Interested in learning more about how other creative and innovative companies are using an online community to engage with their employees, partners, or citizens? Here are a few examples of companies we admire who are using communities in some pretty interesting ways.
Realizing that product know-how and great customer service are market differentiators, The Home Depot wanted a simple way to celebrate wins, share product knowledge and increase associate engagement. That's why they partnered with Telligent to launch The Warehouse, an internal community that enables employees to find and share information fast so they can better serve customers and create profitable relationships.
"Telligent took the time to visit our stores and understand what our 3000,000 employess go through. When was the last time a software company did that?"
Jack Norton, Sr. Manager, Associate Communications.
The Warehouse has been recognized by The Home Depot's executive team as a "Phenomenal tool" which "is a very intuitive and easy tool to use." Store associates have also praised the community as both a time and money saver that allows them be more efficient and effective.
Redken leads the professional beauty industry with street-smart products and passionate, talented people. Their commitment to formulate scientifically superior products for the global salon community continues, and as they forge ahead in the millennium, their awareness of fashion, street trends and modern hair needs will only enhance their scientific strength.
The Break Room, is an online community where Redken professionals can interact with fellow salon professionals, share inspiring looks and techniques, and learn more about how to run a salon business from their peers. The Break Room includes social media and sharing capabilities, profile accounts, job boards, and featured content that talks about salon best practices and design inspiration.
Whether using their iPhone, iPad, or Android phone – Redken Style Station offers salon professionals everything they need from Redken right in the palm of their hand. Through the development of their own mobile apps, using Telligent APIs to connect to their community, Redken is demonstrating how technology can enhance creativity and the customer experience.
Beck AG is where agriculture meets social technology. It created a private online community for ag professionals to exchange knowledge and support one another. Today about 2,500 Ag professionals have Q&A discussions about topics that improve their businesses. Public discussions enable members to network, discuss critical issues (farm policy, marketing, crops, future of farming), share tactics for employee management and offer advice about the tools that make their business better.
Beck Ag also gives ag-related companies the opportunity to engage their customers directly for market feedback, research and product discussions. This enables brands to build closer relationships with customers and deliver more personal customer service.
Enhanced networking with ag professionals: Members connect with peers across the country to share challenges, opportunities and solutions to common issues. Ag professionals are actively engaged on the site, with over 25,000 page views per month and an average time of 4 + minutes on the site.
Generating revenue from corporate sponsors: BeckAg provides the community as a service to ag professionals and creates revenue from companies that pay to have private sub-groups and discussions related to their products.
Stanford University has long had innovation in its core DNA -- so it was only a matter of time until Stanford Law would find a way to be technology pioneers once again. SLSConnect is a beautifully-designed private community which connects their faculty and alumni 24/7. The community is integrated seamlessly into the other areas of the alumni outreach programs available via their online portal.
In addition to discussion forums and informational wikis the site often features high profile faculty and alumni hosting live chat sessions. The community serves as a 'one-stop shop' for exclusive information only available to members via SLSConnect.
Thanks to a recent community redesign, SLSConnect became the most clicked link on the Stanford Law School portal.
Slimband is North America's premier weight loss group, specializing in reversible laparoscopic weight loss surgery with a unique five-year aftercare program that includes nutritional counseling and coaching. The company wanted to create a private, secure online community for weight loss patients to discuss the banding procedure, connect with healthcare specialists and support one another throughout the process.
More than 5,000 current and prospective patients engage in the My Slimband Community. People can research and discuss the procedure and interact in the community -- share their weight loss techniques, discuss their health goals, seek advice from professionals and talk about the emotional journey involved in the procedure. In addition to offering these support services, Slimband can advertise additional services, collect patient feedback and test potential offerings.
Enhanced healthcare experience: For patients dealing with the weight loss journey, the community is a much needed support system to deal with the physical and emotional effects of the surgery. Slimband community members openly share their support, advice and recommendations with one another because they share similar experiences and develop mutually beneficial relationships.
Reduced customer support costs: Cut support costs by $60,000/year and reduced call volume by more than 1,100 calls annually, accounting for 15-20% of all calls.
Increased revenue and lead generation: Slimband attributes $80,000 in new revenue to the community. It is also an effective competitive differentiator that shows prospective patients the encouraging and interactive support community available to its patients.