Community Star Spotlight #2 Claudius Henrichs (Skype)

Retired Community Manager
“Listen to your community. Involve them.”

Claudius Henrichs, Community Manager – Skype


A major global brand like Skype is bound to have an incredibly diverse and global community – which likely comes along with its own unique rewards and challenges. Definitely not a task for the faint of heart. That’s why Skype’s global-minded and ever-so-talented community manager, Claudius Henrichs (@Claudius), is the perfect guy for the job. Check out what makes his job unique in the video below, then scroll down to read his tips and tricks for being a successful community manager.



If you could describe your job in one word, what would it be?

One word, eh? I could really describe my job in so many ways. But if I could only choose one word, I’d go with “versatile.” My job changes every day – in fact, I don’t even know what I could consider a typical day, to be honest. I oftentimes find myself juggling different topics affecting the community, jumping from project to project (quickly), dealing with a variety of team members across all of Skype, and, of course, it goes without saying, solving lots of problems. That last part is probably the biggest reason why I consider “versatile” to be the best descriptor for my job – because I’m constantly being challenged to come up with unique solutions for issues affecting my community and my team.


What are the biggest innovations you’ve seen in social over the past year?

There are actually two things that immediately come to mind. First, the increase in peer-to-peer support tools has dramatically shaped the world of social customer service. We’re seeing a growing trend around customers leaning on their peers to get immediate support for unanswered questions or to troubleshoot any issues that come their way (vs. waiting in long queues on the telephone or online to speak with a support representative). This is really changing the ways in which many brands are approaching customer service, leveraging the know-how of the community to significantly reduce the time it takes for customer queries to be resolved. So that’s the first trend. The second, I’m noticing, is a desire among consumers to have shared profiles across communities and channels. People want simplicity. They don’t want one profile here and another entirely separate profile over there in another social channel. This is really a call-to-action to all social brands to step it up and collaborate on ways to truly put the customer (experience) first. As an industry, we’ve only scratched the surface on this front. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the coming years.


What would you say are your top 3 tips for managing a successful community?

Based on my experience at Skype, this is what I would say are my top three tips:


  • Rally Internal Stakeholders: The saying goes, “No man’s an island.” Couldn’t be any truer in the world of community management. The internal stakeholders around you are just as important to you as the communities you manage. It’s so important to have everyone aligned to ensure there are never any surprises. Get the right teams involved early on and make sure they know when you need them as well as what you need from them. It’s the only way you can successfully create a solid, scalable program.

  • Stay Updated on Industry Trends: You’re never to old (or too young) to stop learning. Technology is evolving at an increasingly rapid pace. New tools, platforms, and creative solutions are emerging every day. It’s absolutely critical to stay up-to-date on what’s happening so that your communities are always ahead of the curve.


  • Listen to Your Community: By listening to what your community is saying, you will be better equipped at both identifying trends and coming up with blanket solutions to address those trends. And there’s a good chance that data will be there to back up those assumptions as well. In the end, this will help you be more effective at your job because it will force you to stay focused on achieving your “big picture” goals vs. getting sucked into all the minutiae.




What makes Claudius a Lithium Rockstar? Here are some pretty stand out stats from his participation in the Lithium Community:




Claudius is a global-minded, solutions-driven Community Manager at Skype, serving the various (and vibrant) needs of Skype’s incredibly diverse community, all from his hub in Tallinn, Estonia (where he calls home). He is a Lithium Certified Community Manager,  Honored Contributor in our community, and a Rockstar in the Lithium Stars program. Claudius is also a participant in the Developer Network, and his team won "Best Community Customization,” taking home the gold in the first LiNC Hackathon in 2014.



Skype is for doing things together, whenever you’re apart. Skype’s text, voice and video make it simple to share experiences with the people that matter to you, wherever they are. Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Luxembourg, Skype is a division of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT).