Company: PowerSchool Company background: As the leading provider of cloud-based software in K-12 education, we connect students, teachers, administrators, and parents with the shared goal of improving student outcomes. Our mission is to power the education ecosystem with unified technology that helps educators and students realize their full potential in their own way. From the office to the classroom to the home, we help schools and districts efficiently manage state reporting and related compliance, special education, finance, human resources, talent, enrollment, attendance, funding, learning, instruction, grading, assessments, and analytics–all in one unified platform. Contact: Jbid Kissel Title: Director, Community Support Related URLs: PowerSchool Community Getting Started on PowerSchool Community Events Hub Ideas Portal Family Support Chatbot Federated Search Page Kudos Category: Best-in-Class: Community 1. Describe the organization's objectives in launching a community. What is the use-case and purpose of your community? Do you use your community for support, enablement and learning, marketing awareness, customer success, driving sales, product innovation, etc.? Has the community charter evolved in any way since launch? Our main objective for PowerSchool Community is to provide all our PowerSchool customers with a consistent and seamless community and support experience across our products. Our unique challenge is that we support over 60 different solutions due to growth through various acquisitions. We also have customers with varying levels of support needs such as school administrators, office staff, educators, families, and school job applicants. When we started our journey, we had customers spread across many support sites, making the experience inconsistent. Most of our customers have multiple PowerSchool products, and we wanted to ensure that they had one place to go to find answers, engage with their peers, get help from support, give feedback on our products, and so much more. Each of the new products we migrated to our community brought different support needs. Moving customers from their existing sites to a new one meant that we had to build a space that not only matched their current experience but exceeded their prior expectations by adding more value with exciting new features. With our continued focus on innovation, we have been proud of our many accomplishments over the past year. These are some key highlights: Our flagship achievement was to bring Single Sign On to our community. This is a feature we had wanted since our community launched; however, because our customers come from many different products, it was challenging to build a system that would work regardless of where customers start and give them a unified experience with a single set of login credentials. We decided to start with our newest products and created a model that can later be used to apply to all customers. We worked with the Khoros’ professional services team along with our in-house developer to build a secure connection between our products and community. Our first phase only gave limited access to users as we only focused on access to support. With the second phase, we gave an enhanced and full community experience, including access to federated search, knowledge bases, forums, case portal, chat, ideas portal, and more. The integration is seamless from product to community, no duplicate users are created in the Khoros database, there is a custom landing page for each product, and user access is validated at login. This helps users receive the right permissions and access to support. Customers select PowerSchool Community from their product menu. They are prompted to complete their profile. They land in their product-specific space with quick links to help them get started. Another area of focus this year was to launch the PowerSchool Events feature to highlight events that our support team hosts to help our customers with timely support topics. We have continued to enhance this feature by adding a custom page, a unified calendar, and upcoming events feed. We launched a new federated search tool last spring. We have content across repositories, and we wanted to have one search able to surface all content and deliver the most relevant resources. Our new search has been remarkably successful, and we are better able to track utilization, success rate, and case deflection. We created the PowerSchool Mentors program in October 2020 to recognize and incentivize our super users. This program has grown over the last year with Mentors assisting other PowerSchool users in the forums and beta testing new features and updates in the community. 2. Tell us about how you are using your community and how you made it happen. Did you get executive/business/stakeholder buy-in? What was your process to gain this buy-in? How have you achieved cross functional support, added stake-holders and increased organizational adoption? We were fortunate to have had leadership support to help us build and grow our community from the start. Due to many acquisitions, having many legacy support sites, and growing complexity due to the various users we support, it was clear that we needed one site that could handle the growing needs of both our current customers and our growing customer base. We started our community with only a few products to start, focused on supporting teachers and families. We created knowledge bases, which we migrated from the old support sites and launched product-specific forums. We also built a lite support experience with a few support forms to start. Within the first year, we grew to more products and included support for our administrators, added a case portal experience and expanded our knowledge base and forums. Within a couple of years, we cemented our community as the portal that would be part of the support process for all products. We created a migration process that we have refined over time. This includes capturing the business needs of each new product we migrate. Making sure that our case portal and chat meet their needs and making refinements as needed. We have a dedicated developer who works on enhancements and releases updates through a monthly cadence. We also have a dedicated knowledge manager who works with the product and support teams to review and migrate content and ensure the new content meets our style and accessibility guidelines. Several weeks before any go-live, we start communicating with customers to let them know of the upcoming changes and what they can expect. We hold several customer webinars and Q&A sessions, create getting started documentation to help welcome them to the PowerSchool family, and answer any questions or concerns they may have about the transition. Our community has grown year over year and has become a pivotal part of our support experience. We also work closely with other teams such as marketing to help grow our super user program. Additionally, our community allows users to be active participants in PowerSchool's journey by connecting to our product team through user beta groups, an Ideas Portal for enhancement requests, and our product roadmap resources. 3. What were the results? Tell us how it impacted your customer experience or the outcomes you seek as a business. Please include metrics if possible. As a direct result of our focus on enhancing the customer experience, we saw the following outcomes over the past year: Our community has seen more than 75,000 new members added in the past year with a 30% growth in member logins. There has been a 34% increase in customer posts and a 51% increase in solution views. Since we launched SSO for one of our solutions, we have successfully provisioned over 5,500 new user accounts already for this group of users. Our case portal usage increased by 128% over last year and nearly 50% growth in chat support. We also achieved a CSAT of over 96%. With our new federated search tool, we are seeing a 95% success rate in our new federated search tool. We are seeing 7% case deflection during the case creation process by delivering helpful resources. We grew our mentor program from 65 to 145 members in the past year. With the help of this group, we are seeing customers responding to 50% or more of posts in our most active product forums. Mentor responses have increased nearly 50% with 2,424 replies. In 2021, we hosted over 350 events and had over 20,000 attendees. Within the first four months of 2022, we have hosted close to 200 events and had over 10,000 attendees. Our customers and staff are utilizing our new Events Hub to register for these events.
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Company: PowerSchool Company background: From the front office to the classroom to the home, PowerSchool helps schools and districts efficiently manage instruction, learning, grading, attendance, assessment, analytics, state reporting, special education, student registration, talent, finance, and HR. Today, we’re proud to be the leading provider of K-12 education application technology, supporting over 45 million students in over 80 countries. Contact: Jbid Kissel Title: Director of Community Support Related URLs: https://help.powerschool.com/ Kudos Category: Best-in-Class: Community 1. Describe your community(s) and how you decided to start a community or grow/change it in the last year? (user request, Khoros suggestion, internal idea, etc.) What is the purpose of your community? Our community was designed with the entire educational ecosystem in mind, providing help to those who need it from the back office to the classroom. Our administrators, teachers, parents, and students have come to depend on our PowerSchool experts and peer-to-peer interactions for help through our PowerSchool Community. We support over 12,000 districts and more than 45 million students, meaning that ours, needed to be a best-in-class community for District and Student success. We set out to create one unified platform for all customers to easily access support resources, product updates, an Ideas Portal for enhancement requests, and more. PowerSchool supports over 60+ solutions and products. We continue to add more through acquisitions. This continued growth has made it even more important to have one place where our customers can connect with PowerSchool and other users to get answers to their questions in one centralized place. We have focused on growth and innovation and have seen our community’s membership and activity increase year over year. This year we added 70,000 new members to our community. We have seen over 50% growth over last year in member logins and close to 40% growth in posts. With growth has come the need to innovate and continually improve the customer experience. With aspirations of a seamless customer journey at the forefront, we set off to redesign of our community and add integrations such as SearchUnify (supported by Graztti) for federated search, a new Case Portal, an Ideas Portal, and a Chatbot, to enhance our customers’ support experience. As we are approaching our peak back-to-school season, with experience from previous years and with the many innovations and new enhancements we are excited to usher in an even more successful and engaged year for our community. 2. Tell us about how you made it happen? Did you stage it first? Who got an early look? How did you drive adoption? Did you get executive buy-in? Did you have any key iterations? We began our journey with a handful of our products, providing knowledge base articles, forums, and a case portal. Since our initial launch, our community has grown to include all PowerSchool products, new acquisitions, and much more resources. We have also adjusted to the ever-changing needs of schools and districts, especially over the past year with the COVID-19 pandemic. This, more than ever, reinforced our mission to provide ‘one platform’ for all. This was quite an undertaking with our portfolio of 60+ products, specific needs of each of those products, our various types of users, and support and product documentation spread across several different platforms. With the continuous support of our Executive Leadership, we established a monthly release cadence to adopt new changes including a site-wide redesign to create a seamless experience, improved searchability and navigation, added new features such as an Ideas Portal, made enhancements to our Case Portal, expanded live agent chat, added a chatbot and more. We achieved these changes through development, partnership with the Khoros team to customize our features to our customers’ needs and worked with partners recommended by the Khoros team. We updated our Case Portal experience, including a Helpful Resources page to help deflect cases and encourage self-help. We added more fields to our case form to capture more information, which allows our team to troubleshoot with fewer touches, improving our CSAT and resolution times. We brought our Ideas Portal to the Community, creating a unified approach to enhancement request, embedded a new chatbot to provide answers to frequently asked questions, we embarked on a full site redesign to improve navigation, and we are currently implementing federated search with the Grazitti team to improve search outcomes. This, of course, would not have been possible without the partnership and support of our customers. We invited our Community Mentors to, who are our superusers to participate in Beta Testing and customer think-tanks. We incorporated their feedback in every new feature release. 3. What were the results? Tell us how it impacted your customer experience or the outcomes you seek as a business. Please include metrics if possible. As a direct result of our focus on enhancing the customer experience, we experienced the following outcomes over the past year: We added over 70,000 new members to our community over the last year. Our community is seeing over a 50% growth over last year in member logins and close to 40% growth in posts. We saw 2.4 million unique visitors (14% growth), 12.2 million page views (14% growth), 88,000 solution views (47% growth) this year. We saw 4,765 ideas added through our Ideas Portal We created over 700 videos over the last year to help improve our knowledge base resources. Our case portal usage increased by 160% over last year. We also achieved a CSAT of over 97% and have improved resolution times by 45.9%. We grew our mentor program from 34 to 70 members since October. With the help of this group, we are seeing customers responding to 50% or more of posts in our most active product forums. This year has seen exceptional outcomes toward building our ‘One Platform.’ We will continue to focus on growing engagement, especially our Mentors program. We will continue to innovate and incorporate more integrations. We look forward to seeing our community grow as we continue to focus on the customer experience.
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Company: PowerSchool Company background: From the front office to the classroom to the home, PowerSchool helps schools and districts efficiently manage instruction, learning, grading, attendance, assessment, analytics, state reporting, special education, student registration, talent, finance, and HR. Today, we’re proud to be the leading provider of K-12 education application technology, supporting over 45 million students in over 80 countries. Contact: Jbid Kissel Title: Director of Community Support Related URLs: https://help.powerschool.com/ Kudos Category: The Accelerator 1. Please describe your company and your initiative. At PowerSchool, we believe in the simple truth that every student deserves the best opportunities in life. That’s why our mission is to power the education ecosystem with unified technology that helps educators and students realize their potential in their way. Our PowerSchool Community’s mission is to bring all products, all users, under one Community Portal. We support over 60 solutions and several user types from school administrators to educators, to families, and even applicants. Our goal is to have helpful resources for self-service, a forum for questions, and a path to support for all of our products. Our PowerSchool Community recent initiative is to successfully integrate Khoros with our internal tools and systems to align people, processes, and technology for increased customer engagement. This is in line with our strategy to provide a one-stop platform for our customers across their multiple products. Our efforts focused on scaling our community across multiple acquisitions and new product launches and extending the customer interface with our internal stakeholders and teams. As a result, we have successfully grown our membership and activity each year. 2. What was the “before” state? What challenges did you have to overcome? Due to a combination of our growth and the unprecedented COVID-19 challenge, we had to look at innovative ways of engaging with customers and extending our community to be the ‘One Platform’ for all of our solutions. Some challenges we faced this year included creating a case portal that worked for all our 60+ products, finding new avenues for self-service and case deflection, making our community easier to navigate, helping customers find the right answers, and growing our engagement. When we started using the Khoros Case Portal in our community, we had not designed it to meet the needs of our vast product portfolio. We identified the need to work closely with the Khoros team to build a more robust experience. Our customers use many channels and often need their Support ID, CSM, and Account Manager info readily available. We needed to house this information centrally on the community as part of our one platform to find all answers. We did not have a consistent product enhancement request tool across our products. As a result, our customers often used support as a means to give us product feedback. We decided we needed an Ideas Portal that was used by all users to submit and track these requests. We support a variety of users, such as admin contacts, technical contacts, and end-users. These end-users also include educational faculty/staff, families and potential applicants. They often ask repeat questions through support cases. We wanted to encourage self-service, bring down support costs, and decrease cases by utilizing AI technology. As PowerSchool grew, so did our newly launched products, bringing overall products to 60+. As we added more structure to our community and more resources, customers reported that it was difficult to quickly navigate to find information for their products. We knew we had to rethink the design of our community, for ease of use and accessibility. Related to this, customers often gave us feedback about not finding relevant solutions. This is due to content across many different repositories such as product documentation, support knowledge bases, and product installers. We identified that we needed a federated search solution to streamline search and provide relevant solutions to deflect customer cases and increase self-service. One area we have invested in but have found challenging is our Knowledge Bases. Since we support many different products, our documentation processes are often inconsistent in style and format which makes it harder to search and locate content. Additionally, we are seeing that even though we have added thousands of articles, our TKBs, are not well utilized by our teams and by our customers. Our views increase across our community, but TKB views have not kept up with the rest of the growth. We knew we needed consistency and also more relevancy in our TKBs. Last area we tackled this year was engagement. While Forums have grown in activity, our replies predominantly came from our Community Team. When we started tracking customer responsiveness in 2019, we saw that only 7% of our posts were being solved by our members. We wanted to launch a superuser program to drive this engagement to 50% or more of our posts being responded to by our members. This was an area we wanted to focus on to scale our community, and foster member participation, while recognizing them. 3. What were the results? Please cite qualitative and quantitative results. Our community is seeing over a 50% growth over last year in member logins and close to 40% growth in posts. We saw 2.4 million unique visitors (14% growth), 12.2 million page views (14% growth), 88,000 solution views (47% growth) this year. This is due to our continued focus on gathering feedback, identifying challenges, and tackling those challenges through innovation and integrations. To build ‘One Platform’ to meet the needs of all product support, we worked with the Khoros team to innovate our Case Portal. We added quick link navigation and more sort and search options. We also designed a Helpful Resources page, where customers can find product-specific resources before creating a case. We added additional fields to our case form to capture more information during the case creation process to better route and troubleshoot issues for a faster resolution. Our case portal adoption was successful, and usage went up by 160% over 2020. This past year, we increased our CSAT to over 97%, and have improved resolution times by 45.9%. We are confident in the outcome and as a result will be able to finally close our old legacy case portal, which was still in use during these changes. For enhancement requests, we integrated with Aha to create an Ideas Portal that we host on the Khoros platform. Our product team already used Aha, so we were looking for a way to incorporate this into our community to create a unified experience across products. The result is that all customers can now submit ideas in one place. Our Product Teams reviews and updates status of ideas regularly. Since we launched last year, we have seen 4,765 ideas submitted through this portal. Our biggest undertaking and accomplishment this year was a redesign of our community. We highlighted search, added quick links to most used resources, and made our category activity more product specific. We also updated our Product Support menu, which is now much easier to consume. We have received positive feedback from customers and teams on these updates. We are continuing on this process to update more pages using the same focus and elements to improve navigation. As part of our redesign, we also added a quick link to My Contacts to the top menu. We have leveraged Salesforce API to add customers’ Support ID, CSM, and Account Manager info to the profile page. My Contacts redirects to the profile page and serves as a visual reminder of where customers can find this info. To help customers find answers fast, we added a chatbot for our community this year and rolled it out to six of our products in less than a year. To date, we have engaged over 36,000 chatters, providing more than 90,000 answers. We averaged a 90% containment to keep our handoff to support low. To meet our search needs, we are adding a federated search tool this month. Working with a Khoros recommended partner, Grazitti, we are building a tool that searches across many sites. We are in the building stages and are pleased that it works well to highlight the Community content, while helping us bring in answers from our product documentation and other sites. We will continue to track this progress to improve search outcomes. To improve our knowledge bases, we focused on creating processes and educating our article publishers. We dedicated two resources from the Community team to focus on knowledge management. We also built a way for our agents to indicated relevant resources on their cases and report when there are needed articles missing or in need of updates. We set goals for attach rates and made it a department-wide focus to increase articles with helpful videos, product release information, integrations content, and much more. We also gathered data on call drivers and created a process with each team to add content and highlight content through our community and through our communications. We still have a long way to go, but we are laying the groundwork for improved outcomes. Our forums are our most utilized resource. As mentioned, responsiveness was heavily coming from the Community team. Last year we focused on growing member responsiveness, and we launched the PowerSchool Mentors program to create a superuser experience. Currently we have over 70 Mentors who respond to Community posts, participate in Beta testing on Community releases, and create original articles and videos for our knowledge bases. Mentors have helped answer nearly 1,500 posts since we launched the program, shared their knowledge through 15 knowledge base articles, and had more than 100 participations in beta testing for community releases. To track mentor activity and recognize and reward this experience, we integrated with the Influitive platform. Now our mentors can see their points grow and can exchange them for swag and other experiences.
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Company: PowerSchool Company background: PowerSchool boasts over twenty years of innovation, starting as the first web-based student information system. At PowerSchool, we believe in the simple truth that every student deserves the best opportunities in life. That’s why our mission is to power the education ecosystem with unified technology that helps educators and students realize their potential, in their way, from the front office to the classroom to the home. Contact: Jbid Kissel Title: Senior Manager, PowerSchool Community Related URLs: https://help.powerschool.com/ Kudos Category: The Accelerator
1. Please describe your company and your initiative.
PowerSchool’s mission is to power the education ecosystem with unified technology that helps educators and students realize their potential, in their way. From the front office to the classroom to the home, PowerSchool helps schools and districts efficiently manage instruction, learning, grading, attendance, assessment, analytics, state reporting, special education, student registration, talent, finance, and HR. Over the last few years, PowerSchool has brought many different solutions under its umbrella to build this educational ecosystem. We wanted to create one Community, for all of our current and newly added solutions.
2. What was the “before” state? What challenges did you have to overcome?
With our homegrown legacy site, it was not sustainable to handle the unique needs of all of our products. With the decision to have a fresh start in the fall of 2017, we launched our PowerSchool Community to be the central hub for peer-to-peer discussions and self-help interactions, and for chat and web support across our products.
Our newly acquired solutions all had their own help sites, some with active communities. Moving all customers to one help site meant we needed to gather a lot of input to ensure our structure, permissions, and content would work well. We also needed to make sure our customers transitioned successfully to the new space.
3. What were the results? Please cite qualitative and quantitative results.
Initially, we did not have a Community team. Last year, we added a dedicated team and saw a growth in activity, and it has continued in an upward trend this year. Not only have our member entrances, visits, views, and posts increased, but we have also grown our members’ responsiveness.
Between 2018 and 2019, we saw a 274% increase in average monthly member entrances and 390% increase in our average monthly forum posts. We are currently trending 30% higher in activity since last year. As we come into the busy season, we expect to continue the upward trend.
We have seen over 127,000 registrations, over 850,000 member entrances, and over 4 million visits. We have had over 28,000 posts in our forums and more than 16,000 articles across our products.
We are continuing to add new features and content to our Community to continue to drive growth and engagement, such as COVID-19 resources to help our schools with online instructions, which was a collaboration between Support, Product, and Marketing. We received over 50,000 views in two months, an Ideas Portal for product enhancements, and chatbot for parent back-to-school support.
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