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

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

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

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Company: Iress

Company background: Iress (IRE.ASX) is a technology company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange that provides software to the global financial services industry. The software products are used by more than 9,000 businesses and 500,000 users globally. Iress employs 2,200 people based in Asia-Pacific, North America, Africa and Europe.

Contact: Sara Row

Title: Community Lead

Related URLs: community.iress.com / https://www.linkedin.com/company/iress/mycompany/

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?

 

Iress is a large global technology organisation with a vast software suite supporting the breadth of financial services from Trading to Wealth Management, and Lending to Superannuation. Our software suite is vast and comprehensive to help all of our clients deliver great service to their clients.

One of our company values is to help our clients and users perform better every day by making it easy to use our software. Our primary goals are to:

  • Increase scale of support (service more users)
  • Improve scalability of support (efficiency of support e.g. document duplication, access to help etc)
  • Improve the quality of support
  • Provide a proactive avenue for support
  • An avenue to update users and clients directly 

The Iress Community was built to help deliver on these goals. It allows us to scale our reach to our users providing quality information acting as the source of truth and reducing the number of people needed to deliver that message to the user. 

As well as our primary goals, we have some secondary goals:

  • Internal knowledge base for our own people to help serve clients better
  • Cross-selling
  • User engagement for non-support purposes i.e. product development

To help deliver this, new people were brought into the community team to strengthen and drive it forward both from within and outside of Iress bringing experiences of running communities as well as the knowledge of how Iress operates as a business and what our clients and users need. 

 

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?


Following a live pilot community,, we needed to look at both building the new community using the Khoros platform but also how we migrate both content and members from the old Jive platform we were previously using as the trial. As Jive was brought by Khoros and Khoros had the scale to deliver to match our own growth plans, it was a natural choice for us to use this new framework.  

The community and its mission were shared with our global executive group who helped promote this in their own areas. The mission for the Iress Community is aligned with the overall company mission so it’s easier to flow and deliver on that across the business. It is important that the community is a channel to the overall success of Iress. 

To build a successful community that could scale and grow as our business and users grow, we established a strategy and set of tactics:

  • Scale:
    • Integrate to SSO platform connected to all other software
    • Give all internal teams access
    • Give key unlicensed external users access
    • Give all licensed users access, even those with a non-Iress vendor
    • Users can keep their ID between roles and companies
  • Scalability
    • Write once, publish once approach to content for all clients as opposed to unique docs for each client
    • Centralised developer support instead of project-based
    • Encouragement of user interaction instead of Iress providing every answer
    • Direct user feedback on everything (content, forums, platform etc) instead of only internal feedback and anecdotal client feedback
  • Quality
    • Standardisation of content using templates for consistency and to be within brand guidelines. 
    • A single place of truth overseen and approved by relevant teams
  • Proactive Support
    • Use of service updates for known issues and outages to alert clients. Preventing them from having to call
    • Use of help forums to provide users with previously answered questions asked previously
  • Client updates
    • Use the community as a single point to release and store previous updates to clients. Many of our newsletters link back to the community for more content. 
  • Internal knowledge base
    • Having a comprehensive knowledge base accessible to all teams for all products has allowed for faster training and greater literacy of all Iress products across the company
  • Cross-selling
    • Allowing all licensed users to access help for products they are not licensed for
    • Direct contact details for Iress
  • User engagement for non-support purposes i.e. product
    • Establishing forums focused purely on user feedback and engagement with key product teams

Delivery

  • Simplified the structure
    • We simplified the structure using Khoros board templates
    • This helps unify Iress as a brand as well as making it easy to use
  • Engagement
    • Rather than a large community team, we have embedded community within Iress delivered as we deliver our own software to users, this makes the community a focal point for all and is helping to drive adoption. 
    • Our support teams manage access issues, moderate the community and help to drive discussion and answer questions in our forums
    • Our Product and Technology teams deliver all-new product content via the community from help guides to release notes, announcements to blogs. 
    • All Iress People can share best practice and submit this to our publishers for review. Much of the success of our software is in its practical use for clients therefore real-world examples from our teams outside of Product and Technology are key and popular. We have built self-service training to help get our people up and running within 1 hour. 
  • Implementation
    • We built the new platform with Khoros using both a staging environment and publishing to our production environment and continue with this process today
    • We migrated users from Jive to the new Khoros Iress Community as well as over 10,000 pieces of content going live in April 2019. 
    • We have built the community registration process into our software and have and continue to promote the community to all of our users. Membership has increased steadily since averaging 300 new users a month as the community becomes available to more of our software users through upgrades. 
  • Continual improvement
    • Iress has nearly 80 software products available and the community is now enabled for 21 of those reaching 14,000 users. 
    • We have nearly 22 currently in development which will open the community up to thousands more users over the coming months.
    • We track the success of the community as well as areas for improvement by using an inbuilt survey, direct to user calls, helpfulness ratings and kudos. 

 

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

 

The Iress Community has added real benefit to Iress, both expected and unexpected. As the Iress Community is the first large global initiative that pulls information together into one place for all of our users, it has had both direct benefits for our users and indirect benefits by increasing the knowledge of our people. 

Some successes from the community:

  • Labs
    • One of our primary software products introduced a Labs beta programme for users in 2019. 
    • Their first project was a complete UI redesign impacting all users
    • The community was used as the primary feedback mechanism showcasing the new designs and getting feedback from users. 
    • Over 200 individual pieces of feedback were left with much more indirect feedback in agreement and kudos. 
    • The redesign was a huge success and all clients are now using the new designs now delivered as standard in our software. 
    • This drastically reduced any potential re-work required post-launch as the designs and ideas were validated prior. 
  • Articles
    • We’ve encouraged more users to self-help than ever before resulting in over 1,000,000 articles being read since launch. 
    • In the last 12 months, we started tracking helpfulness statistics to track the success of these articles. Over 550,000 articles have been read in that time with over 1,000 receiving a helpful vote. We are encouraging more of our users to engage with us via this mechanism. The ability to obtain unhelpful feedback has helped us prioritise which content needs to be updated and what our users are looking for. 
  • Support and forums
    • With the guidelines in place and the tone that our moderators set, we have very little need to moderate posts from our users and our moderation stats have remained low since the start even as our membership grew. 
    • Our users have even started helping each other and sharing best practice which does showcase what Iress technology can offer. 
    • One of the standouts however for us is our service updates or ‘known issues’ where we now have the ability for users to see if an issue is already known, when a fix is due and how to continue their work until we deliver the fix. Although rare for us, we had an issue in November 2019 where one of our solutions was down and the community was used to communicate with our users until it was back up. We estimated that on that day, we deflected approximately 300 calls from support. 
    • Based on our support software Jira and calculating our average reads per post, 1 article in our support system services 1-2 users whereas the community enables us to serve 16 users per topic on average. 
    • For our larger key service updates (known issues), we estimate that there were 250 call deflections per update
  • Quality
    • Our survey NPS and qualitative feedback continues to improve as we drive new content and deliveries to the community
    • We can engage our users on a larger scale with the community and have introduced a community newsletter showcasing the best of what we offer encouraging return. 
    • Half of all traffic to the community is our people delivering a better service from all channels

Some feedback from our members includes:

  • Love the community. it's great to be back. Helps me so much in my work.
  • The Iress community is a great source of information for using Xplan.
  • Very informative and helpful for my daily task routine.

 

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Comments

A big shoutout to the Iress team and all they've been able to accomplish through their Community. The team are constantly looking towards the future and have a lot more in the works - watch this space!