Company: TalkTalk Group
Entry submitted by: Stephen Fell (Fellsteruk) Senior Online Engagement & Content Manager
Community: TalkTalk Community (http://community.talktalk.co.uk)
Lithy category: The Organization Game Changer
With more than 4 million customers TalkTalk Group is one of the largest Internet Service Providers in the UK, providing the best value home phone, broadband, TV and mobile packages to residential and business customers under the TalkTalk and TalkTalk Business brands. We pride ourselves on being innovative, and bringing disruptive new products such as TalkTalk TV, Britain’s fastest growing TV service, to market.
TalkTalk grew rapidly through a combination of acquisition and organic growth, and has spent the last year integrating its businesses to build a leaner, more efficient company offering competitive pricing backed up by good service.
Improving customer service has been key to realizing the company’s ambitions for growth.
This is being achieved by:
We promised customers that during the coming year we will deliver the best online self-service experience possible and created digital assets that provided a better experience than calling.
The Lithium-powered TalkTalk Community is at the centre of this work. It replaced the original forums, which launched in 2008,
and were adequate for the time. As traffic on the old forums increased, cracks began to show in the infrastructure, and customers complained they were struggling to use the platform to self-help.
This made it hard to scale the forums as the company’s rapid expansion continued. Despite receiving no marketing or promotion from the wider business, the TalkTalk Community continued to quietly grow and evolve over time.
During 2013, the TalkTalk Community was re-launched, powered by Lithium, and with a new strategy. The idea was to slowly transition from being a traditional customer service channel, where Online Community Executives offered advice and support to customers, to a peer-to-peer network where customers could support each other.
We made our most helpful and prolific posters ‘Super Users’, who offered solutions to common problems. The mood of the boards improved dramatically, as members realized they could find answers to their questions about TalkTalk’s products and services quickly and with help from other customers.
TalkTalk set up an in-house Digital Care Team, made up of 12 support experts from across the business, along with a Community Manager to drive more customers to the Community.
Our new team and ownership of the community was placed under our Director of Digital, where it would be a part of our wider digital vision and supported by teams across creative, legal, PR, marketing and brand to name a few allowing us to give almost real-time feedback to the business of trending issues or to our customers with products suggestions and development.
In addition to helping us to leverage the power of our crowd sourced support platform to help shape our other online venues and
future customer experience.
The team’s remit was to seek out customers from across all social media, forums, blogs and news sites, and drive them to the Community. Once signed up, new members would facilitate peer-to-peer discussions and help other members to find answers. The benefit to our customers has been clear:
TalkTalk Group has embraced the Community and placed it at the centre of our online support, communication and product development strategies, which has assisted with the creation of a marketing strategy to drive people towards the community.
Customers are encouraged to join the Community when they first join TalkTalk, in the Welcome Packs sent out with routers and other equipment, and in marketing emails sent to customers.
Email marketing activity alone has so far delivered an 18% increase in traffic to the Community.
In addition to measuring call deflection from community activity and to further our vision for the community, our strategic telephony teams have made efforts to reduce calls directly from the call center. Recently, we've added community messaging to our call center voice system- if a customer has a question that our Super Users have already answered on the Community, our IVR system lets them know where they can find the content online. Our initial tests have resulted in a 5% call drop off after this message is played, which shows great promise for directly correlating call reduction due from community content.
Customer Support Site Integration
Using Lithium’s REST api’s we integrated the best content and solutions from our members into our customer support site and help content. We did this by promoting the top accepted solutions for each product on our landing page and pushing relevant content to customers as they navigate through our site in addition to this we are surfacing targeted content from the community within our help articles, as customers are consuming our business answer they are encourage to view content from the community along with a federated search of community content in our global site search.
These changes alone have accounted for a 43% uplift in community traffic.
Collaborative Beta Testing Groups
TalkTalk Labs is our beta testing team, who run trials on all the latest products and services before they go to market. The Community has been a valuable recruitment tool for new trials, and provides a secure, scalable discussion platform with private boards where they can discuss and share their opinions of new products.
Our Trials Managers who are easily identifiable within the Community have built the community into all their trial activities, leveraging our active base of advocates to test new services. During 2014/15 we plan to support the TalkTalk Labs team with more than 100 consumer trials being ran from the community. Our users’ voices will be heard within the business, and will help shape and define our innovations of the future.
The results so far
Almost everyone across the business played a part in launching and continuing to develop the Community and although we are yet to celebrate the first birthday, we are truly proud of what we have achieved in just six months.
“Loyal customers and staff are a company’s strongest assets, and it has been fantastic to see the TalkTalk Community grow into a busy, useful forum that thousands of people log onto every day. We're looking forward to seeing it continue to develop in the coming months and years as we push ahead with our work to deliver a brilliant online self-service experience for our customers.”
Dido Harding, Chief Executive Officer
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