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: 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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