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Company: NetApp Inc.
Contact: Teresa Peluso (Head of NetApp Community, Customer Success & Loyalty)
Community: NetApp Community
Lithy category: Excellence in Customer Satisfaction
NetApp, a leader in data management and storage solutions, is committed to helping our customers achieve what matters most to them. Leading organizations worldwide count on NetApp for software, systems and services to manage and store their data. Customers value our teamwork, expertise and passion for helping them succeed now and into the future.
NetApp is a pioneer in online community building and launched an online community years ago to support its customers from around the world. The goal of the NetApp Community is to be a source of truth and belonging for our customers, partners and employees – a safe place to connect and share through a digital experience that cultivates relationships, conversations, and expertise. But most of all, NetApp realizes trust is earned and the community demonstrates NetApp’s commitment to ‘being there’ for its customers and partners.
Our customer satisfaction initiatives
NetApp has always valued and participated in online forums -- we launched our own online community years ago (2008) to support our customers from around the world. The goal of the NetApp Community was (and still is) to be a source of truth and belonging for our customers, partners and employees – a safe place to connect and share through a digital experience that cultivates relationships, conversations, and expertise. But most of all, NetApp realizes trust is earned and the community demonstrates NetApp’s commitment to ‘being there’ for its customers and partners.
In September 2014, we decided to take a bold step in order to stay true to that goal. We thought carefully about long-term community goals, analyzed the data, and realized we needed a new platform to support our marketing excellence strategy and customer-centric approach. NetApp migrated to a Lithium-powered community and transformed their entire digital customer experience for the better.
Transforming the NetApp community experience
We knew that to enable customer success and drive preference and loyalty for NetApp, we had to take stock. Was the community thriving? Are members happy with the experience? The solution became clear – we needed a powerful platform and a solid partner. By moving to a Lithium-powered community, we were on our way to greater ROI and increased customer engagement and satisfaction.
NetApp’s previous community platform and infrastructure did not meet their true goal of being customer focused. Prior to the relaunch, the NetApp community was plagued with technical issues. We were unable to focus on connecting with customers because we were inundated with cumbersome upgrades and spam. In fact, spam was so pervasive on the platform that NetApp employed a separate vendor to manage the problem. Plus, we did not have the controls required to govern for a robust and healthy community, so we knew massive overhaul was in order.
After a rigorous RFP process (no stone left unturned) , NetApp selected Lithium’s SaaS platform because it gave us the flexibility to make extensive customizations. Another benefit to choosing Lithium are the seamless bi-monthly technical upgrades, which is a huge improvement compared to before the move to Lithium. Lithium’s tools make it easy and simple to measure community performance and engagement. This real-time information has led to smarter decision-making based on hard data. The data has also helped us prove the value of our community investment.
NetApp now has a new look, new platform and a simplified structure. There have been several upgrades to the platform including site search, improved social sharing and browser support and have created a better mobile experience.
We now have a streamlined number of discussion boards to focus on three areas: Products and Solutions, Developer Network, and NetApp University & Training. We also consolidated and simplified the community structure for easier navigation. Using Lithium gives NetApp a competitive advantage by allowing customers to provide peer-to-peer support, share best practices, and connect with other NetApp influencers. We used this ‘fresh start’ to button up our governance, redefine user guidelines and moderation models (we now have ‘topic owners’ who are notified when new discussions are posted).
The NetApp community framework is based on member satisfaction balanced with business objectives. For measuring success, we established new custom index metric, which calculates different behaviors such as posts, kudos, replies, etc., into a weighted indices for engagement and satisfaction of the community. NetApp is also conducts an annual CSAT Survey which informs and validates the community roadmap from both a technical and program perspective. While there are always improvements to make, the member feedback has been positive.
“Our Lithium-powered community has continued to grow and to exceed all baseline metrics, including its newest key engagement metric, the number of kudos, which is a strong indicator of the customer’s overall satisfaction with content.” - Terri Peluso, Head of NetApp Communities, Customer Success & Loyalty
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