Sparking a Transformation in Customer Service

Blog Post created by tara.panu on Mar 20, 2013

StrongMail logo.pngCustomer Support calls can be a very arduous task - not to mention a major expense for companies. StrongMail, the leading provider of online marketing solutions, began to see this as a challenge. Prior to Jive, there were only two ways customers could talk to StrongMail—technical support and their account manager. As StrongMail’s customer base was growing rapidly, so was the need for support to sustain that base. Rather than just increasing the number of customer service personnel, StrongMail decided to transform the way they supported and engaged with their customers - through social business. That led them to select Jive as their back-end system to help run their business by transforming their existing customer support with a social powered customer community. Working with Jive, StrongMail deployed their external, customer-facing online community "Spark" in April 2010. Spark integrated directly with StrongMail's formal case management processes through Salesforce.com, enabling collaboration with other customers while also providing them with a single, centralized resource to meet all their support needs.


Spark-Screen-Shot.jpgSpark not only connected StrongMail’s Support Team to their customers, but also helped create a dynamic and collaborative workplace where StrongMail’s customers can interact and share with each other. Living up to its name, the community is sparking a great deal of activity, including one that is very valuable:customers answering other customers' questions.

Customer engagement was the key in driving business impact across all fronts. Whether its views of educational material or discussions amongst other customers, the number of customer service calls was greatly reduced and the level of collaboration and engagement greatly increased.

"Jive allows us to cost-effectively scale our support organization while at the same time providing better service to our customers. What's more, our customer community is such a valued asset that our sales force is using it as a differentiator in the marketplace." dcormier Director of Product Marketing, StrongMail


Spark has achieved pure business value throughout the company and their customer base-

Both qualitatively:

  • Customers are quick to answer questions from other customers.
  • Educational materials are being viewed and discussed widely on a regular basis, which has a direct impact on reducing support calls.
  • Internal StrongMail experts outside the official Support team are interacting with customers, which plays a role in strengthening connections with the company’s customer base.
  • Product management has received valuable feedback for enhancing future product versions.

And quantitatively:

  • 86% adoption rate by StrongMail customers and 58% login to Spark regularly.
  • 95% received answers to their questions or had issues resolved via Spark.
  • 69% search for an answer in Spark first, before contacting support.
  • 50% have decreased their usage of technical support 90% find Spark helpful.

StrongMail achieved these business value stats by investing in the right technology and implementing an effective strategy developed in conjunction with Jive experts and their own employees. They took the next step in transforming their business by forming a cross-departmental steering committee with experts in all departments: Marketing, Support, Services, Product Management, and Sales. The cross-functional team enabled StrongMail to successfully integrate Spark into important customer processes – from on-boarding to monthly account management meetings. The marketing team also used an effective combination of email marketing, social media, and an evangelist program to foster and drive ongoing engagement with the customer community. These activities clearly show how StrongMail is an excellent example of a true social transformative company that is going above and beyond basic adoption- and they sure have the stats to prove it.

For more information on how social business is paying off, download this Whitepaper.