Company: Deutsche Telekom AG
Company background: Deutsche Telekom AG is one of the most valuable European telco brands and leading telco in its home market Germany. Deutsche Telekom provides fixed and mobile networks, TV over IP and lots of digital service from Smart Home to Cloud Solutions for business customers.
Contact: Siegrun Schmidt-Rowold, Bernhard-André Meyer, Nils Koch and Waldemar Helm (Community Management), Niko Bochan (Platform Owner)
Title: Community Management
Related URLs: https://telekomhilft.telekom.de
Kudos Category: Best-in-Class: Community
1. Describe your community(s) and how you decided to start a community or grow/change it in the last year? (user request, Khoros suggestion, internal idea, etc.) What is the purpose of your community?
Since 2014, users have been able to find help and advice on problems and questions relating to Telekom products in the Telekom hilft Community. Around 100 super users support us, sometimes within minutes, with solutions and further tips. To date, the community has grown to around 1.6 million users. The number increases by between 20k and 30k per month.
It was striking that a lot of feedback on brand new products was "reported" very quickly in the community. This did not go unnoticed by the Telekom Service's early warning system. The idea for the "Telekom hilft Labor" was obvious: If our customers give us so many good tips after the launch of a new product, it would be great if they also supported us in the beta phase, i.e. before the market launch!
Since 2016, new products and services for consumers and business customers have been put to the test in the “Telekom hilft Labor”. The aim is to identify errors and collect suggestions. These are carefully documented and returned to the product managers - while still in the beta phase. The lab ensures constant and direct contact between customers, product management, developers and manufacturers.
The advantages are obvious: With the knowledge gained from the tests, those responsible can, for example, make more informed decisions about whether a product should be launched at all. Often, experts can fix bugs before a launch and, of course, testing is always about providing the best customer experience and maximizing customer satisfaction. Our success story does not just describe changes in the last year, but the evolution from an idea to the “Telekom helps lab” becoming a fixed part of the product development process.
2. Tell us about how you made it happen? Did you stage it first? Who got an early look? How did you drive adoption? Did you get executive buy-in? Did you have any key iterations?
It all started with the first test lab for a new router. At the time, it was not yet clear what scale and scope the product tests would take on. From the beginning, though, the test labs were about team spirit. "We have a lot of fun together, even if new bugs or missing features can be annoying. It's not uncommon for testers to get to know each other through the lab and form friendships. So it's no wonder that this community sometimes feels like a real family," says Siegrun Schmidt-Rowold, a lab community manager from the very beginning. That this team spirit is contagious is shown by the fact that the test labs today systematically support the launch of new products with different types of labs.
The practical implementation of the labs take place in closed user groups with a forum board and an ideas board. A dedicated roles and rights concept was developed for the labs, which benefits from the possibilities that Khoros brings out-of-the-box. The setup of the labs can be done by the community management purely through configuration, without needing the support from software development.
3. What were the results? Tell us how it impacted your customer experience or the outcomes you seek as a business. Please include metrics if possible.
In the first 5 years of “Telekom helps Labs”, early collaboration between users, product development and manufacturers has not only become an institution at Telekom, the results of the approximately 100 completed tests are impressive:
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