This is Skype's entry in the B2C Supporting category of the Forrester Research Groundswell Awards 2012. Visit the Groundswell site for more info
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 1st contact resolution at 70% and reduction of company-wide support costs by 10%.
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 eight 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 18 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 100,000 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.
Meet Skype's community team:
Denise Jack is Lithium's Director of Customer Programs and is primarily responsible for showcasing Lithium customers’ success in social customer experience. She has more than 12 years of experience in customer marketing, technical sales and management consulting. Denise is a regular blogger for Lithium and in the Lithosphere you'll see her as DeniseJ. You can follow her on Twitter at @lithiumtech or @denisejack.
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