, and message us for updates and questions, but now all they need to do is visit the Community. If we know something’s up, we’ll post about it in the Community and let everyone know that we’ll update it as soon as we receive any news. So no need to contact us.
The integration of LSW as our primary Social Media and Community customer response tool proved to be seamless, stable and incredibly effective.
In 2015 alone, we successfully reduced our Community response time by 93% compared to 2014, and based on the information from our customer surveys we registered over $385K worth in call deflection savings from our contact centres. For our first quarter in 2016, our surveys are already indicating over $645K in cost savings.
Social Media Support
For our Social Media Support channels, we recorded over $325K in cost savings based on the information from our customer surveys. We also reduced our response time by 87%. For our first quarter in 2016, we’ve already registered over $110K in call savings.
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Company: Google Entry submitted by: Yuri Kleban (Program Manager)
Community: Google Advertiser Community
Lithy category: Community Design of the Year
Our mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Our team supports many products such as AdWords, Google My Business and Google Analytics that help fund our company's moonshots.
Our Community Goals
The Google Advertiser Community exists to support our customers at scale by providing a platform to have their questions answered and to give them an opportunity to learn more about our product/s. This is done in a friendly and Googley way by our Community Members, Community Managers, Moderators and wide network of Google Top Contributors. We redesigned our community interface with three goals in mind. First, we had evolved from a product-focused community to a customer-focused community, and thus needed one place that provided a complete journey for an SMB, from getting their business online through GMB, then understanding their online performance through Google Analytics, to leveraging the marketing power of AdWords to increase the success of their businesses.
Second, through customer feedback we understood that there were issues with content findability and we needed a UI that supported easier content discovery in multiple formats (articles, videos, events). Finally, our customers are increasingly mobile; our community had to look good on smartphones and reflect Google’s Material Design standards.
The Advertiser Community's goals of education and supporting our customers at scale is done through three unique sections:
"Product Categories", where users can ask questions or discuss any area of our supported products and have open conversations with Google Employees, Community Managers, our Top Contributors, and each other;
"Learn" , where customers can read in-depth articles about various themes, features and products, and
"Events", where users can find upcoming (and watch past) live events broadcasted via Google Hangouts on Air and embedded in the Community.
Google aims to provide a first class customer support experience regardless of channel, and the Advertiser Community aligns with our brand of delighting customers. Now, our Community allows us to do it at scale.
Our unique community design
Throughout the redesign process we ensured that Lithium's responsive design was in line with Google's Material Design standards (think mobile first). Additionally, we created various features that our users have been asking for. A few examples:
Guide Me’s- The Guide Me buttons are a unique way of helping users decide what to do next, and to drive further engagement on the Community.
Notifications- Our users are active social network users too, and as any social network users have developed a strong need to stay up-to-date with what's happening on the platforms they engage on. We're now keeping them updated real-time by providing in-platform notifications when someone engages with their content or shares something of interest to them
Experts- For our Top Contributors and Rising Stars, we dedicated a page to showcase all the hard work they do. We also ensured users know when an Expert is engaging with them on the Community by labelling them with distinct badges, and calling out the experts involved in all threads clearly next to the conversation. Users can also look for conversations where an expert has participated in through unique icons on each board.
My Favorites- Our users love what they see, and when they see what they love they need a way to easily find it again. We've made it very easy for our users to mark content they want to get back to by adding "My Favorites"
How we executed our community design
The Google Advertiser Community redesign took place over the course of 10 months, with hard work from many individuals; the Google team is a Global team with members in 6 Google offices globally who worked closely with Kate and Kaela, as well as the rest of the the Lithium team. This process went through the following stages:
User data analysis from previous user studies
Stakeholder interviews within the company and top contributors
3 rounds of mocks and wireframes
Numerous feedback iterations
Internal marketing, policy, legal, trademark sign offs
User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
Our design excellence results
Doubled the traffic (as we brought more products into our communities), 2x our pages viewed per person & doubled our mobile traffic for most communities.
Interesting fact: traffic took an initial hit because of the migration to a new URL (SEO), but we recovered as visitors were more engaged (more sessions per user)
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Company: FOX SPORTS Australia
Contact: Shae Marlow (Manager, Customer Experience & Community)
Community: The Crowd
Lithy category: Marketing Champion
FOX SPORTS is Australia’s leading producer of sports television coverage and is home to Australia's favourite subscription television sports channels as well as Australia's number one general sports website. FOX SPORTS operates the website www.foxsports.com.au which contains a wide range of video content and articles, including a citizen journalism community called, The Crowd. FOX SPORTS broadcasts over 10,000 hours of LIVE sports programming per year into 2.5 million homes around Australia.
Our unique promotion and the goal
In 2014, FOX SPORTS Australia launched The Crowd – a community forum created to be the home of sports conversations.
Two years in, The Crowd has provided us with a strong foundation to expand our Community Strategy and launch a unique marketing content strategy, Citizen Journalism. In short, Citizen Journalism is the ultimate community engagement opportunity whereby community members submit articles to FOX SPORTS to be published on The Crowd. It has been marketed as ‘the training ground for aspiring journalists’.
The initiative has allowed us to grow our community and promote our members, particularly superusers.
The goal has been to innovate the current marketing strategy for the community whilst supporting FOX SPORTS digital strategy, including:
to increase digital viewership and audience
lift the emotional connection to fans
reach more Australians and a younger audience
Our strategy and tactics for community
We identified the lack of opportunities for aspiring sports journalists and so developed our Citizen Journalism initiative, a place for journalists to sharpen their skills while gaining real life experience.
We introduced an integrated content marketing approach in three key phases.
PHASE ONE: TEST
The first phase was to test the initiative in a controlled environment, engaging just two universities and inviting their journalism students to participate as ‘Crowd Correspondents’.
Students utilised The Crowd forum, where articles were submitted for approval and moderation then published to a public board. The FOX SPORTS Editorial team would then review each article and select the best for publication on foxsports.com.au. Published Crowd Correspondent articles featured all the hallmarks of a professional journalist’s piece – including their very own byline plus a link back to their Crowd profile. Lastly, two of the contributing students were selected and offered a two week paid internship with the FOX SPORTS editorial team.
PHASE TWO: LEVERAGE & INTEGRATE
Our second phase involved formalising a program that built the credentials and profiles of our Crowd Correspondents. We updated their Profile Pages, creating a portfolio of each student’s contributions to FOX SPORTS. We then discovered they were adding their Crowd profile credentials to their LinkedIn pages and CVs. This established their profiles as writers within the community and also established their Crowd experience as a worthy qualification externally.
PHASE THREE: SCALE
The final stage was to scale and extend the program to 20+ universities across Australia. In order to market to these students, we interviewed our original Crowd Correspondent intern and created a promotional video, where we highlighted the benefits to other aspiring journalism students in becoming Crowd Correspondents themselves.
As the program matured, we ramped up promotion by integrating Crowd Correspondent articles into the FOX Sports App and established The Crowd’s Twitter account.
Within four months, phase one of The Crowd Correspondent marketing initiative nearly tripled its trial KPIs, with 14 Crowd Correspondents signing up (KPI was 5).
Now, in just over 7 months, the initiative has continued to exceed expectations, both from a business and community point of view, including:
14 active universities
More than 80 Crowd Correspondents
Articles/Content submitted to the community has doubled, with a total of 300 articles submitted to the community and 200 published onto foxsports.com.au
Two internships successfully placed, with both interns now officially working for FOX SPORTS Australia
Dramatic increase from 2.3 page views per unique visitor to 4.6 page views
New community registrations have more than doubled from 120 to 300 per month
In our most recent promotional phase, we’ve had the highest page views since launching in 2014.
The Crowd began as a small idea with big aspirations and it has since grown into a viable content engine. It’s surpassed all KPIs set yet most importantly, it has given university students a chance to experience the thrill of sports journalism and in doing so, give fans a unique perspective of sport through the lens of a younger pundit.
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Entry submitted by: Chris Brennan ( Senior Search and Social Strategy Manager - Digital Marketing)
Lithy category: Excellence in Customer Satisfaction
ScottishPower supplies energy to over 5 million homes and businesses in the UK, as part of the Iberdrola Group, a global energy company and world leader in wind energy.
As the number one European utility by market capitalisation we are helping to change the energy market for the better, driving innovation from the way we generate and supply energy to how we interact with our staff and customers.
Social Media is at the heart of our strategic growth and our constant drive to be an Energy company you would be happy to recommend to friends and family.
Our customer satisfaction initiatives: 360 o Customer View
During 2015, we faced a challenge in managing the perception and reputation of our customer service after a sustained period of instability post implementation of a new Billing and CRM system. Prior to this, our Social Media landscape was a healthy and vibrant small community of engaged advocates. This community rapidly grew and became steadily more negative as customer service complaints and media focus increased. With only two full-time staff operating during business hours our situation quickly became unmanageable and added to the negative perception around ScottishPower at the time.
Faced with this challenge, we conceived, developed and began implementation of our Customer 360 O program focusing on re-engaging with customers and improving satisfaction and reputation scores. Central to this was bringing social media closer to our tradition customer touch points with a truly Omni-channel approach to service. In delivering this approach, we embarked on three key social initiatives utilising LSW to deliver a truly exceptional Social Customer Care experience.
Filter out the noise: Utilise LSW tags and routing to allow our small customer service team to focus on real customer engagements
Prioritise those who need help the most: Energy is an important part of our daily lives. Utilising priority rules in LSW we have refined key word routing to ensure when someone loses their electricity supply or are a vulnerable customer we are able to intervene quickly to help.
Reducing repeat contacts: From social listening, we identified a pool of repeat customers. Using LSW we have been able to revise and resolve issues through improved end-2-end case management to minimise the reputational damage from serial dissenters.
The most important customer issues we were looking to solve via Lithium implementation
Focusing on delivering excellent customer service on social
We have always had a proud history in delivering exceptional service to our customer and that had been impacted somewhat by the migration to our new billing system. Through social it was important that we re-engaged with our customers and restored their confidence in ScottishPower as their energy provider.
By embarking on the Customer 360 0 project, we have been able to improve our customer service performance on social dramatically. LSW has been central to this strategy and has provided the platform to re-engage with our customers and restore confidence in our brand. Through the metrics that we track regularly we have seen a significant improvement and with a 13 point improvement in our social sentiment post LSW implementation it is clear that our customers are also seeing the benefits of our enhanced social service.
The robustness and confidence we have been able to install in our team since implementing LSW led us to re-open and cleanse over 2.5k pervious social service cases reducing our repeat contacts by 30% and restore faith in previously dissatisfied customers.
Due to our increased focus on measurement and performance management, we have now extended our coverage to 24/7 and our team has trebled in size. Internally Social First is our new approach with Monitor Wall visible in key departments such as THE Digital Innovations team, Customer Services and shared with all appropriate C-Suite leaders.
Making it easier to do business with us
In-depth routing and reporting capabilities have allowed us to focus on the root cause issues to drive service improvement. As such, we are now able to embark on a pro-active engagement campaign to educate and help consumers and reduce the need for them to individually contact us.
Positive and neutral sentiment improved from 77% pre Lithium to 90% post Lithium
Repeat social complaints reduced by 30%
Average response time for Priority 1 cases reduced from 1 hour to 20 minutes.
80% of mentions responded to in less than 1 hour with 98% within 2 hours.
200 repeat customer cases fully reworked and helped through re-engagement using Lithium
Recent Independent Industry benchmarking by Social Bakers showed we had the 2nd highest number of service engagement in the industry (highest of the major suppliers by customer base) yet the fastest response rate of all suppliers
Overall Customer Satisfaction scores are improving with the percentage of Very Satisfied increasing by 20 percentage points over the last 6 months
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Company: Fitbit, Inc.
Contact: Allison Leahy (Director of Community)
Community: Fitbit Community
Lithy category: Social ROI Titan
Fitbit helps people lead healthier, more active lives by empowering them with data, inspiration and guidance to reach their goals. As the leader in connected health and fitness, Fitbit designs products and experiences that track everyday health and fitness.
Our 2015 goals for our Lithium-powered community and LSW
Fitbit helps people lead healthy and active lives by empowering them with data, inspiration, and guidance to reach their goals. Our community connects millions of users around the world so they can support one another in achieving their wellness goals.
Keeping focus on our brand commitment to excellent experiences, our 2015 goals centered around establishing better connections between customers and product support. We sought to increase our presence on social media, bring even more visitors to our established forum content, and ensure quick, consistent responses through all our channels.
We recognized that achieving these primary goals would also result in equally substantial secondary benefits. By providing excellent support via social platforms, we would deflect contacts from other support channels, which offer a more traditional one-to-one communication model. By surfacing relevant Community discussions and Accepted Solutions, we would have the opportunity to resolve customer inquiries before their question was even asked.
In addition, we were excited to begin routing all content through LSW, from social engagements and forum posts to marketing responses and app reviews. Through tagging, volume metrics, and social listening tools, we aimed to improve our understanding of what users are seeking when they reach out to us. This data is a vital part of improving our internal analytics and reporting to the business around milestone events.
Our focus areas and tactics
We set out to meet - and even surpass - these goals with an ambitious multi-pronged strategy.
The largest single move to unite customers with content involved transitioning our Community from private to full public accessibility. The ensuing SEO visibility resulted in 3x visits and page views.
In anticipation of this new traffic, we launched a major project to maximize the value of Accepted Solutions, which appear prominently in search results. Our team worked to ensure that every Community topic included a satisfactory response, which is an effort we continue with new threads today.
Another significant step toward this goal was promoting our Community and Twitter support channels on both the help site and contact page. As this is the most common avenue used to reach Fitbit via email, phone, and chat, we hoped the prospect of a more rapid response on our platforms would appeal to customers.
We recognized that this effort would only be worthwhile if we could indeed deliver on that promise of excellent and rapid resolutions. To this end, we developed a capacity plan and staffing model to accommodate the growing popularity of our social support channels, aiming for the 4 hour maximum response time featured on our contact page, 24 hours a day. Through collaboration with our social marketing teams, we aggressively added support for newly-established regional brand pages and new channels including Instagram and app store reviews. We also put LSW’s tagging logic to work by applying product, platform, and feature-based tags to content, allowing us to get deep insights into social and community commentary.
In addition to bolstering our social coverage, we began acknowledging emerging issues in real-time through proactive tweets, floated community threads, and help site banners (which often linked straight to community threads). We’ve also engaged our Community Council superuser group to escalate concerning posts for quick attention. With this infrastructure in place, we were on the right track to make Fitbit a leader in the social support realm!
As we compare our current state to where we began at the start of 2015, it’s clear that the aforementioned efforts have been wildly successful.
Social media interactions increased rapidly as we strengthened our support presence and featured these channels on our contact page. Per the above graph, we saw a 616% increase in contacts to our dedicated support handle on Twitter between January 2015 and January 2016 (compared to a 393% increase the year prior). We also noted a substantial gain in channel subscriptions as we passed 100,000 followers on Twitter. Our growing audience brings increased amplification and adds value to proactive tweets, aiding us us in our mission to further reduce support contacts. As depicted below, we've calculated that by providing Twitter support alone, we've saved approximately 29,000 agent hours in Q3 and Q4 of the past year, by resolving customer issues without the involvement of email, phone, or chat.
Our shift to a public Community was impossible to overlook, as forum content quickly occupied the top spots for relevant search results. We saw daily traffic more than double in the month following this change, and noted the balance shift to more than 60% mobile visitors. As we ramp down from the last Holiday season, we now find ourselves at about 500% traffic compared to the closed community of 6 months ago.
To better visualize the full value of this growth, we ran a series of Community surveys to gauge the likelihood for Community visitors to open support cases after their visit. Prior to the open community, we saw potential for about 500,000 annual case deflections. Following the public relaunch, we were able to greatly increase this ROI potential, even considering increased staffing costs. Per the results of these surveys, we estimate about 225% ROI for our Community last year.
The 2015 year was one of lofty goals and great strides for both our team and our platforms. These numbers give us confidence that our hard work has resulted in better support experiences for Fitbit customers around the world, and also that we continue to significantly contribute to an efficient, versatile, and economical Customer Support department.
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Entry submitted by: Matt Verna (Analyst)
Community: Comcast Help & Support Forums
Lithy category: Excellence in Customer Satisfaction
Comcast Cable is one of the nation's largest video, high-speed Internet and phone providers to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. Comcast has invested in technology to build a sophisticated network that delivers the fastest broadband speeds, and brings customers personalized video, communications and home management offerings.
Our customer satisfaction initiatives
In 2015 Comcast’s Digital Care Team strove to:
Create and deploy NPS survey program
Increase in-channel (social) resolution rates
Deploy a Quality program for our team which focused on customer experience and the behaviors necessary to change customer perceptions & sentiments from negative to positive
Comcast’s Digital Care Team experienced significant growth in 2015. That growth drove a material increase in customer interactions making it necessary to employ tools that helped drive customer-centric behaviors across our multi-site organization. Our growth, while clearly good for our ability to meet more customers in the channel of their choosing, could have, without careful planning, resulted in the loss of the boutique, one-stop-shop customer experience we have worked to build. A primary tool in our effort to maintain the highest customer satisfaction levels possible is our newly deployed Quality program. The Quality program’s primary goal is to ensure a consistent, high quality customer experience for each and every interaction. With the technology in place to track conversation sentiment and newly allocated resources dedicated to ensuring its accuracy, Digital Care has been able to maintain and improve upon our ability to fully serve our broad customer base.
Along with assuring the quality of conversations, the quantity of conversations continued to increase, encouraging even more operational changes. Expanding the team into two divisions, Operations and Strategy, allowed our Operations team to focus on coaching, while letting our Strategy team focus on Quality, Reporting, Forecasting & Scheduling, Technology, Training and the Customer Experience. In 2015, the Digital Care team implemented an entirely ‘in-channel’ Net Promoter System (NPS) survey to its customers on Facebook and Twitter, sending more than one thousand surveys. In 2016 we’ve already sent out more than two thousand surveys. Keeping the customer in-channel from inception to completion was imperative to operational success and ultimately proven with NPS survey results that exceed industry averages and are among the highest for any group in the company.
The most important customer issue we were looking to solve via Lithium implementation and what makes our approach to customer satisfaction a gold standard in the industry
The solutions that Lithium provides directly aligns with Digital Care’s key objective - building a better customer experience. To manage the increasing volume of incoming posts and facilitate a streamlined response process, Lithium’s robust tag and routing hierarchy allow Comcast’s social team to provide the highest quality conversations with its customers and eliminate as much room as possible for error. The newly integrated Quality program keeps these processes in check and also allows frontline specialists to participate in peer-to-peer review and approval processes for new employees. Combining the approval process, Quality program and the tag structure has created the necessary balance between technology and operation goals, which in turn has provided a better customer experience. To prove the success of this collaboration, the team’s NPS score places well above the industry average score and surveying the customer in the social channel they interacted in has resulted in a nearly 60% response rate. Our customers’ experience with us will always be the Digital Care Team’s number one priority but the accessibility of viable technology contributes to the successes of the team.
Our focus on the customer experience in 2015 and 2016 has had meaningful and tangible results for our customers.
We are no longer last resort support channel, customers are coming to us first
Nearly 75% of customers that came in negative left neutral or positive
Reduced non-social channel escalations per month from 4000 to 400
Higher than industry average NPS score, nearly 60% response rate to in-channel surveys
In-channel resolution increase from 95 to 99% in 2015
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Company: Fitbit, Inc.
Contact: Allison Leahy (Director of Community)
Community: Fitbit Community
Lithy category: Total Community All Star
Fitbit helps people lead healthier, more active lives by empowering them with data, inspiration and guidance to reach their goals. As the leader in connected health and fitness, Fitbit designs products and experiences that track everyday health and fitness.
Our road to Lithium
Fitbit helps people lead healthier, more active lives by empowering them with data, inspiration and guidance to reach their goals. As the leader in connected health and fitness, Fitbit designs products and experiences that track everyday health and fitness. Our community connects millions of Fitbit users around the world so they can support one another in achieving their wellness goals.
In the past few years, Fitbit has had a number of exciting opportunities to connect with its customers. Following a successful Lithium Community launch in late 2013, we stepped up our social media game by bringing LSW into the mix and integrating the toolset with our forums and CRM system.
LSW’s polished visual interface, customizable workspaces, and flexible backend settings have increased our productivity and allow us to quickly support our customers. LSW has also been one of the most intuitive and enjoyable platforms for us to use! Community Specialists leverage the advanced tagging and routing capabilities to surface emerging support issues, which helps us more quickly get our customers back on track.
Email Advocates benefit from the CRM integration, which equips them to handle escalations that come through our social channels, and offers a more complete view of each customer’s journey. Our management and partner teams appreciate the Mobile Shared Dashboards and extensible Smart View-based Analytics, and our BI team has made an easy time of report building with the APIs.
Before embarking on this journey with Lithium, we recognized that true community support involves listening and engaging with customers on their platform and medium of choice. Providing responses solely within a 9-5 workday left some customers waiting most of a day to hear back from us, which is a veritable eternity on social media. By using LSW to coordinate multiple teams around the globe, we are now able to provide stellar 24-hour support across our customers’ preferred channels. Growing our teams globally has given us the flexibility and bandwidth to continuously add new regional pages and channels, expanding the footprint of Fitbit’s social support brand.
Fitbit now engages millions of customers each month across its global Community Forums and an ever-increasing variety of social media channels. We are better positioned than ever before to continue growing Fitbit’s support presence and championing the voice of our customers.
The benefits of having both a community and LSW
Fitbit’s customer support strategy has always centered around delivery of clear help instructions. Our Community and LSW platforms contribute significantly toward providing our customers the help they need, when they need it.
The most architecturally complex example of our Community and LSW platform integration is our handling of product retailer and mobile app reviews. We are able to get visibility into 16 unique review channels across a variety of retail websites, as well as the Apple, Google, and Microsoft mobile app stores. Reviews from these sites automatically route to a Community board, where they appear as new topics organized by review ranking. LSW monitors our Community, collecting this content into a queue where our team of trained advocates responds to customer concerns and support opportunities. Their replies in LSW are posted to Community threads, where content is relayed via API to the review sites. While this may (accurately) sound like an elaborate construction of workflows, the end result is a familiar and straightforward process for our team and attentive support for customers who aren’t yet fully enjoying their Fitbit tracker.
Perhaps the most high-profile benefit of integration is LSW’s ability to intelligently escalate conversations based on key topical phrases, profile attributes like follower count, or past interaction with our team. This escalation ensures our ability to identify and resolve the highest priority conversations within a target of 30 minutes (and often more quickly than that). Since every Community post is routed through LSW, we’re able to provide this vigilant prioritization to all conversations.
Integrations contribute to our powerful listening capabilities. We’re able to support Fitbit marketing initiatives by providing keyword analytics and extracting crucial content into triage queues, so that we can respond without slowing productivity on other channels. We watch other non-traditional channels like Reddit to remain aware of brand-related conversations across their communities and providing us with a holistic view of the customer experience.
Our social tools enabled the Fitbit team to listen, evaluate, and apply our business rules to prioritize engagement for over 21,000 community posts, 27,500 tweets, 8,000 Facebook posts, 1,300 Instagram posts, and 3,000 consumer reviews across eight languages every week. Since these tools were implemented in May of 2015, we’ve added social media channels to our support contact page and are successfully handling about 150x the contact volume that we saw three years ago.
The flexibility of the rules engine greatly increased our ability to maneuver media blitzes, giving us the ability to respond to the most critical social conversations while we deliver unique customer insights back to the business. In the exciting time surrounding major product releases, our content and sentiment analysis contribute to our launch-related health reports.
While case deflection is the showstopper, we have defined 25 Community KPIs around growth, engagement, membership, and content, as well as three KPIs for social, including TAR, in-channel resolutions, and response rates.
The graph below illustrates community case deflections based on the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) Support Deflection Value model and our own survey data. The inflection point in November 2015 is a result of removing the login requirement and opening our community forums up to the public and to search. Today, nearly 70% of our traffic is organic, and we’re better able to meet the needs of our fast growing community by delivering effective content faster.
In addition to the KPIs above, we also illustrate the diverse value of community through less traditional means. For example, members of the Community Team are involved in pulling together deep analysis on critical issues and themes for our product marketing, firmware, design, and other partner teams. We deliver uniquely tailored reports to make sense of customer input and raw support data, often unveiling insights unavailable before our integration with the LSW toolset . This ever-growing stack of virtual reports is one of our clearest value statements within the business.
We take pride in knowing that our unique vantage point, disciplined team structure, and versatility of subject matter make the Community Team a go-to resource for decision makers and leaders across the company as we continue to help them make informed decisions about our products.
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Entry submitted by: Bridgette Butler (Sr. Community Manager)
Community: AT&T Community Forums
Lithy category: Support Savings MVP
AT&T Inc. ( NYSE:T ) helps millions around the globe connect with leading entertainment, mobile, high-speed Internet and voice services. We’re the world’s largest provider of pay TV. We have TV customers in the U.S. and 11 Latin American countries. We offer the best global coverage of any U.S. wireless provider*. And we help businesses worldwide serve their customers better with our mobility and highly secure cloud solutions.
*Global coverage claim based on offering discounted voice and data roaming; LTE roaming; voice roaming; and world-capable smartphone and tablets in more countries than any other U.S. based carrier.
How we are implementing Community to meet our customer care business goals
AT&T customers have been finding solutions and connecting with AT&T on our Lithium community for more than 13 years. Given how well established our community is, we knew it wouldn’t be easy to dramatically increase the number of customers we serve in 2015, but that was nonetheless our goal.
To make the most of our limited budget, we used an intensely data-driven approach to community management and platform enhancements, identifying key opportunities for growth and improved customer success, and prioritizing accordingly. Guided by this approach, we:
Moved to a Lithium badging solution and added new badges to complement our member engagement program. The badging migration yielded significant cost savings, enabled faster time to market for badging enhancements, and contributed to page-load time reduction, which in turn contributed to a better customer experience
Appended hyperlinked Accepted Solutions to 228 support articles on att.com, which not only assisted att.com users, but also drove traffic to our community
Employed SEO techniques, including revisiting our archived content, to make it easier for customers and search engines to find answers. Our SEO efforts garnered at least 100k additional unique visitors per month.
Improved posting flows to allow authentication after entering the text for a post. This contributed to nearly doubling the new threads posted in the community YoY.
Removed traditional registration email verification to create a more effortless registration experience for our customers
Launched a “classic view” to complement our Tile and List views, enabling our super-users to engage on the community using the interface of their choice
The result? The AT&T Community Forums shed nearly six million customer contacts from our call centers in 2015 – a more than 30% increase YoY – resulting in a cost savings of nearly $45 million.
Changes in our customer care organization that were implemented because of cost reductions based on Lithium Community
Believing collaboration and cooperation are the keys to cross-organizational success, the AT&T Community Forums team encouraged, educated and embraced skilled internal Care groups to supplement community knowledge and, when needed, to address specific customer concerns.
DIRECTV: Owing to the success we have seen with the Lithium-powered AT&T community, the decision was made to migrate the existing DIRECTV community from another platform into the AT&T forums in December 2015, and we launched and introduced a new DIRECTV customer care team to address the needs of our DIRECTV customers.
U-verse: After careful analysis of highly viewed threads regarding recurring issues, the AT&TU-verseCare team seeded 50 “how-to” posts replete with images.
The U-verse team also authored more than 3k posts in 2015 – a 155% increase over 2014.
Mobility: The ATTMobilityCare team launched in January 2015 and grew over the year, creating more than 8k posts last year.
Digital Life: The ATTDigitalLifeCS team created more than 700 posts in 2015 – a 350% increase over 2014.
AT&T wireless product subject matter experts answered community questions in two Ask an Expert events. More than 1.3k unique visitors viewed each of the discussions.
Additionally, we partnered with AT&T product subject matter experts to discuss topics of interest selected by our 50 super user ACES in two private-area Community Exchanges. The 269 posts in the eight topical threads were viewed more than 1k times, thus equipping our super users to better answer peer-to-peer questions.
Our efforts on the Community Forums achieved phenomenal results in 2015, with more than 30% incremental calls shed YoY, and with more than four million more unique visitors than in 2014. The lift in call shed and traffic/usage was accompanied by improvements in nearly every major metric of the business, including:
95% YoY increase in new topics
69% YoY increase in Accepted Solutions
13% YoY decrease in average monthly average response time (AMART)
91% YoY increase in ACE (super-user) replies
40% YoY increase in Cost Avoidance
Calculated using an established and verifiable formula, the AT&T Community Forums shed nearly 6M customer contacts from our call centers in 2015, resulting in a cost savings of nearly $45M.
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Company: Post Office
Entry submitted by: Darren Jones (Social Media Manager)
Social Channels: Twitter and Facebook
Lithy Category: Marketing Champion
With over 370 years of service, Post Office is the UK's largest retail network and the largest financial services chain in the UK with more branches than all of the UK’s banks and building societies put together. We also have growing direct channels such as contact centers and online - meaning they’re there for more customers, in more ways.
Post Office is now more than it ever was - an independent multi-channel business, with a vibrant, fast-growing financial services business and embarking on a new era of growth, modernization and customer excellence in serving the UK population.
Our unique promotion
In research, it was revealed that our customers had low awareness of Post Office's Sunday opening hours, and there customers had a negative perception of us as not being open around them. We were tasked with creating widespread awareness of Sunday opening hours. The strategy was to dominate Twitter for one day only with #LoveSundays, celebrating everything great about Sundays, from brunch to pajamas to Sunday dinner and - of course- Post Office's Sunday hours. Twitter was the perfect place to generate broad awareness and to engage our audience with the core campaign message.
Our strategy and tactics
Our strategy was shaped around using social media to help increase footfall into branches, increase sales of parcels/letters and overcome negative perceptions. The solution was to launch a #LoveSundays real-time marketing campaign, with a tiered content approach that focused on:
Prepared: Aligned to people's Sunday activities and we ran mini competitions throughout the day encouraging user generated content.
Reactive: We produced social content reactively when topics relevant to our customers were trending in order to increase the reach of our message, as well as offering real-time, personalized customer service by helping customers notice that their nearest branch is open on Sundays.
LSW helped us organize all the massive conversations into appropriate queues, as well as helping us to surface customer data- helping us to delivery personalised conversations, specifically:
‘Notes’ and ‘Conversations’– allowed us to quickly understand whether the person had talked to us before, which helped our operations team with background information.
‘Snooze’ - allowed us to go back to key influencers after the campaign.
‘Klout Topics’ - gave us a quick snapshot of the individual’s interests, which we used to try and tie back to the Sunday opening message. For example, if someone was interested in gardening, then this opened up the opportunity for us to reply to the customer with an “open around you” message about them visiting us before their Sunday trip to the garden center.
‘Klout Score’ - understanding this was helpful to amplify the campaign by giving us the opportunity to engage with those with a high influence quickly/in the moment, and in the process – encourage them to retweet (for example- when the Church of England tweeted).
‘Import’ - allowed us to import particular tweets from influencers, and participate in conversations – based on what was trending at the time, for example, The Open.
The campaign was extremely effective and we exceeded all of our campaign objectives and benchmarks in just one day:
Reach and awareness of Sunday openings core message.
Hit social media engagement rates of 1.5% on Twitter
Increase visits to the branch finder on PostOffice.co.uk.
Increase volume and income in Mails category.
Over 2 million impressions on Twitter.
Average engagement rate of 6.01% on Twitter (way above benchmark).
#LoveSundays trended organically, without paying for a Promoted Trend.
866% increase in branch finder page views versus previous weekend.
We also had several thousand more customers in the week immediately after #LoveSundays. Across web and in-branch it grew volume (7%), value (10%) and income (5%) for instant short term gain in trading.
The campaign highlighted the importance and effect that good quality customer interactions can have on amplifying a campaign and changing perceptions of a brand, just as much – or more - than broadcasting status updates. As such, we expect both teams (customer service and marketing) to be working much closer together for future campaigns, as well as upskilling our customer care agents with marketing skills, so they can spot more ‘moments’ to help amplify our corporate messaging within their replies.
For more, please visit https://storify.com/PostOffice/the-post-office-is-changing
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