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Category: Best Community Business Integration
Community: Future Shop
Submitted by: Future Shop Community Manager, LauraB
The Future Shop community has helped build a self-service knowledge base that customers tap into to find answers to product information questions, helping them make more informed purchase decisions and get post-purchase support.
Facilitating this experience is the Avatar (Aaron in the English Community and Fred in the French) which has introduced millions of Canadians to the Community Forum. Present on the homepage of futureshop.ca and in our Expert Advice section, the Avatar is synced up with all of the content on the website (Buying Guides, Tech Spotlight articles, FAQs) as well as the content created by the Community (forums and blogs).
If the customer isn't able to find the answer to their question in the resources served up to them, they can choose to submit their query to the forum where our community of experts can review and provide specific advice. Once a member with the role of "ExpertUser" responds (this is gained after meeting a certain set of criteria), the customer submitting a question receives an email letting them know their question has been replied to.
Relevant discussions and blog posts are also served up on each category page of the website, exposing shoppers to helpful content provided by the Community. Every week, a timely thread and blog get featured out in the Future Shop newsletter, which has over 1 million subscribers across Canada.
In addition to the Community being physically integrated into the transactional website, it has also been integrated into the business rhythms of many departments. Marketing not only leverages the community to amplify promotions, reach out for feedback and post communication regarding contests, in-store visits, and other events. For example, the project manager of a new marketing program tapped the community to suggest program features and names.
Since launching the Tech Blog in May 2009, it has become integrated in the business rhythm of our marketing team to leverage as an avenue to launch new products. Working with the vendor community, they are able to secure product demos and insider information for our team of independent bloggers to write about.
Tech Blog: http://www.futureshopforums.ca/t5/Tech-Blog/bg-p/TechBlog
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