This is a guest blog from Lynn Jobe, VP of Sales at Lithium, on her experience at HSN’s 4 th Annual Awards Gala. Lithium was invited to attend the gala as a nominee for HSN’s Best Strategic Digital Alliance Award.
On Thursday March 27 th , I attended the HSN Awards Gala with Xavier Jimenez, our Director of Social Strategy Consulting, and Pete Fackelman, our National Account Exec. This event is like the Academy Awards for HSN’s partners. To say it was spectacular would be an understatement. It was held at the historic Renaissance Vinoy Resort and Golf Club in St. Petersburg, FL, starting with a cocktail hour followed by a full-blown award dinner and awards show. It is a HUGE honor that Lithium was nominated as one of their 3 most innovative digital partners- the other two nominees were Exact Target and Razor Fish.
This year’s gala theme was “Noche Blanca” – which means White Night. The invitation requested guests to wear white with a splash of color, as noted in their attire inspiration online. This immediately sent me into full-blown panic mode, because I have a closet full of black and colorful clothes, but not much white and certainly not gala-worthy. Apparently I was not alone as there was a lot of humor throughout the night about how difficult it was to find a white outfit in February, the shortage of Spanx in St. Pete, and for the guys that purchased their white jacket (Xavier and many others) – when are you ever going to wear that again?
Now, I have to admit that when I was on maternity leave after the birth of my son (19 years ago), during one late night feeding, I discovered HSN. Before you judge me…you should check out what HSN sells! They have the most carefully curated collection of products. If you are ever in need of new cookware, electronics, make up, fashion, even a car, you can be sure that HSN has the best of the best. Well, I tell you this because I have my favorite show-hosts and celebrities that sell their wares on HSN. It’s an interesting phenomenon when you see a show host or celebrity in person; you feel like you know them.
So, I went for a run before the gala (needed to burn off some of this quarter-end angst) – and when I got back to the hotel, Bill Green, a long time HSN show host, joined me waiting at the elevator. We got talking, and when I told him that I recognized him and was here for the gala, he said “I’m so excited that you’ve been shopping with me.”
And that’s the moment it hit me…What makes HSN unique as compared to other retailers? It is experiential and personal. You are shopping WITH your favorite host – you are immediately in a more intimate relationship with your retailer. This is where Lithium comes in and where we add value to their business: we take that intimate shopping experience – that feeling of “shopping with your friends”- and extend it to the digital world. Instead of just shopping with your single host friend (like Bill Green), you are now having a GNO (Girls Night Out) every time you visit the HSN Community! And truthfully, the only way I shop HSN now is on HSN.com, not watching HSN TV.
From L-R: Xavier of Lithium, my new friend and show host Bill Green, and me
One of the highlights of the night was meeting Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSN. She is an amazing leader and culture creator. Just like we live our values at Lithium, the same is true for HSN. They are a passionate bunch and it’s all about FUN! Mindy is also the Co-Chair of the National Retail Federation and has tons of honors and accolades including being named one of Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women, E&Ys Innovator of the Year, and Fast Company’s Top 100 Most Creative People in Business. Mindy is a passionate philanthropist leading the way with HSN Cares, partnering with Coca-Cola on Women’s Heart Health, being involved with UNICEF and Habitat for Humanity, to name just a few of the causes she feels passionate about. She is totally approachable and knew who I was – she gave me a big hug and thanked Lithium for being such a great partner – WOW!
The other highlight was meeting Adrien Arpel – she is a true beauty icon. She’s a pioneering entrepreneur in the skin-care industry, having worked in the beauty and fashion industry for over 50 years and on HSN for over 20 years. I walked up to her and introduced my colleague Pete and myself, and she was so nice! She complimented me on my appearance and my outfit and said she loved meeting people that appreciated her products. She then told Pete and me a story from the good ol’ days. I asked if she would mind if we took a picture and she grabbed me like we were BFF’s. Incidentally, she won the HSN Legend Award (similar to a Lifetime achievement award).
Adrian Arpel and me
We were seated at a table with our awesome HSN-Lithium Business Sponsors. We toasted to our joint success so far and the amazing things to come! Although we didn’t win the award this year (congrats to Exact Target), we toasted to our expected win at 2015’s HSN Gala, which will hopefully be a theme that doesn’t require Spanx and clothing we’ll never wear again.
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Company: Vodafone Espana
Entry submitted by: Zaira Pérez (Zperezp) Specialist, Self Management Channel
Community: Foro Vodafone (http://foro.vodafone.es)
Lithy category: Support Savings MVP
Vodafone Spain's aim is to provide best in class service to our customers with innovative and great value added offers and products. Vodafone Spain eForum Community serves the needs for those customers after product acquisition in order to provide a great experience and exploitation of their devices & acquired services.
Lithium provides Vodafone Spain the channel to enable direct communication with customers in order to satisfy their queries and incident resolution. At the same time, we provide customers with a Knowledge Center with loads of Tutorials and tips to engage and improve their mobile devices and DSL connection.
Vodafone Spain Heroes promotes both users as a support channel and new useful content creation. Those interactions and new content also engage user self-management and product knowledge. Furthermore, this Programme enables users to feel they are in a comfortable community where they may ask their questions and uncertainties, because many of the questions are either addressed or fully resolved by users on an equal level.
Since the Programme started back in November 2013, “Vodafone Heroes Programme” participants drove over 10k new interactions within the Vodafone Spain. In addition, over 25 contestants actively help out other users. A great amount of kudos and new accepted solutions have been originated from those answers and users keep on recommending the Programme to their friends. As a result of the Vodafone Heroes Programme, we managed to deflect call volume by over 1.6m total calls. In addition, we enhanced our Net Promoter Score (NPS) by an average of 5 NPS points YoY and unassisted resolution rate increased by 10.2%.
More about Vodafone Spain Heroes Programme
Our Vodafone Spain Heroes Programme is focused on acquisition of new Community Members and Moderators outside the company employees to enable a real 2.0. approach. Vodafone Spain Heroes is created with the intention to enable a Community where users can compete to get new badges and powers while helping each other solve their queries.
This gamification programme not only encourages greater customer/user participation but also promotes new useful content creation. Those new interactions and content also engage user self-management and product knowledge. This enables great Community growth for Vodafone Spain eForum users as a support channel to get helpful and resolute answers providing internal KPIs a real boost.
Vodafone Spain Heroes Programme is closely monitored on a weekly basis by the Spain Community Managers who provide Heroes with guidance and one-to-one follow up on their adventure. The Programme includes 3 role categories (Vodafone Hero Apprentice, Vodafone Hero and Vodafone SuperHero) and 4 power badges (speed, wisdom, aim and creation) that allow users to possess different strengths.
Programme is based on nomination of weekly winners for each power badge providing users with exclusive benefits and privileges as they get Points of Power along with their nominations. Benefits are also related with fame and pride such as allowing users to moderate or ban other users as well as collaborating on official content creation published within Vodafone sites. There is a Points of Power catalogue accessible to the users once they enter the programme where users can redeem and select their desired prizes. Offer range is very wide not only offering goods but also “benefits” and events participation or pride recognition.
Any Vodafone Spain eForum registered user is eligible to participate in the Heroes Programme. Users need to pass the initial challenge to get their first “hero Apprentice” badge and from then, new badges unlocked will move users up in the scale of roles. Once a user reaches to unlock the 4 badges, they are appointed Vodafone Superheroes.
At Vodafone, we truly think we deserve to become Lithys winners as this Programme has evolved and demonstrated the value of the Vodafone eForum community, resulting in support savings through call deflection.
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There's still time to submit your winning Lithy entry! We have extended the nomination deadline to April 24, 2014 , due to receiving a lot of customer inquiries about getting their submissions in on time. Everyone will have a fair chance to receive kudos during the voting period which will take place from April 28 - May 5. If you've already submitted your entry, feel free to consider submitting for another category to take advantage of the extended deadline!
Good luck to all!
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