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Entry submitted by: Tatyana Gorbunova (Community Manager)
Community: SmartBear Community
Lithy category: Support Savings MVP
As the leader in software quality tools for the connected world, SmartBear supports more than four million software professionals and over 25,000 organizations in 194 countries that use its products to build and deliver the world’s greatest applications. With today’s applications deploying on mobile, Web, desktop, Internet of Things (IoT) or even embedded computing platforms, the connected nature of these applications through public and private APIs presents a unique set of challenges for developers, testers and operations teams. SmartBear's software quality tools assist with code review, functional and load testing, API readiness as well as performance monitoring of these modern applications.
The SmartBear Community provides 24/7 assistance for all product users. In addition, the Customer Care Team helps our customers resolve technical issues during normal business hours. Decreasing the load on our Support Team was one of the important tasks for 2015.
People should go to the Community first
In 2015, we were concentrating on increasing the number of questions asked in the Community. For this, we launched different community programs oriented towards increasing the community visibility and boosting the activity of current community members.
We allocated one community manager who worked with community members, launched different community programs oriented towards new and existing community members.
To decrease the number of support cases, we have implemented the pre-submission search on the Contact Support form. When a customer submits a case, we show community topics where a similar question has already been discussed. Answering one specific question in the Community often means answering the same question for dozens of people.
The results of this implementation were great – many people went to the Community instead of contacting the Support Team.
Involve different teams into discussions
As a rule, different teams don’t have time to read all community questions. However, we had a community manager who could refer an interesting question to a certain developer, QA engineer, technical writer, etc. They would find an answer faster when given a specific question and not having to review all community questions. Involving employees in the community brings great quality to practically all community discussions.
In addition, community members see that they can talk to developers of the product they use. They like it and often return to them to ask other interesting questions or provide some valuable feedback.
Case Deflection Increase
Working on all of our initiatives helped us increase the number of deflected support cases (cases that would normally go to the Support Team, but were resolved in the Community). Last year, we doubled those metrics – at the end of 2015, we had 12% of deflected cases in comparison with 6.8% of deflected cases at the beginning of the same year.
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