2021 Customer Awards: Dropbox - Best-in-Class: Community

2021 Customer Awards: Dropbox - Best-in-Class: Community

Company: Dropbox

Contact: Laureline Boin

Title: Global Head of Social Media & Community

Related URLs: www.dropboxforum.com

Kudos Category: Best-in-Class: Community

Executive summary:

Dropbox has had a Community for as long as the product has existed, with our user Community existing for about 12 years, when Dropbox founders themselves were replying to users questions.
Since then, a lot has happened! Our biggest turn was at the end of 2019, when we decided to really invest in our Community.
Indeed, most of the conversations on the Community were quite transactional, with mostly customers coming in with a support questions, getting their answers and leaving.
Considering the huge potential that our Community had, we decided to grow the Community team, and develop more use cases on our forum, in order to foster more meaningful conversations and drive a better knowledge of the Dropbox product.
We focused on:
  • giving a voice to our users with a massive focus on product feedback and ideation,
  • developing conversations that bring much more value to our uses, especially—tips and tricks, content on how other users are making the most of Dropbox, use cases and great examples of using Dropbox for different types of users, testimonials on leveraging 3rd party applications 
  • developing a sleek, user-friendly platform that allows users to find easily the content they were interested in, while conveying the Dropbox brand and helping them to find other content that resonates with them.
Where were we 1 year ago? — and Community major changes
Ideation & Feedback
In April 2020, in a first for Dropbox, we officially launched our ideation platform, a user-facing category where members can submit feature requests and ideas, and others can vote to support them.
As with community programs, most of the work on ideation & feedback happens behind the scenes. A key element of any ideation program is developing the solid internal processes to ensure that we were not only gathering top-voted feature requests and ideas from our community of users, but as importantly, that they are heard by those developing the product. 
We developed the internal processes to ensure our community’s ideas were shared with our product teams, evaluated, and (for the ones selected) integrated to the Dropbox roadmap, as well as following up with our community to keep them informed - AND deliver 56 of our community’s ideas to date!
We started to build a real sense of Community in 2020 and we have carried that onto 2021. We have worked on providing a space where members feel free to spend time learning and sharing their own experiences with us and with each other. Additionally, delivering engaging, compelling, and proactive content has been a major focus this year. 
We have explored many ideas, launched several campaigns and content series. Especially, some that have worked very well are:
  • How Dropboxers use Dropbox — Content series about how our own staff uses Dropbox products in their everyday lives. 
  • Project Rooftop  Customer stories describing how different types of customers use Dropbox and what they enjoy the most about it. 
  • 3rd party integrations — Discussions about how our customers leverage the catalogue of integrations that Dropbox offers to collaborate & work better with their coworkers.
We have been developing new efforts and programs to make sure we champion all types of customers within our Community. 
  • Themed Communities Content addressed to specific communities providing relevant information and resources for our different types of customers (business, basic, creatives, educators…etc.) 
  • Ambassador Program Building ambassador/customer advocate programs with the Super Users in our Community. 
Developing spaces where users can find higher value content and have more meaningful conversations has proven very successful, as it brings different perspectives to our customers on how they can leverage all the new features that Dropbox has launched in the past few years targeted at improving collaboration and working smarter.
Growing our Support Community
Support is the foundation of most product communities and that is true for the Dropbox community.
The majority of our members find the community because they have a question or issue with the product and we aim to ensure that that question is answered, not only for them, but for any other member who has the same question.  
Changing role in CX support
In 2020, we developed our CX support offering to ensure that users, and issue types were getting to the best place to get their answer. 
Our community offered something unique here, with the ability to share updates and answers at scale, answer some of our more niche questions and support members in supporting one another. 
With the changes to our support offering the community took a more central role in supporting customers on our free plans. 
We ensured our moderation team was prepared with processes on how to moderate, answer and route these questions, so when saw our new topics double overnight we were ready to handle it and ensure a positive experience for our new community members. 
Implementation of Khoros Care
Part of our preparation for this change was the introduction of Khoros Care. We previously had a customized page of incoming posts which was built to support moderators (known internally as the ‘Magic Page’!), but we needed a more comprehensive system to manage volume, and enable effective reporting. 
We implemented Khoros Care in less than three months, and saw a 20% reduction on time spent per interaction in the first month! 
Platform design 
In 2021, we launched a brand new Community redesign
Before: Users would have to scroll quite a bit to get to the first thread, plus there’s a lot of CTA’s on the page, which confused newer members.Before: Users would have to scroll quite a bit to get to the first thread, plus there’s a lot of CTA’s on the page, which confused newer members.
After: The threads are front and center, and the page has a clear CTA to Start the Discussion, or look at a thread.After: The threads are front and center, and the page has a clear CTA to Start the Discussion, or look at a thread.
We’ve worked for 8 months on redesigning our online community space from the ground up. Built with our users top of mind, this new space is designed to give our fans a place to swap ideas, share their tips, and find out more about new updates and releases. And we’re continuing to offer an excellent support experience to all our users.
Some of the major changes that we put in place involved:
  • removing any information that was superfluous, to avoid jammed pages and overwhelming information
  • thrive for simple, clear design focusing on user content at its core
  • clear call to actions
  • wayfinding elements, allowing users to navigate the community easily whether they entered from the homepage, or from a thread page 
  • simple explanations about the content users can find on each page 
  • new navigation, with an organization by intent, simplifying content in 3 pillars — support, ideation, and discussions
  • implementation of trackers on many components, allowing the team to access a wider set of data and ground decisions based on quantitative metrics going forward
About the Community
We knew that many of our users would click About the Community looking to answer some questions:
  • Users that could be lost, wondering where they are and why
  • Users that are curious to learn more about this community
  • Experts on the community who want to level up or learn more
As a team we spent a day workshopping how to answer these questions in a concise manner. We also reviewed the tools and features we had available to make this happen, and kept in mind the page performance so this page would be quick and informative. 
The original version, which did not answer the questions our users needed answered, and used over complicated components that caused the page to lag.The original version, which did not answer the questions our users needed answered, and used over complicated components that caused the page to lag.Our new and improved version, which is concise and informative, and uses slick and quick components.Our new and improved version, which is concise and informative, and uses slick and quick components.
And now?
We are organizing monthly workshops to keep improving the customer experience. Every month, we take a full day to tackle a specific issue that we’ve identified on the field, always related to our users’ experience or to customer journey.
We close Slack, stop reading our emails and set our phone aside to really focus on the best way to make our platform more user friendly and easier to navigate. We identify our issue, go through data, review custom industry benchmarks, narrow down problems, brainstorm solution, evaluate level of effort and impact, and prioritize accordingly. We finish every workshop with a list of actionable and tangible items that we then develop & implement in the following month.
Site performance & SEO optimization
Working closely with our SEO partner, we learned that Google will be updating their search algorithm this year to recommend results that have good site performance.
This prompted us to take a good hard look at the overall performance of the community, and how we can improve it. Over the past ~6 months we have made some changes, including:
  • ‘Lazy loading’ images so that they only load when they are needed
  • Redoing some of the custom components to ensure they are running as smooth as they can
  • Deferring some page elements, such as fonts and hero images
The results so far are below, aside from a spike in mid-April, we’re seeing a good downward trend for the Largest Contentful Paint ( which tells us when the main content of the page has finished rendering on the screen), and the overall performance is improving.



Due to the ongoing work to ensure quality content, alongside investing in SEO efforts and refinement, the Community has seen an impressive growth in terms of organic traffic. We have managed to increase our Google rankings and impressions in spite of the 2020 pandemic. Impressions grew by 28% during the year. We’ve also seen positive results in the number of times our Community was visited (up 10%) over the last six months. This shows how well Google engines rate the quality of the Dropbox Community at providing the right answers for users.