With the fully-featured SBB Community, we can cover countless customer needs, like information, support, inspiration, interaction and involvement.
Entry submitted by: Daniel Schwarz (Community Manager)
Community: SBB Community
Lithy category: Digital Design Excellence
SBB is the backbone of the Swiss public transport system, and day-to-day rail operations are the basis of what we do. SBB has been transporting people and freight for more than 100 years. Every day, it safely transports 1.21 million passengers and 205,000 tonnes of freight on time and in an environmentally friendly manner. By doing so, we are making an important contribution to the quality of life and competitiveness in Switzerland.
The objectives of the “SBB Community” are as follows: - generating and using customer and expert knowledge. - building our own reach and community; reducing dependency on others third-party social networks and platforms. - 100% ownership of content and user data. - increasing loyalty and customer retention - better rankings in search engine results. - e-mail deflection: shifting standard support requests into the community. - co-creation: participation of customers and users in the development of new apps and websites. The SBB Community offers a seamless customer experience between the website with information, timetable, ticket shop, and the customer engagement platform. With the fully-featured SBB Community, we can cover countless customer needs, like information, support, inspiration, interaction and involvement.
Our unique design elements The SBB Community offers the following design elements: - Fully responsive design: supports an optimal representation on all devices. - Interactive header (hero) image: display a vital community and invites the users to dive into the community. - Activity wall: display latest posts in an attractive presentation. - Optimized forum boards: enables sorting of posts according to different criteria (latest, most important, open and solved) - Improved and fully customized blog module: provides category filter, blog posts excerpts, paging and lean article design. - Preview Communities: provides three different areas of user participation. Every area offers “Idea and wishes” (ideation module; customized), “Errors and bug reports” (forum module; customized) and “Votes” (polls module; customized). Apart from the existing responsive design, all the design elements mentioned above, were implemented with a major redesign on 2 February 2017.
How we executed our design Designing for performance is key today. Since the redesigns goal was to match the makeover of SBB.ch as closely as possible we needed to make sure that we were in total control of the frontend assets. Only by doing this we could make sure that everything looked similar – typography, layout, colors – and behaved lightning-fast. Being on time is one of the traits that a railway company has to fulfill online too. We made an experiment to try a new approach to the development of skins for Lithium. We wrote all of the CSS stylesheets from scratch. At some point we could have declared the experiment as failed since the common procedure was to take a base skin from Lithium and overwrite start overwriting everything. This wasn’t an option since this produces overly complex code and hard to maintain. The experiment succeeded and the results exceeded our expectations. We were able to reduce the file size of the CSS from 183 KB down to 26 KB (-86%). On a regular 3G connection that’s about 2.5s against 0.5s – a huge improvement for a mobile crowd.
Metrics to prove the success of our design excellence Since the major redesign on 2 February 2017, the community metrics have improved as follows: - Traffic: 36% more page views, 41% more visits and 40% more unique visitors. Around half of this traffic is mobile. - Members: 77% more completed registrations, member time (minutes per member) is increasing by 14%. - Posts: 84% more posts. - Kudos: x3 kudos and x2 kudos per post. Source: Lithium Social Intelligence, Comparison of time periods 11/01/2016 – 01/31/2017 (before redesign) and 02/01/2017 – 04/30/2017 (after redesign).
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Customer experience has always been Zuora Support’s focus and priority demonstrated by our 96% CSAT score. Before the Zuora Community, our customers were not able to easily find solutions to frequently-asked-questions that were asked in support tickets.
Entry submitted by: Lana Lee (community manager)
Community/Social Channels: http://community.zuora.com; https://www.linkedin.com/company/zuora ; https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/10543973 ; https://twitter.com/Zuora ; https://twitter.com/ZuoraSupport ; https://www.facebook.com/zuora
Lithy category: Digital CX All-Star
Zuora: Digital Customer Experience
Customer experience has always been Zuora Support’s focus and priority demonstrated by our 96% CSAT score. Before the Zuora Community, our customers were not able to easily find solutions to frequently-asked-questions that were asked in support tickets. Since our Community’s launch in 2016, we are now able to share all of our “Customer Solutions Articles” (CSAs) and make them publicly accessible for our customer’s reference and any continued discussions. Our customers seldom have any issues finding solutions in the Community as Google accounts for a referral average of 60% of all traffic, indicating that our SEO is excellent! Similarly, our CSAs have approximately 2500 views/month with rare cases of follow-up questions or requests for more information; every CSA read is a support ticket deflected!
We also ensure that no answer goes ignored and with our Community’s Zendesk integration, any question without a first response in a specified time will auto-generate a Zendesk ticket. Very few posts go unanswered, but when they do generate a ticket, our integration allows agents to post the resolution in the ticket, back to the Community
The benefits of having both a community and a social media management platform
Having a presence on social media allows the Zuora Support organization easily accessible to our customers. Now that everyone is mobile, it is important for us to be where our customers are; if they have difficulty finding a way to reach out to us, we are doing them a disservice and, in the end, they will likely go elsewhere to express their dissatisfaction.
Our Twitter account (@ZuoraSupport) is used to promote Community content and we also receive tweets from Customers whose issues need addressing. One example is when a customer shared an incongruent in one of our reference documents via tweet. We asked him to share his discovery in the Community where we tagged the document owner who immediately followed up and fixed the issue.
Zuora Global Support maintains a 96% CSAT score and we have support coverage 24/7. With the Community, our Customer Solutions Articles (CSAs) address frequently-asked questions from customers. An average of 2500 CSAs are viewed in the Community each month and we can easily say that a ticket is deflected for each CSA read. Our strategy of posting common customer solutions in the Community is a win-win situation as it not only allows agents to work on more difficult issues, but it also saves our organization close to $500,000/month (an annual savings of approximately $6M from 2016 to 2017).
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Our goal is to improve the image through positive service experience and to generate insights.
Company: Vodafone Germany
Entry submitted by: Marko Krause (Social Media Specialist)
Community: Vodafone Community
Lithy category: Social Support Champion
Vodafone Germany is a telecommunication company based in Germany, with more than 14,000 employees and its 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.
Vodafone Community growing
The Vodafone Social Care strategy includes the Vodafone community, as well as Facebook and Twitter. With 11 million visits per year, the Vodafone community is the largest within the Vodafone Group. Our goal is to improve the image through positive service experience and to generate insights. To this end, over 30 friendly-user tests have been carried out with the help of private groups in the community over the last few years. Based on the philosophy of customers helping customers, an important goal was to reduce the number of contacts in assisted channels such as hotline and e-mail. Within the last 6 years the community has continued to grow:
The ROI Question
At this point our Community had a large and very active user base. As mentioned another important objective of our community is achieving contact deflection. We were pretty sure that we were contributing to this goal but so far we were not able to measure it. The resulting goal was clear. We wanted to make our contribution to the contact deflection visible. But how? First, we searched for best practice examples at other digital touchpoints within Vodafone and were successful. Several online channels used a customer survey for the collection and subsequent calculation of concrete savings.
The survey method is relatively simple and consists of 2 questions:
Could we help you? = helpful-rate (%)
If Yes: Imagine we could not have helped. Would you otherwise have contacted our customer service (e.g., hotline, e-mail)? = “had contacted” – rate (%)
A contact deflection rate (in%) is derived from the responses:
Finally the savings can be extrapolated for the complete user base using the contact reduction rate and the costs per contact at other channels (hotline, e-mail):
Our calculation is based on conservative assumptions to avoid showing a too optimistic scenario. On the one hand, we did not take into account visitors who stayed less than 10s in our community, and on the other hand, our cost per contact calculation (€) is based on the least expensive contact channel. Accordingly, the community savings (€) might actually be higher in reality.
The use of the same methodology for collecting the contact deflection rate as in other Vodafone online channels allows us a good internal benchmarking.
Adapting to our community
The next step was to find a way to implement the methodology in our community. During our research, we came across the community experience survey of Lithium. This feature seemed just right for our requirements. We adapted the survey to our needs, prepared a KPI dashboard (including helpful-rate & contact-reduction-rate) and started the survey in July 2016. We were surprised how well the survey was accepted within our visitor base. On average, we receive about 5000 records a month which equates to a conversion rate of almost 1,7% from which the contact-reduction-rate can be calculated. To ensure that we had implemented a plausible methodology, we have had it audited by our financial departments. This gave us the assurance of a clean methodology and realistic KPIs. From our colleagues we were given the advice to carry out an A / B test. This should prove that participants of the survey still respond correctly after exchanging the answer options. For acceptance it is important that the questions are really read and not just blindly clicked. The result was also positive. If we had to explain the numbers, we were well prepared. Finally we sent a report of our contact-reduction savings to our top management.
As a next step it was necessary to observe the KPIs and improve them continuously. We learned that there are 2 drivers to increase the savings:
Number of community visitors
Contact-Deflection-Rate (includes helpful-rate)
With this focus, a number of measures were identified and implemented. These included:
Introduction of a quality process with focus on thread summaries and accepted solutions for a better helpful-rate.
Review of all community threads over the last 3 months with a below average helpful-rating and subsequent improvement.
Introduction of a weekly quality check of the top 20 threads in terms of helpful-rate.
Optimization of the questionnaire for a better understanding of the questions.
Various SEO measures to increase the number of visitors.
The results are impressive. Within 10 months we generated savings of 2.4 million Euro due to avoided contacts in assisted service channels and due to our optimization measures that allowed us to increase the savings by 8%.
On the basis of the results of the project, for the FY 17/18 "Contact Deflection" was included as a fixed target set in Social Customer Care. As a next step we will also check if contact deflection can be determined on Facebook and Twitter.
Quotes from our management:
Christina Hirsch, Director Customer Experience: “The Vodafone Community is a major contributor to customer satisfaction and insights. With our Community, we manage to get life Feedback in real-time on any event and even perform selected product trials with our super-users. By broadcasting information via the community, we save calls, improve quality and have an educated channel to inform quickly. The Community is a comfortable, reliable real-time information channel providing support to a growing amount of customers using this channel.”
Georg Böning, Head of Customer Insight Management: ”The Vodafone Community is a great contributor to customer satisfaction and brand image. Now we can even calculate real savings and show its value in black and white. This is an important step in our community’s history.”
Nicky Ziegler, Customer Operations Manager: ”We are not on the web just to be on the web. We make it countable!“
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Social is, unfortunately, too often planned and managed in a vacuum. Instead of connecting social to integrated digital campaigns, or collaborating with other teams, it’s trapped in a single purpose tool.
If that one tool goes haywire, you hit a huge roadblock. Your content funnel gets clogged, customers get frustrated with slow or no service, and inefficiencies drain the bank account and the clock! Not to mention the precious reputation of your brand…
Brands like Post Office UK, Optus, StubHub and more are optimizing engagement, building memorable, positive customer experiences, and seeing proven ROI and success in their social media management endeavors.
But, most importantly, they are using social to solve business problems.
Channel yourself to succeed across all channels!
For more insights, feel free to check out our resources on Social Customer Service!
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CEO of Find and Convert Bernie Borges ( @BernieB) tag-teamed with our Chief Community Officer, Joe Cothrel ( @JoeC ), to deliver a spectacular podcast fixated on the evergreen value of a successful Online Community.
Let’s be real: an “online community” is not a new concept. But, the distinction between online communities and social groups is imperative to understanding why your brand needs an online community.
Online communities are more than just a channel for social. Online communities are hosted on unique and customized platforms that deliver an outstanding experience for your customers. They serve as a hub for content sharing, an interactive environment for engagement (peer-to-peer and brand-to-peer), and as a home to idea generation and issue mitigation.
Online communities will continue to expand, add value, and be more fully integrated in digital customer experience as we evolve in this digital era.
This podcast highlights community successes over the years, and the value-add brands see beyond just ROI. Online Communities = a cornerstone for a business’ overall digital strategy!
But don’t take it from me! Grab your headphones and listen to the experts here, on Social Media Today.
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