As part of JiveWorld16, I was asked to present in the Employee Engagement and Communications track on the idea of The Customer-Centric Organization https://jiveworld.jivesoftware.com/agenda/sessions/the-customer-centric-organization/
I'm Deborah de Freitas of Spredfast (more about me How I Work: An Interview with Deborah de Freitas from Spredfast ) My co-presenters were Peter Broadley and Mark Chadwick from CSA group and together we shared how our use of both Employee Engagement & Collaboration: Jive Platform communities helps us to bring knowledge from our customers into our organization.
Spredfast, as a smart social media platform, has always been customer centric. We help our customers connect to the people they care about most using social media. But our own customer knowledge was often kept in the minds of our customer facing teams and we spent a lot of time trying to share it broadly throughout the organization in meetings and via email. To increase customer knowledge, we send product managers, marketers, and other teams to meet face to face with our customers. We have a customer advisory board and customer advocates and we also host two big events in Austin when many of our employees can meet with our customers. But as we grow, we needed a sustainable way to connect with customers and to record, amplify, and archive the knowledge our employees get in those interactions with others. That's where Jive comes in.
Our Jive-x Community helps us to connect to our customers by allowing them to:
- Ask questions. Other customers, our support team, or our product team can answer these. One frequent question, about social image sizes, led to the creation of the attached social sizing guide and a new product feature.
- Submit product ideas. Ideas are reviewed regularly by our product team and we communicate a status to let our customers know if it is in review, declined, or added to our roadmap.
- Connect with other members or Spredfast employees. By creating discussions around industries or product or use case, we can share best practices. By creating a private place just for Advocates, we can help to support speaking engagements, press opportunities, and more with our most committed customers.
- Find Educational Resources. We have a strong onboarding program and even send trainers on site to help our customers learn to be experts on our products. But as our customers add new employees or new products or move beyond their initial use cases, we want them to have all the tools they need to be successful. Because our community is closed with access only through our product we can provide a very rich training environment to our customers.
- Get Started. Like all good communities, you should have a place for the newbies to figure out what is going on and how to use the community.
So great- you have customer meetings and a customer community - but how do you make sure that knowledge reaches your employees?
Well FIRST we think about what kind of information needs to meet which employees.
- For ALL employees – we want alignment – who do we work with (Sales Wins), what do they do (Client Launches), what do we sell (Product Releases), etc..
- For MOST employees we want to drive engagement – with training, engaging in the community, having access to reports and notes from customer meetings
- For SOME employees – we want to enable collaboration – without having to have them travel to the customer. Help them learn how to gather ideas, work with customers to drive opportunities, make support and networking easier.
I walked through several of these examples and answered questions at the end, but I'll wrap up my presentation here with a screenshot of the internal Jive-n community we call Sharefast. Ask me anything in the questions and I'll try to respond within a few days.
Since I was onstage, I didn't get any photos of CSAs slides, but have grabbed a few from the video: The Customer-Centric Organization
My main takeaway from their presentation is that they have used Jive to bring the major functions of the process of applying for, reviewing, and approving standards to the digital age and true collaboration instead of just digital documents. In the process, they've increased access and communication to their customers and have reduced the amount of time it takes to move through the process. The increased transparency and connectedness between their members, their customers, and their employees is groundbreaking.
They started their journey working in a community with their members, who are experts in their field helping to review the many consumer products introduced in the Canadian Market each year. They manage mission critical processes via that community and share all the documentation and educational resources their members will need to complete their projects. They have 80 project managers who manage 9000 volunteers using private groups by standard. They collaborate on the standards within the community.
The success of that community led them to create a new community to connect with the customers directly. Members and Employees can connect directly to consumers to discuss standards and the process of reviewing.
The best testimonial comes from one of their members directly in this video:
It was great for me to see how a small social startup in Austin with 600 employees worldwide and a non-profit standards organization around for almost 100 years (1919) could both leverage communities to improve their customer centricity. Thanks to Kathryn Everest and Claire Fletcher for hosting us, it was a great experience.