Company: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Entry Submitted by: Gareth Worsnup ( gworsnup ) Community Manager
Community: Playstation Community (community.eu.playstation.com)
Lithy Categories: Best Community Technical Implementation
SCEE Lithium Implementation
1. Playstation Network Account Integration.
We have implemented integrated login/authentication on our Lithium platform with our global Playstation Network accounts. This means users can login to our Lithium forums with their Playstation Network ID’s.
2. Custom Ad Serving Technology Integration with Custom Analytics
We have implemented bespoke, hierarchical, ad-serving technology across category, board and thread level views. This includes a hero image and video at the top of each board, category and thread page, a standard MPU ad placement on the right hand column on each page and custom background images. Adverts in these areas can be targeted at every level right down to specific threads.
3. Website Integrated Forum Skins.
We have integrated many Lithium boards with 1st party game websites. Example: http://community.singstar.com/t5/SingStar/bd-p/717. In these instances, iframes are used to pull in an external website’s navigation and footer elements, while the boards are custom skinned to fit with the theme of the overarching website.
The result is a seamless experience for the user whilst traveling from the main website through to the forums. Single Sign on (cookie based) is also implemented on website integrated forums, where authentication can happens outside of Lithium, yet users are seamlessly logged in when reaching the forums.
4. Featured Boards custom component.
5. Accepted Solutions component.
6. User Profile Panel & Post Info - hover-over.
7. Custom Post styles - targeting admins/MPU's etc.
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Entry Submitted by: Claudius Henrichs (Claudius) Community Manager
Community: Skype Support Network (community.skype.com)
Lithy Categories: Best Business ROI, Best Global Implementation
The Skype Support Network, launched in June 2011, is Skype’s peer-to-peer support community and provides a direct channel for feedback and exchange between our users and product teams.
What happens if you flip on all switches “Community” and put the spotlight on a previously hidden tech support forum? We did just that and turned it into a vibrant location for exchange around everything Skype. Within just over 7 months page views skyrocketed and have more than doubled. A highly engaged, dedicated user base presented with the right tools utilize them every day now to improve theirs and other’s Skype experience.
Several aspects lead to the huge success – both outside and inside the company – of this project, each itself worth highlighting.
Best Global Implementation
Reflecting our truly global product we launched the community in eight languages. The landing page was designed to showcase our language communities and the latest activities and hot topics in each of those. Our visitors appreciated the fact that they could exchange in their language and within days we had Super Users covering all time zones around the world
Best Social Customer Experience Program
Making the community a place you wanted to stay and return to was our primary goal. That’s why we came up with several programs that rewarded visitors. The Community News highlight weekly activity, discussions and user participation. The highlighted user and topic of the week invited users to stay while longer and engage in the conversation.
We are most proud about our #SkypeTalks live events: Questions raised simultanousy via a dedicated community board and Twitter were replied on by product managers inside Skype. This helped prioritize the next developments sprints through the insight gained and gave the user a very rewarding feedback experience. And in the end it raised awareness of our product features.
Eventually the community has helped us identify and resolve new product issues within 24 hours of launch that would normally have taken days. E.g. the community compiled a list of problematic devices with regards to video calling on Android. Based on that we were able to issue a hotfix within days after our initial release. This extended the list of supported devices and thereby consumer satisfaction.
Best New Community
Already the first week after the launch in June 2011 our Community Health Index passed 600 and it’s rise has not stopped yet. We have since passed a score of 700 which put us in line with other Lithium established communities that have been developing for much longer than the 7 months we did.
But the CHI is more than just a number: It reflects that our users are on average getting a reply quicker than via our own customer service. In the majority of cases even answering their question right away providing is with a first contact resolution rate of around 70%. We now engage 3 Million users per month, growing 10% month over month since last June.
Best Community Technical Implementation
Another goal of the community switch was to offer answers on new and trending support questions faster and deliver them on a more direct channel.
We achieved that by integrating helpful content (Accepted Solutions) and related topics to our existing copywriter authored knowledge base content on our Skype Support page. A category based selection logic ensures the related topics are pulled from the correct board.
It works as an additional motivational factor to our Super User: “Great to have our work surfaced to more users to get their problems solved”. Eventually this integration serves as an attractive entry point to join the community discussion with latest stats reflecting the activity taking place.
Behind the curtain we also made full use of the Single-Sign-On feature in Lithium. It is not only used for authenticating users to access with their Skype Name, but we also implemented a tight integration allowing Skype Customer Service staff to one-click quickly check back office user data for cases escalated from the community. The sleek integration ensured the feature to be attractive in everyday use.
Best Business ROI
Best of all we were pleased to see a 10% reduction in our traditional support costs through reduced number of contacts that we could relate to the introduction of the new Lithium community platform. Much harder to quantify but definitely present are the revenue improvements gained from the increased customer satisfaction through the product improvements we could introduce based on the community feedback. Compared to previous methods if gathering feedback (e.g. through web based forms) the round trip time is much shorter and we can react quicker.
Best SuperFan Story or Insight
In the end the whole community stands or falls with our dedicated Super Users sharing their expert knowledge and creative solutions on using our products. They have spent 1½ years online time on their community while it had not even had it’s own birthday yet. During that time they contributed 14% of all content including 38% of the very valuable accepted solutions. As a token of appreciation we highlighted five of them in our end of year awards on our Community news blog with a short interview and portrait.
Our stellar Super User goes by the nickname “TheUberOverLord”, is a self-proclaimed “White Hat” computer expert and contributed 5% of all posts since the launch. His engagement inspired several other users to become engaged and eventually Super users as well.
I want to close with inviting you all to our community and taking this opportunity to thank our community members for their passion and engagement that makes this such a success. We are entering this award as a way of saying thanks to our Super Users!
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Company: National Instruments
Entry Submitted by: Jordan Groves (jgroves) Web Project Engineer
Community: National Instruments Community (forums.ni.com)
Lithy Categories: Best Business ROI
The National Instruments Idea Exchange, which was established in June 2009, provides a quick, excellent medium of direct communication between our customers and our R&D team.
Here at National Instruments, we understand the importance of integrating co-innovation into the product design and development processes. By giving our lead users the opportunity to provide valuable feedback on our products, not only do we develop better software, but we also demonstrate to our customers that we greatly value their input.
Before the Idea Exchange was born, we first needed to determine how to best incorporate our top users into our development processes.
In order to do so, we needed to learn more about our community members. A survey of the user base returned the following information:
55% of our customers are "active" community users
There is a direct correlation between how active a customer is on the forums and how loyal he/she is to the company.
This data reaffirmed our assertion that it would be well worth the effort to pull customers into the NI software development process.
With the main focus being ease of use, National Instruments utilized the Lithium community platform and revealed the new Idea Exchange in the summer of 2009. Since then, users have submitted over 3,700 ideas – each with candid explanations of why they posted.
Our Research and Development teams monitor the board and reply directly to the customers’ requests. Over the years, the Idea Exchange has expanded to encompass eight different product boards and has received:
Over 3,700 submitted ideas (our initial goal was 500)
Over 73,600 votes on ideas
14,565 customer comments
Over 56,000 unique visitors
Additionally, the LabVIEW 2011 Beta release included 13 new features that were suggested on the Idea Exchange.
In the end, not only did the Idea Exchange alleviate many users’ frustrations by giving them a direct connection to our developers, but it also increased our productivity, as well. Our engineers now have an exact picture of which new features are most important to our customers.
By placing co-innovation as a cornerstone of the product development cycle, we have been able to produce better products.
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Company: Future Shop
Entry Submitted by: Laura Buchanan (LauraB) Social Community Specialist
Community: Tech Yeah Community ( community.futureshop.ca )
Lithy Categories: Best Community Technical Implementation
Future Shop, Canada’s number one retail website is owned by Best Buy Ltd and operates over 149 of stores. The Tech Yeah Community has existed for nearly 5 years and has served as a space where customers, Product Experts and vendor partners could connect about the latest in technology.
Future Shop‘s Product Experts have always played a significant role in shaping the direction of the Community, many of them have been active in the community since the day we launched.
When the Future Shop Retail Learning team approached eComm to help find a solution to make training accessible to all Product Experts regardless of their location, leveraging the Community seemed like a natural progression.
The FS-training.ca portal was intended as a one stop shop for associates to learn anytime, anywhere (Canada-wide).
What was built was a Community within a Community that serves as a hub for all of our store associates. Building fs-training.ca wasn't as simple as throwing up some boards, some significant technical hurdles were overcome to be able to host Flash and create an experience that was meaningful for our associates.
In this private community space, our PEs are able to:
read up on the latest products
connect with other associates in their categories from across the country
and even more importantly, it gives them a direct line into the Retail Learning team where they’ve been able to share their ideas and connect with the Retail Learning Specialists supporting them at head office.
Registering for the Tech Yeah Community is now part of the on-boarding process for every new associate and where they come to learn and share ideas. It's also an easy transition into the public-facing community where we've seen associates jumping in to share their knowledge with our customers.
In addition to the Continuous Learning, they also have access to updated Product Knowledge, Sales Culture and Retail Process training. The site is also regularly updated with Peer to Peer Learning in the form of Videos, Tribal Knowledge Base articles, and forum discussions which allows our associates to access their training material while they’re on the go or at home.
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Entry Submitted by: Katie Chastek (ktc) Community Manager
Community: Data.com (community.jigsaw.com)
Lithy Categories: Best Business ROI
The abundance and pace of changing business data has been a long-time issue for companies who struggle to manage and keep their data clean and actionable.
With the proliferation of social data, business data management has become an increasingly important and difficult objective.
After revolutionizing CRM a decade ago, Salesforce has a history of taking on challenging industry problems. Launched last August, Salesforce’s Data.com is setting out to transform the business data industry by making data accessible in the cloud and surrounding the data assets with a strong community to provide real-time intelligence.
The Result Data.com’s 4 million member strong community launched in August and is integral to the solution’s success.
Unlike other data providers that solely rely on an algorithm to update and maintain their data assets, Data.com’s community plays an active role in maintaining data accuracy and uploading new business accounts and contacts. Ultimately, the community not only benefits from Data.com’s solution through rewards and offline events, but it also puts customers in a position to succeed.
Just how much does the community contribute?
Each month, members add over a million new contacts, allowing Data.com to grow and provide quality data to marketing and sales operations. The most dedicated community members are what Data.com labels Rainmakers and Data Defenders.
Rainmakers are Data.com’s most active users who volunteer to add and update over 500+ business data contacts. In The Corner, Rainmakers join other community members in using the community to contact other users worldwide or network to share ideas, exchange tips and best practices.
In addition to the forums, there is an Idea Exchange for members to add suggestions and ideas to improve their Data.com experience.
Data Defenders are a small group of people in the Data.com community and a part of a data quality protector program who clean records and evaluate data quality. Data Defenders are essentially the quality control leaders in the community. The group flags and graveyards stale or inaccurate data and then corrects the discrepancy – allowing Data.com to have the unique approach of combining algorithm technology with human business data smarts.
Community Collaboration = Customer Success
An example of the instant success of Data.com is illustrated through Clairmail, an enterprise-wide mobile banking and payments solution that needed to target new prospects, create a better experience for current customers and reduce time spent on chasing inaccurate data. With Data.com, Clairmail has increased dial effectiveness by 15%, closed 20% more deals and attributed 32% of their overall revenue from business data sourced from Data.com.
What is unique about Data.com for Clairmail is that the community responds in real-time. Clairmail has an advantage over competition with the most up-to-date account and contact information that allows them to find the right people at the right companies at the right time.
Salesforce's Data.com is already accomplishing what it set out to do: build a strong community around business data that allows customers to deliver effective sales and marketing campaigns that grow their businesses. And with over 4 million community members and growing, Data.com has been a tremendous success since launching just six months ago.
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