Posted tagged ‘discussion forums’

TSIA’s Newest Member Program: Community Benchmark Is Now Live!

October 22, 2013

Yesterday at TSIA’s Technology Services World Conference I launched a new program for members, a community benchmark program. Targeting online customer support communities, TSIA member companies can take the survey and then receive a one hour meeting with me to see how their community processes, technology and performance metrics compare to the industry and their peers.

With 72% of members now having a customer community, I felt we had enough adoption to start drilling down into the details of the programs to identify best practices and pacesetter practices. The TSIA benchmark philosophy is linking practices to results: if you look at the companies with the highest performance metrics, what are the tools and processes they have in common that are enabling this success? To my knowledge, there is no other source for this information currently, so I’m hoping my new benchmark program will be a unique data set offering valuable insights.

To develop the survey, I started with the data I had on what social metrics companies tracked, then asked my Social Champions co-chairs to send me the lists of metrics they tracked for their communities, and I also asked 2 of our partners, Get Satisfaction and Lithium, what metrics they recommend their customers track. After a few rounds of reviews and edits, I launched a pilot in September to test the survey, and yesterday in my Power Hour session I launched to the entire TSIA membership.

The survey consists of questions in the following categories: Contact Information, Demographics, Community Size, Community Activity, Reputation/Influence, Issue Resolution, Community Staffing, Cost, Community Practices, and Technology. In total, there are 47 questions, meeting my goal of 50 questions or less.

TSIA members who want more information can check out this OnDemand webcast which goes into detail on each survey question and how to participate. Hopefully by our Spring conference I’ll have some initial data to share.

Hope to have you join the community benchmark program. And thanks for reading!

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Social Support Content Featured at Upcoming TSW Conference

August 29, 2013

Our Technology Services World (TSW) Service Transformation Conference is just around the corner, October 21-23 at the Aria in Las Vegas. I am very excited about our new venue, Aria Hotel and Conference Center in City Center, the newest hotel property on the strip with lots of high tech features, including internet everywhere. That’s right, free internet in the hotel and conference center, and those staying at the hotel will even have faster connect speeds than the free option. Hopefully that will encourage attendees to be more social than usual. Get ready to hashtag yourself into a stupor!

Over the last few weeks we have been doing prep calls with speakers, discussing breakout session content and best practices, and we have created a solid group of sessions around various aspects of social support and I wanted to call those out now. If you are active in your company’s social media or online community efforts, or are interested in learning how to get started, here are examples of the social content you can expect to find at TSW:

Monday 10/21

Benchmarking Your Way to Customer Community Success. The first round of breakouts at the conference is the “Power Hour,” with TSIA research leads presenting sessions from 4:15-5:15 on hot topics in each service discipline. My session will give an overview of a new member program I am launching at the event, a benchmark survey for customer communities. Open to all members, this survey covers critical metrics on community size, growth, problem resolution, staffing, technology, etc., and will allow me to have coaching sessions with individual members on how their online communities compare to their peers. In this session, find out what questions are in the survey and how to participate.

Tuesday 10/22

Building a Customer-Centered Business, from the Support Organization Out. Usually many of the top attended sessions at TSW are technology case studies, and I expect this session at 9:45am, presented by SaaS provider Blackbaud and leading community platform vendor, GetSatisfaction, to be standing-room-only, so arrive early for a seat. As a SaaS pioneer in non-profit financial management, Blackbaud differentiates by creating a customer-centered culture. Their service organization leads the charge in this effort by creating and nurturing a base of enthusiastic and supportive customers. Find out how these efforts by the support organization are transforming their business and the results they’re seeing. The presenters are Kristen Gastaldo, Community Manager, Blackbaud, Inc., and Scott Hirsch, VP of Product and Content Marketing, GetSatisfaction.

Stump the Panel: Empowering Service Organizations to Take Community to the Next Level. This panel discussion at 2pm focuses on the strategic value of communities. Though at first communities were seen as a way of lowering support costs, today the emphasis moves beyond deflection to identifying how communities can empower their social-savvy customers through collaboration, with direct ties to product direction, customer satisfaction, loyalty and repurchase. For this session, TSIA has invited three recognized industry experts on customer communities to share their views on the current and future role of communities within technology firms, and to answer your questions, both tactical and strategic, on building, launching and driving adoption for customer communities. Prizes will be awarded to the audience members with the most challenging and thought provoking questions, so this is a great opportunity to bring your biggest community-related challenge and leave the session with a plan of action you can immediately implement. The panelists for the session are Rob Shapiro, Senior Director, Customer Service Technologies, Oracle Corporation; Joseph Cothrel, Chief Community Officer, Lithium Technologies; and Scott Hirsch, VP of Product and Content Marketing, Get Satisfaction.

Social Media: The New Customer Service Channel. This session at 3:30 is presented by Carl Knerr, Services Director at Avaya. Carl has already made a name for himself as a social media expert via the Avaya CONNECTED blog. Check out his series on social media in customer service, which he will expand on in this session. According to Carl, “There is encouraging news that companies see the need to move into social media as a customer support channel. In fact, 80 percent of companies were planning on utilizing social media as part of their customer service strategy by the end of 2012; something they know is important, as 62 percent of their customers are already there. While companies are moving to this space, that does not mean they know how to approach the problem. I’ll cover my ten recommendations on how to proceed.”

Also, for those of you who participate in the Social Champions group, we will have a Social Breakfast of Champions on Wednesday morning, 10/23, beginning at 7:15am in the Expo Theatre. I will be there to answer questions, facilitate discussions, and get to know the champions in real time. For more information on the Champions program and the Champions breakfast, follow this link.

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to seeing all of you at TSW!

 

 

nGenera CIM Launches CIM 9 with Social Service Focus

March 31, 2010

One of the realities of high tech is high employee turnover, especially in sales and marketing roles. The grass always looks greener, and a job change usually means a decent salary bump and title change. I was thinking about this when I received my pre-briefing on nGenera Customer Interaction Management (CIM) 9, which launched today. I’ve seen a lot of demos in my time, and this was pretty impressive. Not only for the functionality, which I’ll get to in a minute, but even more so because of Nikhil Govindaraj, Vice President of Products at nGenera CIM, who drove the product briefing and demo. Nikhil started at nGenera CIM (then Talisma) in 2000 as a program manager, and has worked his way up through the business in sales and sales engineering roles before assuming his current role, responsible for Product Management and Engineering functions for the nGenera CIM product line, last year.

With a decade of customer facing roles at nGenera, Nikhil knows his customer. He’s heard every criticism and wish list first hand; he understands the balance between fulfilling tactical customer requests with pushing the envelope on market-leading capabilities. It was really enjoyable to have a briefing with a product person who knew the product so deeply, as well as the back story for every feature. He is also a great presenter, so check out the next nGen webcast you see advertised, Nikhil will probably be presenting. You can also see him in action in a video on the nGen CIM 9 launch page.

Today’s nGen CIM 9 launch was interesting because they focused on customer success, not marketing. Beta customer KMD, the largest IT company in Denmark, presented case studies of launching nGen Knowledgebase,  nGen Community and nGen Social Media in a variety of government services, technology support, utilities, consumer financial services, etc., all with great success (including publishing articles from the knowledgebase to Twitter and Facebook). Nice to hear from a customer, especially for a new release.

nGen CIM 9 includes new or enhanced capabilities in the following areas:

  • nGen Community: nGen CIM has extended their forum capabilities into a full community offering, including wikis, reputation modeling, discussion forums with good management tools, and the integration with the popular nGen Knowledgebase means community-generated content is fed back into the knowledge base and can be accessed by users through federated search.
  • nGen Social Media: This release enables customer support via popular social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, including some cool sentiment technology that prioritizes and routes incidents using a sentiment score, so frustrated customers can be sent directly to a senior agent.
  • nGen Knowledgebase search: nGenera CIM has expanded its federated search capabilities to include knowledge-base content, Web site content, file server content, and now with CIM 9 nGen Knowledgebase, database and social content has been added to the search. For more information on nGen’s intelligent search, check out my new research report, “Intelligent Search Market Overview: Three Search Technology Markets Converge to Streamline Information Access.”
  • nGen CoBrowse: One of the few multi-channel players to embrace remote control/co-browse, nGen CoBrowse allows support techs to engage customers in collaborative CoBrowse sessions to help them complete purchases or solve complex issues.
  • nGen Survey: Having a survey module as part of a multi-channel platform seems a ‘must have’ to me, it allows you to create granular rules about surveys by channel and account with zero integration costs. nGen Survey is a completely integrated post-interaction survey module, so nGen customers don’t need additional survey tools.
  • Enterprisabilty: In deals for large accounts, nGen has sometimes faced FUD from competitors about their mid-market roots. To put to rest any question about scalability, nGen CIM 9 features architecture enhancements that ensure scalability, and new administration features to streamline management of large, globally distributed support agents.

I wish nGenera great success with their launch, and I hope all of you shopping for multi-channel and social service tools will check them out!  Thanks for reading.