How Qualtrics Transformed Their Digital Support Strategy
Qualtrics is a fast growing SaaS company who pioneered the experience management industry and developed the Experience Management (XM) Platform™ that helps organizations continually assess the quality of their four core experiences—customers, employees, products, and brands. With Qualtrics XM, organizations can be at every meaningful touchpoint, for every experience, and predict which changes will resonate most with stakeholders.
“Our customers are getting the answers they need in a timely manner, whether from other community members or from our team of moderators—we are really pleased!”
Global Operations Manager
The request for a dedicated customer space became an increasingly frequent demand by Qualtrics customers, and so, Qualtrics knew it was time to procure an online community forum.
Qualtrics examined several vendors but chose Vanilla due to its customizability, powerful tech, gamification and short implementation process, all the while being reasonably priced.
The team at Vanilla worked to make sure that everything was in order before the Qualtrics community went live, and so, everything went as smoothly as expected.
Qualtrics received immediate praise for their community, as members and brand evangelists quickly made this their space to answer support questions, share best practices and network.
There’s No Place Like a Dedicated Space
Qualtrics was founded in 2002, and up until 2018, was operating just fine without an online community forum. But as their portfolio of corporate customers continued to grow, Qualtrics kept getting the same feedback; their customers wanted to make connections, network, and see examples of use cases. Their customers frequently requested a space to share their experience with the products.
Kendra Jackson, the Global Operations Manager, wanted to make sure that Qualtrics continued to evolve and deliver on customer demands. “Our customers wanted an official space to allow them to share and connect with other customers,” says Kendra. She continues, “there were these amazing brand evangelists who would go company to company using our product with a ton of great knowledge and we wanted to create a space for them.”
Kendra also knew that creating a dedicated customer space would help deliver support much faster by connecting peers and encouraging conversation. This would ultimately help Qualtrics deliver a better customer experience, which, as a self-proclaimed “customer obsessed” organization, was incredibly important—it’s a value that they lived by. As Kendra notes, “there was more demand for special coding [by developers]...[and] while our team could assist with any of these questions, we knew we had experienced customers in different industries who could help each other.”
Additionally, Kendra quickly identified the growing demand for customer self service within the broader business landscape. She knew that it was time to implement a solution that could deliver on customer demands while also helping to forward the Qualtrics vision and goals. As Kendra noted, “[we were aware] that more and more customers want to be able to find their answers online…[and while] customers can call in and ask for help, having [a] community creates a space for them to answer one another in a digital environment.”
And so, Kendra and her team began to look into community forum platforms that would support their customer demands, business requirements and execute the Qualtrics vision.
No Dedicated Customer Space
Qualtrics was experiencing an increased demand for a dedicated customer space, which would provide its customers with a place to connect, share best practice and discuss specialized requests, such as coding.
No Tools for Customer Self-Service
Qualtrics knew that the modern customer expects organizations to provide them with the tools to service themselves, and so they knew it was time to get a support-based community.
Not All Communities Are Created Equal
Although the decision to procure an online community was largely due to customer demand, Kendra knew that not just any community would do, and that not all community vendors would be a fit for Qualtrics. In fact, Kendra and her team already had a list of community features and capabilities that she was looking for in order to fulfill the Qualtrics vision. And so, Kendra began her search for the perfect community platform by evaluating several vendors and determining whether they could deliver on her must-have list.
One of the key things that Kendra was looking for when it came to a community platform was an excellent gamification system. Qualtrics had a large group of brand evangelists, and Kendra wanted to ensure that they not only had a space to share their knowledge with other customers, but they were also given the recognition (and rewards) that they deserved. “We are lucky to have a group of passionate evangelists,” says Kendra, “and we wanted to give them a space and recognize these contributors.”
The Qualtrics Checklist
“We evaluated a few options, and Vanilla was very reasonably priced for everything they offered.”
“It was critical that we had a platform that was customizable and allowed us to get up and running quickly.”
Easy to Use
“One of the reasons why we selected Vanilla was because it’s just so easy to use and customize.”
“We [use Vanilla gamification to] recognize members with points, badges, swag [and] early access to new features.”
The First Step To A New Adventure
Launching the brand new, and first ever, Qualtrics community was an exciting time for Kendra and her team. The community was seen as a central aspect of their digital support plan to scale their team and enhance their customers’ experience, so they were excited to know that Vanilla could get their community up and running quickly.
A major goal of the community was to gather long-tail answers and make them available to their members for quick and effective support. As Emily Gottschalk, Senior Digital Editor and a key member of Kendra’s team noted, “we have over 600 support articles that cover a lot of the ‘how-to’s’ of the XM Platform, but due to the millions of ways someone can use the Qualtrics platform, there will always be long-tail use cases that are difficult to provide full coverage for in our documentation...the community is another channel that helps us directly leverage in-depth knowledge from experts in the community.” With that in mind, and the two major community KPIs that Kendra would be measuring (self-serve ratio and the tickets answered ratio), the Vanilla team quickly worked to make sure that everything was solid for the day of the launch.
As expected, the launch went without issue and was well received by both customers and brand evangelists.
A Positive and Lasting Ripple Effect
The launch of the Qualtrics community was well received by everyone; this was something that not only helped to advance Qualtrics’ digital support capabilities, but was also something that their customers have wanted for a while. “We have been getting lots of positive product signals coming from the community and within Qualtrics,” says Kendra.
The community was also able to address one of their initial pain points, which was creating a space for members to get peer-to-peer assistance with specialized requests, such as coding. The results here were immediate. As Emily says, “there was a community on Stack Overflow that was sharing all this great code to integrate with Qualtrics projects, and now many of these users are on our forums, sharing that knowledge with one another directly.” Ultimately, the dedicated space that Kendra envisioned for members to connect, share best practices and get quick and effective peer-to-peer support had finally come to fruition.
“Our customers are so happy to have a space [to share constructive ideas]—we are really pleased.”
Additionally, Kendra has found that many customers have begun to use the community as a space to nurture some of their ideas. This is especially true for some of the Qualtrics customers who work in smaller organizations. Since the launch, Kendra has seen an influx of customer networking, wherein customers use the community to bounce ideas off others in similar positions with much more experience under their belts, and get invaluable feedback.In the end, the decision to not only implement an online community forum, but to also select Vanilla Forums as the Qualtrics’ vendor, paid off big time.
Reflecting on the Qualtrics Journey
There are some rare instances where your first love turns out to be “the one”—and Qualtrics is a living example of this. As an organization who values transparency and honesty, Qualtrics chose to partner with an organization who holds the same values. They chose Vanilla Forums due to our ability to deliver everything on their wishlist at a more than reasonable price, and put their trust in our ability to keep our word and fulfill their vision. Today, the Qualtrics community is booming and their peer-to-peer support is thriving. But hey, we could also be “the one” for you too—don’t be afraid to reach out if you have questions or want to learn more!
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