Company background: TalkTalk is the UK’s leading value for money connectivity provider. We believe that simple, affordable, reliable and fair connectivity should be available to everyone. Since entering the market in the early 2000s, we have a proud history as an innovative challenger brand. Today, we provide landline, broadband, TV and mobile services to over four million customers. We operate Britain’s biggest unbundled broadband network, covering 96% of the population, supplying services to consumers through the TalkTalk brand, to businesses through TalkTalk Business, and by wholesaling to resellers.
Contact: Stephen Fell
Title: Digital Service Manager
Related URLs: http://community.talktalk.co.uk/
Lithy category: Digital All-Star
Time for a change
We realised the true value and potential of our community as part of our wider digital customer experience almost two years ago when we invested in a responsive redesign. Since then its be clearer than ever that customers want to interact as little as possible and when they do, want it to be super simple.
Our 2016 community redesign gave us an amazing community that performed well however we still had several other online touch points where a customer could self-help, some of which didn’t even provide a mobile optimised experience and it became increasingly obvious that our customers didn’t always know where to go to get help, and often completely lost amongst the vast amounts of content and sites we offered.
Going where no one has been before.
The objective was clear! Reduce the number of online touch points a customer could encounter whilst delivering a single, easy to use and mobile friendly site. We decided to include all three of our customer support sites in this project, our community, our help site and our contact us site. One thing, however, was crystal clear, we wanted to build on the success of our community and leverage future automation technology coming into the business later in the year.
Following a platform review, we decided to decommission both of our existing Drupal websites and move to the Lithium platform, folding the very best of these sites into one. Simple right…?
We spent a lot of time looking for others who’d completed a similar thing with the Lithium platform however we soon discovered that no one appeared to be using their community as a single support destination for their entire customer base. We questioned if this was the right thing to do, I mean, wouldn’t everyone be doing it? Just as quickly we realised “Yes, it was” bringing together the very best of our crowd-sourced content, peer 2 peer support, our own curated support content and an integration with Live person to provide online chat with an agent would not only put everything in one place for our customers but allow us to leverage the power of the platform and explore much more personalised support.
Our Journey to a better experience
It all started with the consolidation of our curated support articles, it’s difficult to imagine now, but we once had almost four thousand articles in our Drupal sites. Working with product owners from across the business and of course, always being driven by data we started to remove out of date, unused content. Every opportunity was exploited to consolidate into as few articles as possible without losing any valuable information or deflection benefit.
We wanted to ensure that all our curated content was consistent in tone of voice and look n feel so we developed a framework by which all content would be created. Our team of copywriters began the long task of rewriting every single article, no piece of copy was left behind.
Several months were spent prototyping mock-ups of different designs for our newly envisaged site which was taken to focus groups, these groups included our own customers but also customers of other service providers. The objective here was quite simply, find the best way to display the many different types of content together, in a way that had the least cognitive load on the customer to self-serve. This group really helped us keep focus and ultimately inform and decided the final UI.
Integration with our support agents
Having all our support content within the Lithium platform instantly accelerated our ability to promote the content within conversations across Community, Twitter, Facebook etc. leveraging the integration between Lithium SMM, Forums and TKB allows our digital support agents to add links to content with a single click.
Whilst this was great for our digital agents, we needed to find a smart way for our telephony agents to be able to see our new content but more importantly share it with customers. Our support agents use a proprietary knowledge system which is used every time a customer contacts us, providing support to the agent with everything from policy’s, links & system guides. Using the Lithium API’s we’ve been able to pull content from the community into the knowledge system. Using a federated search, agents can see the content within their own system, saving them time and having to open the community site and complete separate searches.
Taking this one step further we’ve built email capability or what we’re calling “Super Mails” these allow our agents to share content with customers. Let’s say they are helping a customer to pay their bill, when finished, they can educate the customer about how to self-serve next time and offer to email them instructions on how to do this. Using the integration agents can see the relevant content and send a custom email with the community content and promotions of our wider self-serve capabilities.
It was of monumental importance to us that we surface data from the Lithium platform to the wider business in a simple way that wouldn’t overload stakeholders and could be displayed on our office's wallboards as well as on someone’s personal device.
Once again, we dug deep into the lithium data and APIs to build a custom and responsive Monitoring Station, complete with animated characters the graphs which update every couple of minutes. Our Community Monitoring Station smashes through the barriers of getting to know a new system or having to log into community, LSI or google analytics by displaying key information in a simple, elegant and fun way. Allowing anyone to keep an eye on how our member growth is trending, which areas of the community are most active or how our solution and post count is coming along.
A better, simpler digital experience
Our new Help & Support site has allowed us to realise our initial objective of making it easier for customers to discover content and find the answers they need without needing to visit several sites. Strategically, the delivery of this project has made our plans to drive greater digital adoption much simpler and maximising the newer customer experience which has greater capability to deflect customers from contacting us. Feedback thus far from customers has been promising and it’s also amazing to see the numbers correlate our initial hypothesis:
• 154% increase In traffic
• 95% increase in new members
• 40% increase in members time online
• 24% increase in content creation
• An annualised benefit of 6.3 Million pounds
• Reduced tech footprint/complexity
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