Company background: As the leading provider of cloud-based software in K-12 education, we connect students, teachers, administrators, and parents with the shared goal of improving student outcomes.
Our mission is to power the education ecosystem with unified technology that helps educators and students realize their full potential in their own way.
From the office to the classroom to the home, we help schools and districts efficiently manage state reporting and related compliance, special education, finance, human resources, talent, enrollment, attendance, funding, learning, instruction, grading, assessments, and analytics–all in one unified platform.
Contact: Jbid Kissel
Title: Director, Community Support
Getting Started on PowerSchool Community
Kudos Category: Best-in-Class: Community
1. Describe the organization's objectives in launching a community. What is the use-case and purpose of your community? Do you use your community for support, enablement and learning, marketing awareness, customer success, driving sales, product innovation, etc.? Has the community charter evolved in any way since launch?
Our main objective for PowerSchool Community is to provide all our PowerSchool customers with a consistent and seamless community and support experience across our products. Our unique challenge is that we support over 60 different solutions due to growth through various acquisitions. We also have customers with varying levels of support needs such as school administrators, office staff, educators, families, and school job applicants.
When we started our journey, we had customers spread across many support sites, making the experience inconsistent. Most of our customers have multiple PowerSchool products, and we wanted to ensure that they had one place to go to find answers, engage with their peers, get help from support, give feedback on our products, and so much more.
Each of the new products we migrated to our community brought different support needs. Moving customers from their existing sites to a new one meant that we had to build a space that not only matched their current experience but exceeded their prior expectations by adding more value with exciting new features.
With our continued focus on innovation, we have been proud of our many accomplishments over the past year. These are some key highlights:
Customers select PowerSchool Community from their product menu.
They are prompted to complete their profile.
They land in their product-specific space with quick links to help them get started.
2. Tell us about how you are using your community and how you made it happen. Did you get executive/business/stakeholder buy-in? What was your process to gain this buy-in? How have you achieved cross functional support, added stake-holders and increased organizational adoption?
We were fortunate to have had leadership support to help us build and grow our community from the start. Due to many acquisitions, having many legacy support sites, and growing complexity due to the various users we support, it was clear that we needed one site that could handle the growing needs of both our current customers and our growing customer base.
We started our community with only a few products to start, focused on supporting teachers and families. We created knowledge bases, which we migrated from the old support sites and launched product-specific forums. We also built a lite support experience with a few support forms to start. Within the first year, we grew to more products and included support for our administrators, added a case portal experience and expanded our knowledge base and forums. Within a couple of years, we cemented our community as the portal that would be part of the support process for all products.
We created a migration process that we have refined over time. This includes capturing the business needs of each new product we migrate. Making sure that our case portal and chat meet their needs and making refinements as needed. We have a dedicated developer who works on enhancements and releases updates through a monthly cadence. We also have a dedicated knowledge manager who works with the product and support teams to review and migrate content and ensure the new content meets our style and accessibility guidelines. Several weeks before any go-live, we start communicating with customers to let them know of the upcoming changes and what they can expect. We hold several customer webinars and Q&A sessions, create getting started documentation to help welcome them to the PowerSchool family, and answer any questions or concerns they may have about the transition.
Our community has grown year over year and has become a pivotal part of our support experience. We also work closely with other teams such as marketing to help grow our super user program. Additionally, our community allows users to be active participants in PowerSchool's journey by connecting to our product team through user beta groups, an Ideas Portal for enhancement requests, and our product roadmap resources.
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.
As a direct result of our focus on enhancing the customer experience, we saw the following outcomes over the past year:
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