Company: Vodafone Germany
Entry submitted by: Sebastian Schärtl (Project Coordinator Digital Services )
Community: Vodafone Forum
Lithy category: Marketing Champion
Vodafone Germany is a telecommunication company based in Germany, with more than 14,000 employees and it's headquarters in Duesseldorf. It is part of the Vodafone Group, one of the largest telecommunication companies in the world. Currently, more than 45 million people are making use of Vodafone services in Germany.
Since 2015, Vodafone Germany and Vodafone Kabel Deutschland have become one company. Vodafone Germany provides mobile service, fixed network, internet and TV from a single source. Thereby, Vodafone Germany offers the customer a unique converged service experience. Converged service has an impact on the service strategy as well.
A merger brand strategy
Vodafone Germany and Kabel Deutschland decided to implement a common brand strategy. Following this approach we decided to merge our communities as well. Each community was based on different providers.
However, both communities had their own identities, topics, rules and working principles. For this reason – and to make them part of the story - service agents were deeply involved in the project to represent the agent’s perspective of the community.
Based on their platform expertise and operational experience, they provided the basis for a common community management and harmonized principles wherever necessary. Workshops revealed the key differences in moderation approaches between the Vodafone Germany and Kabel Deutschland communities.
In addition, agents visited each other to understand their daily business. This encouraged agents to work together more closely and intensively. Community coffee cups and a team poster were created to promote the team spirit. Above all, agents appreciated the team building measures:
Vodafone Community used the header to update the users. A changing visualization highlighted the upcoming merger. Additionally, more details were communicated within the community itself. Both user groups should feel as one new common community.
Our Super-User Event
Of course the user involvement is crucial as an active user base is core to any community. Vodafone Germany and Kabel Deutschland communities together accumulate more than 40 active Super-Users. Users appreciate posts from Super-Users, as they are considered authentic customer feedback. This year, one of the Super-users wrote his 23,000th post. To continue the good cooperation, the Vodafone Community invited all Super-Users to a merger event in Düsseldorf. All participants received detailed merger information. During a brainstorming session, we, the core project team, agents and Super-Users, developed the major components of our Vodafone Community slogan “Know. Share. Help.”
Some users were skeptical, but Super-Users supported the community, to convince them of the advantages of the new converged community. In cooperation with the Super-Users, the Community also tidied up and moved posts. After having cleaned up, all content was migrated to the merged community, not to lose valuable user input. All users were migrated automatically as well, to make the move as simple as possible for the customers.
At the beginning of the common community, each Super-User got a personalized Community coffee cup and received welcome flyers.
Other events and contests
Related to the upcoming Christmas 2015, the Vodafone Community defined a strategy to get users engaged with the new community. During a competition, users learned more about the new community design structure and had the opportunity to win prizes. Users engaged with the Vodafone and Vodafone Kabel Deutschland product portfolio:
After the merger, all agents got an invitation to celebrate at the headquarters in Düsseldorf. Besides networking, the team analyzed the current collaboration, identified open issues and defined measures to get rid of them. Also the formerly separate Super-User events will be one common central happening in the future.
Now more than 200,000 users are on the platform to exchange, discuss and answer questions. The Vodafone Community is comprised of almost 1 Million posts. Wherever the community is not able to support, Vodafone service agents provide expert know-how.
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