2023 Customer Awards: AGL - Best-in-Class: Community

2023 Customer Awards: AGL - Best-in-Class: Community



Company: AGL

Company background: AGL is a leading energy supplier and essential services retailer in Australia. Proudly Australian for more than 185 years, AGL supplies more than 4 million energy and telecommunications customer services. We’re committed to becoming a leading multi-product retailer, making energy and other essential services simple, fair and transparent.

AGL operates Australia’s largest private electricity generation portfolio within the National Electricity Market, comprising coal and gas-fired generation, renewable energy sources such as wind, hydro and solar, batteries and other firming technology, and gas production and storage assets.

We are building on our history as one of Australia’s leading private investors in renewable energy to now lead the business of transition to a low emissions, affordable and smart energy future in line with the goals of our Climate Transition Action Plan. We’ll continue to innovate in energy and other essential services to enhance the way Australians live, and to help preserve the world around us for future generations.

Contact: David Powles

Title: Neighbourhood Lead

Related URLs: https://neighbourhood.agl.com.au/

Kudos Category: Best-in-Class: Community

1. Describe the organization's objectives in launching a Khoros community. What is the use-case and purpose of your community (support, enablement and learning, marketing awareness, customer success, driving sales, product innovation, etc.)? Has the community charter evolved since its launch, and if so, how?

AGL’s online support and engagement community, Neighbourhood, is unique among Australian energy retailers. Neighbourhood is home to nearly 40,000 members and provides a place for customers to ask and answer questions about AGL’s products, suggest ideas to improve the customer experience, and discuss renewable energy solutions.

A core tenet of AGL’s digital strategy is the desire to make things easier for our customers. We decided to launch our Khoros community to help our customers engage with each other and self-serve for faster solutions, while maintaining and growing our trusted brand. Neighbourhood also allows us to serve our customers at a lower cost to the company. 

The Neighbourhood community fills an important role in our digital support strategy, allowing us to share more detailed answers than what’s possible in a Help & Support article, and with more flexibility and human engagement than a Virtual Assistant (bot) can deliver.

When we made it even easier for our customers to self-serve by syndicating curated Neighbourhood content onto more than 40 of our Help pages, we saw referrals from our homepage to the Neighbourhood community increase by more than 400%.

We also leverage our Khoros community to gather customer feedback and product ideation, and we’ve delivered on many features and improvements requested by our customers through the Neighbourhood’s Ideas area (https://neighbourhood.agl.com.au/t5/Ideas/ct-p/Ideas). And every time we deliver on a customer suggestion, we can shout that customer out on a post to the front page of Neighbourhood.

The Group Hubs (https://neighbourhood.agl.com.au/t5/Groups/ct-p/groups) feature enables us to host our most engaged customers to collaborate on technology trials and beta programs. After using a Group Hub to engage a select group of customers participating in a trial of Electric Vehicle smart charging to a Group Hub, our Product Manager for EVs said “The small group of 47 trial participants generated hundreds of views and posts. It was a great way for me to engage directly with our trial participants about their experience, what questions and issues they had, and importantly what they're looking for in the future for EV charging. We’ll definitely use the forum in similar trials in the future." 

We want AGL to remain a visible leader in decarbonization and energy transition, and hosting conversations on Neighbourhood supports those efforts.

2. How did the community get brought to life? Was there executive/business/stakeholder buy-in? What was the process to gain this buy-in? How was cross-functional support and organizational adoption achieved?

AGL as a whole has worked together to support Neighbourhood’s growth since its launch more than seven years ago. Areas across the business - from Customer Support to Product, Marketing, and Stakeholder Relations - have made use of Neighbourhood to engage and connect with our customers and the wider community.

 The community’s name, Neighbourhood, was selected by a competition open to all of AGL, with more than 300 suggestions submitted by employees across all areas of the business.

3. What were the results? More revenue generated, a reduction of costs, improved customer experience, more innovation, etc.? Tell us how Khoros helped you achieve those results. Please include quantifiable metrics if possible.

Across the life of the community, Neighbourhood has delivered reduced support costs and improved our customer experience.

In 2022, after expanding our product offerings to include Internet and Mobile plans, we launched a full community redesign to better support our expansion as a multi-product retailer, improve accessibility, and refresh the user experience. Since then, we’ve seen a continued trend upwards in customer satisfaction within the community: more than 60% of respondents in a recent survey said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their experience on Neighbourhood. Neighbourhood supported a deflection rate of 69% for visitors seeking support.

Year-over-year results included:

  • 84% increase in completed registrations
  • 106% increase in member entrances
  • 64% increase in solution views
  • 90% increase in community visits
  • 25% decrease in minutes to first reply

Special Thanks: Eric Fenessy

Case Study Opt-In: Yes