2021 Customer Awards: Anaplan - Bottom Line Savings Rock Star

2021 Customer Awards: Anaplan - Bottom Line Savings Rock Star




Company: Anaplan

Company background: At Anaplan, we enable decisive action in dynamic conditions, turning complexity into clarity and alignment, and turning change into advantage.

Contact: Aaron White

Title: Groups Program Manager, Community

Related URLs: https://community.anaplan.com 

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.

When Anaplan platform users need extra information or assistance, there are usually two reasons for it: there is an issue or concern about the platform itself, or there is an opportunity for them to expand their knowledge about how to use the platform.

For issues and concerns, they often reach out to technical support and file a ticket. For everything else, there’s either the Anaplan Community (http://community.anaplan.com) or our static technical documentation (Anapedia, http://help.anaplan.com).

In all cases, the Community steps in to provide information and solutions to users for faster results and a better long-term experience. Our Support teams are fully equipped and empowered to maintain content on the Community that actively addresses common case drivers, and regular improvements to the Support section of the Community position these potential answers in front of members in a clearly accessible way (via custom styling of a dedicated TKB), allowing them to self-serve.

One example of this is our Known Issues & Workarounds page (another customized TKB). In line with Anaplan’s Openness value, we clearly call out any potential roadblocks or hurdles that arise with our regular product releases. When possible, we provide temporary measures for managing around those instead of leaving the customer to struggle alone. This also allows us to demonstrate our responsiveness to these issues, as each one is edited and marked “solved” whenever a solution is put in place. All of this is on top of our platform release notes, webinar recordings, and other details publicly accessible on the Community.

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

Beyond simply deflecting support tickets, the Community enables members to go further, faster with Anaplan. As a cloud-based business planning platform, Anaplan is too robust a tool for company communications and internal representatives to comprehensively or successfully address all possible use cases and solutions. Fully embracing and taking advantage of the platform’s capabilities requires niche conversations with others using it in highly customized ways. It requires a Community!

Our members regularly look to each other to learn and become more proficient at using Anaplan. They create and consume expert-vetted best practices and how-to guides (more than 100 now available), consult guidance from our internal center of excellence team, and debate solutions and use cases in the forums. The Anaplan Community is by far the largest repository of content in the Anaplan ecosystem, with more than 50,000 unique articles, blogs, forum posts, ideas, trainings, and videos.

Even with all of this content, we are a lean operation. We have no formal moderators (our Community polices itself, both in terms of behavior and information validation) and only a few Content Managers (who largely oversee other content-related projects rather than the content itself). Instead, we empower our members to submit content through a Content Sandbox that uses Khoros' workflow features to streamline and automate the content creation and review process that allows us to tag in experts to validate the information before publishing. In a similar process, our experts regularly recommend Forum topics for conversion to approved best practice articles or how-to guides.

In all of this, we see our role as a Community team to be that of making it easier for our members to find and contribute the information, education, and support they need. In this way, we not only save money for Anaplan (by reducing the number of support tickets, customer success meetings, and bad experiences) but also help ensure a positive brand image and a customer base that is connected, enabled, and ready to expand.

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).

Via the Khoros Value Analytics Survey and in line with the TSIA and Forrester calculations Khoros recommends, we calculate savings around case deflection in the following way:

Visits * Seeking support % * Found information % * Would have engaged support % * Case cost

For FY21 alone, we can attribute multiple millions of dollars in savings to case deflection alone.

We can also point to metrics such as a 17% YoY decrease in minutes to first reply and a 94% YoY decrease in minutes to first solution as a marker for how helpful and responsive our Community is, which further underscores its value to Anaplan’s business.

However, these metrics are only one type of measurement of how our Community impacts the business and (as we’re not ultimately or simply a support community) we like to look at other factors as well.

As outlined above and elsewhere, the tremendous value the Anaplan Community provides is in the way we streamline and automate the work of other teams. We serve as a hub for the aggregated knowledge of our business and customer base. In the same way a single data point can be referenced multiple times by formulas throughout a spreadsheet (how’s that for a nerdy reference?), the Anaplan Community creates standardization and repeatability. Challenges that might have required multiple meetings or workshops to solve can now be managed by referencing a best practice; trainings that would once have required an on-site visit by an approved trainer can now be taken on-demand. The award-winning live events we host throughout the year provide additional value and knowledge. In all of this, using similar formulas 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 and agility 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.