2023 Customer Awards: Ancestry - Partners for Life

2023 Customer Awards: Ancestry - Partners for Life


Company: Ancestry

Company background: Ancestry®, the global leader in family history, empowers journeys of personal discovery to enrich lives. With our unparalleled collection of more than 40 billion records, over 3 million subscribers and over 23 million people in our growing DNA network, customers can discover their family story and gain a new level of understanding about their lives. Over the past 40 years, we’ve built trusted relationships with millions of people who have chosen us as the platform for discovering, preserving and sharing the most important information about themselves and their families.

Ancestry Values:

Be customer obsessed.

+ Deeply understand our customers through data and insights

+ Focus on delivering sustained value to our customers

Pioneer relentlessly.

+ Focus on what matters most and break through boundaries

+ Learn fast, make tough choices, and scale what works

Empower each other.

+ Be inclusive and transparent, and commit to each other’s success

+ Be accountable and trust each other to be accountable

Our story begins with you.

A deeper understanding of your heritage and family history sheds light on who you are and can strengthen your identity and sense of belonging. That’s why Ancestry® combines billions of rich historical records, millions of family trees and samples from millions of people in the AncestryDNA® network to help you discover your unique place in history and gain meaningful insights that can impact your future.

Contacts: Howard Sharpley, VP, Member Services & Roger Stokes, Sr. Social Media Manager, Member Services

Related URLs: https://www.facebook.com/AncestryUS/ , https://www.facebook.com/AncestryUS/ , https://twitter.com/Ancestry

Kudos Category: Partners for Life

1. Describe your partnership with Khoros. Tell us about which Khoros team(s) you partner with (e.g. Strategic Services, Professional Services, Customer Success, etc) and the outcomes of those partnerships.

Ancestry’s partnership with Khoros has streamlined our processes both on the Care and Marketing platforms. Our implementation strategy advisor, John Knight, is one example of how we have engaged with Khoros. Both through set-up and ongoing strategic reviews, John helped Ancestry understand the value of the service and how to make it work seamlessly between our Marketing and Care teams. This alliance helped position Ancestry with the right tools for routing contacts correctly, creating meaningful dashboards for sentiment tracking, and reviewing KPIs through the lens of business hours vs non-business hours. In our last meeting with John, he stated that Ancestry is one of the best companies he had seen using care products and making meaningful changes. This partnership led Ancestry to be able to focus more on our contacts that need addressing and less time on dismissing items that should not be addressed. 

One goal that we achieved is the ability to focus more on the brand engagement of Ancestry’s amazing customer stories and making meaningful contacts. Our brand engagement went from 5% of total closed /responded posts to 15% + this past year of total closed /responded posts.  

We also work closely with Colt Sample as our Account Executive and Mikala Martin as our Success Manager to maximize the value of the partnership, connect to our CRM tool and determine the ROI for the business. Our Vice President, Howard Sharpley also serves on the Khoros Advisory Board and attended the first inaugural meeting. This experience has been incredibly powerful as the Khoros Sr. management team proactively solicits our feedback on the current strengths and opportunities of the platform, our vision and priorities for the next 12-24 months and to understand the larger digital transformation taking place with our business. The networking opportunities to learn from other leaders and collaborate have been very powerful. Attending past Khoros conferences in Austin also accelerated our adoption and acceleration of the platform as we were able to quickly learn best practices from both Khoros-led and partner-led sessions and improve our overall knowledge. 

2. How has Khoros’ partnership helped shape your organization’s strategy and aligned your people and processes?

Ancestry’s overall social media strategy has evolved over the past three years. Prior to Khoros, many hours were spent on dismissing posts which diminished the opportunity to build more rapport with the Ancestry Community.  We switched to using the Khoros tool to move from simply answering direct questions only to a more proactive, brand-love approach to really stimulate interaction and excitement around the brand.   Khoros allows us to align with our marketing team to specifically be in lockstep with all campaigns across our various social channels. The ability to involve our marketing teams through the creation of meaningful analytics for campaigns or social issues has driven product improvements, policy revisions to better assist customers, and overall positive sentiment of the Ancestry Brand. Additionally, these marketing efforts allow for more social interactions with our care agents to promote the Ancestry Brand and resolve support-related questions in a timely positive manner.  We are now able to provide the business with real-time feedback and insights into Social Media campaigns and trending topics.  

Ancestry specifically has two core social care teams. These teams are located in the US and Ireland. Khoros allows Ancestry to route member conversations efficiently and effectively by language and priority. These workflows keep both teams in sync with our global social community and make it easier to log notes, conversations, and trends across all channels. Ancestry is more agile in moderating a safe and family-friendly community driven by product innovation through feedback received through Khoros and disseminated through various Voice of the Customer Initiatives. 

Khoros has helped align our moderation policies to allow for work to be done in Khoros anywhere Ancestry has an online presence. This specifically helped create a social media escalation process for issues both large and small. The manage view in Khoros Care alongside Khoros analytics keeps not only Member Services informed of any issue or trend with Ancestry’s product or site services but also allows processes, driven by real-time data, to share with our Network Operations Center teams and Country Managers anything affecting Ancestry around the world.

3. What successes have you experienced because of your partnership with Khoros? How are you better able to deliver your strategic priorities and deliver value back to your business? Please include quantifiable metrics where possible.

In order to measure the effectiveness of Ancestry's social media marketing and customer care strategy, data-driven improvements are essential. The Khoros platform has been instrumental in providing valuable insights by measuring the reach and impact of impressions, engagement metrics, and other relevant factors. This has enabled Ancestry to gauge the resonance of our content with our audience and evaluate the level of social interaction it generates. Furthermore, brand mentions and sentiment across various social media platforms can be analyzed to assess the overall perception of the brand.


Monthly Care reviews to measure Key Performance Indicators versus goals: 



Incoming Conversations Dashboard by Queue: Jan-May 2023:




Khoros Care, through very specific routing and flushing rules, paved the way for Ancestry to increase agent productivity from 5 responses per hour to 6 responses per hour. This not only allowed more time to be spent with customers, promoting brand engagement and improving response rates each month but also facilitated first contact resolution across Ancestry's social media channels. Consequently, positive sentiment conversion saw a significant boost. Additionally, Khoros has helped Ancestry achieve successful response times within the desired timeframe of ~60 minutes for high-priority queues during business hours, with actual response times trending down to ~45 minutes in recent months.

High Priority Response Rates: 






Sentiment Conversion: Jan-May 2023:





Khoros Analytics has proven invaluable for Ancestry in understanding social media trends, particularly when launching new products, campaigns, or updates. By closely aligning the data extracted with marketing efforts focused on reach and engagement, Khoros Care offers a clearer vision of emerging trends. Ancestry's executive team benefits from access to overall post/conversation volume, sentiment tracking, and feedback analysis, encompassing both positive and negative responses. This information provides crucial insights into Ancestry's DNA and subscription products, as well as campaign events. Leveraging historical data and the flexibility to update Khoros tags and routing rules further strengthens our analytical capabilities. Ultimately, Khoros' comprehensive feedback assists Ancestry in making tangible updates to our products, aligning with our commitment to delivering best-in-class offerings while remaining customer-obsessed.


Global Manage View Dashboard for monitoring trends and issues:


With Khoros' innovative solutions, Ancestry's focus has shifted from merely addressing support questions to actively engaging and celebrating with the community. This allows for a more holistic approach to support-related issues, fostering a sense of connection and collaboration with our customer base.

Finding your Roots Campaign:



Parent Prequels Campaign:





Canadian 1931 Census Campaign:




Additional examples of Brand Engagement posts and successful marketing:











 Special Thanks: Mikala Martin, Jaina Shah

Case Study Opt-In: Yes