2020 Customer Awards: Anaplan - Bottom Line Savings Rock Star

2020 Customer Awards: Anaplan - Bottom Line Savings Rock Star

Company: Anaplan

Company background: At Anaplan, our mission is to make all planning for all people a reality. We believe our world is better when we connect communities of people with data to enhance decision-making in dynamic environments. It’s the Connected Planning way.

Contact: Stan Gromer

Title: Technology Manager, Community

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Kudos Category: Bottom Line Savings Rock Star

1. Tell us how you are implementing Khoros’ digital engagement technologies (e.g. community and/or social media management) to meet your customer care business goals. Please highlight unique programs, technical upgrades and/or API usage to help reach these goals.

Community, alongside our (platform documentation) are the two places our end users go for help. Due to the nature of our product, when users contact actual technical support, it’s usually due to downtime/problems with the software itself, where as when they use community it’s often to learn, become more knowledge, understand best practices and more. Through a variety of different programs, we attempt to find different ways to connect with our users, the majority of which are “model builders” as we call them.

In the past year, we’ve focused on finding ways to automate the boring stuff away. Through large enhancements we made at the end of 2019 as we redesigned our Community, to the integrations we have done with Khoros/Bevy to tie together the experiences, we constantly are looking for ways to remove the time sinks and repeatable tasks that our Community team does.

2. How did the new technologies enable your business or organization to change?

We relaunched our User Groups program right as Group Hubs launched. This was great for us as one of the goals with expanding our toolset to Bevy’s group platform was being able to allow our group leaders to self-serve. With group hubs, we’re able to give our leaders the ability to self-manage their space, from forums to blogs and knowledge bases. A lot of the backend administration that we were having to help group leaders manage was able to be thrown to the side, which not only helps free us up, but more importantly lets our group leaders feel more in control.

With a team of ~10, there is always new content being posted in our Community, sections being edited/modified, and simply a lot going on. When we redesigned our Community, we built it with the goal of allowing any of our team to treat community like lego blocks - Nearly all sections of our community can now be created in the moment, utilizing a flexible set of components and custom content modules. We went from having hundreds of different page quilts/layouts to a single standard page quilt used the vast majority of our Community. By creating a simple yet powerful system, what may take some teams weeks of development/planning is something we can have live in production by end of day.

This spring, we launched our first ever free trial of our platform as part of our 'Talent Builder' program.  A huge problem we have in the market right now is finding qualified talent that can work on our companies software. We're growing faster than the talent is, so our team took it upon ourselves to find a solution. Leveraging Community, our training platform, and a ton of manual processes, we were able to quickly spin up this training program.  We're already at hundreds of new users learning Anaplan to prove out what will likely expand to 10x this within a year. We were able to utilize the power of the Khoros platform to build out the majority of this program, launch new training guides, provide a user directory, a group hub, and more. 

3. What are your customer care and business results in quantifiable metrics? Include support savings metrics (e.g. cost savings, decreased response time, call deflection, reduced case escalations, increased agent productivity, optimizing campaigns, and efficiency with publishing and reporting).

Looking at our Community Value ( Visits * Seeking support * found information * would have engaged * support cost) - We’re over $4 million dollars in value added based on this metric alone. Our community doesn’t like to use just this though, as we’re not a support community ultimately, we are many things to many users.

We also have a content team who will work with customers, partners, and internal employees as well as take accepted solutions in Community, and turn them into Best Practices. We run Ask Me Anything sessions to help spread the word on different people, teams, and products. We host live events throughout the year that provides additional value and knowledge on top of the standard training our Academy team offers. Using a similar formula to the above, we are able to again show multi-million dollars of value associated with this work.

A big bottom line impact for us but hard to quantify for our immediate team has been the flexibility we continue to gain as we better understand the Khoros platform, configure it to our own unique needs, and then the speed at which we can keep moving once we have the foundation built. As we continue to build out programs, improve our existing ones, and come up with future ideas, this speed has been critical in allowing other internal teams remove roadblocks and quickly get content out in front of our customers, all of which reduces our cost to serve.

Our Talent Builder program is to early to say the exact results, but to date we have trained hundreds with little to no additional costs. The cost savings on this will be in the tens of millions as it ramps up, as we're removing the instructors, we're removing the classrooms, we're removing the need to work for one of our Partners or ourselves to get the training. We're putting as much of our training and expertise into our open Community to as our goal is to get as many trained Anaplanner's as we can.