Lithys 2016: AT&T - Support Savings MVP

Lithys 2016: AT&T - Support Savings MVP

url.pngCompany:  AT&T

Entry submitted by: Bridgette Butler  (Sr. Community Manager)

Community: AT&T Community Forums

Lithy category:  Support Savings MVP


AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) helps millions around the globe connect with leading entertainment, mobile, high-speed Internet and voice services. We’re the world’s largest provider of pay TV. We have TV customers in the U.S. and 11 Latin American countries. We offer the best global coverage of any U.S. wireless provider*. And we help businesses worldwide serve their customers better with our mobility and highly secure cloud solutions.

*Global coverage claim based on offering discounted voice and data roaming; LTE roaming; voice roaming; and world-capable smartphone and tablets in more countries than any other U.S. based carrier.


How we are implementing Community to meet our customer care business goals


AT&T customers have been finding solutions and connecting with AT&T on our Lithium community for more than 13 years. Given how well established our community is, we knew it wouldn’t be easy to dramatically increase the number of customers we serve in 2015, but that was nonetheless our goal.


To make the most of our limited budget, we used an intensely data-driven approach to community management and platform enhancements, identifying key opportunities for growth and improved customer success, and prioritizing accordingly. Guided by this approach, we:


  • Moved to a Lithium badging solution and added new badges to complement our member engagement program. The badging migration yielded significant cost savings, enabled faster time to market for badging enhancements, and contributed to page-load time reduction, which in turn contributed to a better customer experience
  • Appended hyperlinked Accepted Solutions to 228 support articles on, which not only assisted users, but also drove traffic to our community
  • Employed SEO techniques, including revisiting our archived content, to make it easier for customers and search engines to find answers. Our SEO efforts garnered at least 100k additional unique visitors per month.
  • Improved posting flows to allow authentication after entering the text for a post. This contributed to nearly doubling the new threads posted in the community YoY.
  • Removed traditional registration email verification to create a more effortless registration experience for our customers
  • Launched a “classic view” to complement our Tile and List views, enabling our super-users to engage on the community using the interface of their choice




The result? The AT&T Community Forums shed nearly six million customer contacts from our call centers in 2015 – a more than 30% increase YoY – resulting in a cost savings of nearly $45 million.




Changes in our customer care organization that were implemented because of cost reductions based on Lithium Community 


Believing collaboration and cooperation are the keys to cross-organizational success, the AT&T Community Forums team encouraged, educated and embraced skilled internal Care groups to supplement community knowledge and, when needed, to address specific customer concerns.


DIRECTV: Owing to the success we have seen with the Lithium-powered AT&T community, the decision was made to migrate the existing DIRECTV community from another platform into the AT&T forums in December 2015, and we launched and introduced a new DIRECTV customer care team to address the needs of our DIRECTV customers.





U-verse: After careful analysis of highly viewed threads regarding recurring issues, the AT&TU-verseCare team seeded 50 “how-to” posts replete with images.




The U-verse team also authored more than 3k posts in 2015 – a 155% increase over 2014.


Mobility: The ATTMobilityCare team launched in January 2015 and grew over the year, creating more than 8k posts last year.


Digital Life: The ATTDigitalLifeCS team created more than 700 posts in 2015 – a 350% increase over 2014.


AT&T wireless product subject matter experts answered community questions in two Ask an Expert events. More than 1.3k unique visitors viewed each of the discussions.


Additionally, we partnered with AT&T product subject matter experts to discuss topics of interest selected by our 50 super user ACES in two private-area Community Exchanges. The 269 posts in the eight topical threads were viewed more than 1k times, thus equipping our super users to better answer peer-to-peer questions.



Our metrics


Our efforts on the Community Forums achieved phenomenal results in 2015, with more than 30% incremental calls shed YoY, and with more than four million more unique visitors than in 2014. The lift in call shed and traffic/usage was accompanied by improvements in nearly every major metric of the business, including:


  • 95% YoY increase in new topics
  • 69% YoY increase in Accepted Solutions
  • 13% YoY decrease in average monthly average response time (AMART)
  • 91% YoY increase in ACE (super-user) replies
  • 40% YoY increase in Cost Avoidance


Calculated using an established and verifiable formula, the AT&T Community Forums shed nearly 6M customer contacts from our call centers in 2015, resulting in a cost savings of nearly $45M.


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Lithium Alumni (Retired)
Status changed to: 2016 Lithy Finalist