Entry submitted by: Patricia M. DiPasquale (pmdCanon) Sr. Manager, Digital Marketing Services
Community: Canon Community (community.usa.canon.com/)
Lithy category: Total Community All Star
Canon U.S.A., Inc., headquartered in Melville, New York, is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions to the United States and to Latin America and the Caribbean (excluding Mexico) markets.
With approximately $31 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), ranks third overall in U.S. patents registered in 2014† and is one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies in 2015.
† Based on weekly patent counts issued by United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Our road to Lithium
The Canon approach to taking on new social platforms is that each has to meet objectives not already covered by other platforms, as well as being able to serve different audiences. There is crossover, of course, but there are unique characteristics as well.
Knowing that the conversation would go on with or without us, we decided to bring that conversation closer to home where we could be a part of it. We set out armed with a list of business objectives, criteria for success, and must-have requirements. After extensive research and comparing the features of available forum platforms, choosing the Lithium-powered Community was a no-brainer.
Of the seven business objectives set for our social platforms, the two main objectives we sought to fulfill with a forum were:
We don’t want to say that either of these are a problem, but the Forum was most certainly the solution. The Canon Community grew quickly, averaging well over 1,000 new members and over 200,000 unique visitors every month. Many answers come from the Community, but our Customer Support Center is there to fill in the gaps.
As one could imagine, having to moderate the Forum, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram and Vimeo for the wide range of Canon products, takes a lot of eyeballs and a variety of skillsets. However, once Lithium Social Web announced the inclusion of images as part of the moderation platform, we knew it would be the closest thing to a magic bullet that we could get.
Benefits of a Total Community
As stated earlier, LSW has transformed how our Customer Support Center operates. Previously, the forum was moderated by manually refreshing the page to review the latest posts. And rather than having to figure out where the last moderator left off via sticky notes and email, the tool clearly indicates where the next moderator can start his or her shift.
In regards to digital strategy, LSW allows for a more controlled social environment, meaning that there isn’t as much of a fear factor as there once was when introducing additional social platforms. The ability to moderate the Forum, Facebook and Twitter from a single location, have an automated workflow, and metrics that would satisfy the most finicky of analysts, truly made a difference for our Customer Support Center.
Every post made on the Community, Twitter or Facebook comes into LSW so the team can moderate, escalate, and assist as needed, ensuring that no posts are missed, and that the team can quickly act on trends. The moderators are also able to provide feedback on product complaints and work with product managers at Canon headquarters to help resolve customer issues as soon as a post is made.
Total Community results
While we do not have specific numbers to share, implementing LSW has increased efficiency across the board. The only growth in Customer Support headcount has been when new social channels have been added to the mix. And not even in the quantity that was originally forecasted, which is a huge savings in what is possibly the most expensive cost factor: human resources.
The tool has also improved the moderation of specific hashtags and handles, making it easier to watch for tweets from specific individuals, as well as easily add new hashtags as we see something that needs to be monitored.
By using the filtering functionality, Customer Support is able to weed out tweets from spam-generating handles. This has ensured that the moderators are viewing relevant customer interactions rather than spending time closing out spam.
Lastly, the metrics coming out of LSW have allowed the Customer Support Center to get real insight into the productivity of moderators in a way that they haven't been able to before. This information has been useful for providing a good baseline to create future performance goals for the moderators as well as to schedule staff adequately in the present.
We have received positive feedback from our Customer Support Center, which gives us the affirmation that our solution is working, internally and externally. Here's an example of the feedback we recently received from our Customer Support Center:
We're really happy with LSW and the support team at Lithium.
I wish we had some way to compare pre-LSW to now. Getting LSW is like going from filling out stacks of paper forms to getting a computer and doing everything electronically; it's such an improvement. We previously had to record every fan interaction manually (name, date, comment, platform, etc.). Now, everything is done in a few mouse clicks. It's honestly made a huge difference in our productivity and has allowed us to concentrate on fan interaction instead of record keeping.
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