Company: Telenet Group N.V.
Company background: Telenet is a provider of telecommunications and entertainment services in Belgium (Flanders and Brussels). It offers analog and digital cable television, fixed and mobile telephone services, primarily to residential customers. In addition, Telenet also offers solutions like connectivity, hosting and security to its business customers across Belgium and Luxembourg. As a company, Telenet wants to enable and inspire its customers to get the most out of their digital lives and businesses and this through innovative products and qualitative customer services.
Contact: Suzy Vranken
Title: Community Officer / Manager
Related URLs: https://www.netweters.be/
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?
Telenet Community launched in Q3 of 2014 to give customers the opportunity to help each other on a peer-to-peer support community. After 2-3 years we noticed at Telenet that the digital world was developing fast and more and more customers were asking non-Telenet related questions in our customer service channels. Out-of-boundary became a well-known concept, since as a telecom-provider you can’t help every customer with all its devices and know the way of working of every hardware type. So, our community got rebranded in Q4 of 2016. With the help of our marketing department, we were able to give the community platform a new purpose. In January 2017 we went live with a new name (De Netweters/Let Netnologues) and with fresh look and feel. Since then all out-of-boundary questions that Telenet receives through its customer channels, are redirected to the community. We offer customers a place where they can ask their out-of-boundary questions and discuss it with other members. Our goal? Assisting them to find a solution.
This year our community celebrates its 7th anniversary. And since our rebranding we’ve constantly been investing in community features and most of all the experience of our members. We improved our mobile responsiveness and our gamification. Besides this we expand and improve our superuser program on a yearly basis and we’ve been doing this already for 5 years.
Besides the out-of-boundary purpose, we also believe in the strength of cooperation. Building an open relationship with customers and involving them in early product stages/proof of concepts. Customer feedback is key, and our community has proven to be the ideal platform to interact with our customers in an open dialogue, where we can learn and adapt to their needs. One of the objectives of Telenet is to focus more on customer centricity and improve processes, products and our services based on what the customer needs. Everyone expects from a utility company by default that its products are working and that they receive the fastest internet and the best coverage. Going the extra mile is where we as a company can stand out and differentiate ourselves on the market.
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?
In the past we used private categories and boards to organize our beta tests or friendly user tests. But this resulted in a lot of manual work with onboarding of the testers to the correct area on the community. It also limited the project teams internally since they had almost no ownership themselves during the test phase. The past year we focused on improving the experience for all parties involved (customers, stakeholders within Telenet and ourselves). The new Group Hub functionality that launched in 2020 gave us the solution we needed. We never used Groups before, so it had to be developed and adjusted to our community from scratch.
This was quite a challenge since we had no dedicated developer on our community team. For several months we made no progress and our developer backlog was growing significant. After a few internal shifts we finally received a developer mid-September 2020 to work with us and this dedicated for a period of 6 months. First, the developer had to get to know the Khoros-platform and our community. Once he was fully up to speed, we had to tackle a few urgent fixes and improvements that were already due months before. At last, we could start working on Group Hubs by the end of November. Thanks to the dedicated work of our developer, we were able to go-live with this feature mid-January 2021.
Every year we renew our superuser program in the 2nd quarter. On the one hand we check with the current superusers if they are still excited to stay a superuser for another year and on the other hand we look at the community and analyze if there are potential new superusers among the members. This analysis is based on several values we consider important: level of activity, type of contributions, amount of time spend on the community and the tone of voice the member has towards others. A superuser has an important role on our platform, so it’s important that we have complete confidence in them. Once a selection is made, we send an invitation where we explain the role of a superuser, the expectations we have and the superuser can have from us, the privileges they get on the community and that it’s a type of contract where both parties can decide to end it.
If there are new superusers that agree to this understanding, we make it official by giving them their necessary role. Deliver a small user guide, so they know how to use their extra permissions (approve images, move topics, mark solutions) and welcome them to the private superuser Lounge on our community. Here our active superusers take over to guide them some more if needed. And to make the process complete an announcement is made on the community to inform all members about the new addition to the superuser team.
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 February we created our first Group Hub on production and this in cooperation with a Telenet team that works on one of our entertainment apps. They wanted a place where they could interact directly with a select group of customers before implementing changes and check the satisfaction ratio after improving the app. Mid-May we launched our second Group Hub, this time for a proof of concept within the company. Telenet started offering a new type of hardware (parcel delivery solution) and we want to learn how customers are experiencing their new bought hardware and what we can do to improve the customer experience in general (buy process, user experience and after-sales service).
Because of the Group Hubs, our internal stakeholders are now able to manage the participants/test group themselves. They can send out invites and are in control of their own content, since we can easily give them more permissions in this Group Hub area. After only two active Group Hubs it’s already proven to be a win-win for everyone!
Each year we notice that our superusers are responsible for a considerable amount of the contributions and solutions on our community. And besides the value they bring, they also play an important role in the engagement of other members. In some threads they are the fuel that keep the conversation going when necessary, ask additional questions to make sure the topic starter gets the needed solution and contribute to a positive atmosphere among the members.
Furthermore, they are (besides the moderators) an extra touch point for the community manager to measure how the community is doing. They know what’s going on, which threads are escalating and which members we should keep an eye on. And finally, they are an important source of inspiration as well. When we discuss platform improvements or pain points, the superusers are a group of members we want to involve. They know the platform like no other and some of them are also active on other community platforms. Which shows that they have a lot of experience and often have a good idea of what the user experience should be.
Here are the results of the contributions of our superusers in the period June 2020 – May 2021.
If we then look at some historical numbers (2014 - 2021), it is clear that our community continuously evolved over the years. It has proven to be a positive and valuable peer-to-peer support platform for Telenet, steadily increasing on a organic basis every year.
Traffic - Desktop/mobile pageviews & unique visitors
Activity - Topics, replies & solutions
Acquisition - Member growth
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