Pitney Bowes Selects Lithium Technologies to Power Online Community for Supporting and Engaging Customers
EMERYVILLE, Calif. – February 11, 2009 – Lithium Technologies, the leader in customer community solutions, today announced that PItney Bowes, Inc. (NYSE:PBI), the world's leading mailstream technology company with $6.3 billion in annual revenue, is working with Lithium to power and manage the Pitney Bowes online community for supporting and engaging customers. Live for eight months, the community not only saved the company hundreds of thousands of dollars in a four week period, but has also quickly become an important source of input for Pitney Bowes's process improvement efforts and a key vehicle for enhancing customer responsiveness.
In January 2008, Pitney Bowes decided to set up a community to support the May 2008 postal rate change, an event that typically generates millions of support calls and requires Pitney Bowes to set up temporary call centers. With less than three months from community proposal to launch and no prior community experience, Pitney Bowes needed to work with a company that could provide both community technology and community management & moderation services. Lithium fit those needs and helped the company quickly achieve positive results.
"We needed to go from zero-to-sixty in no time, so we were drawn to Lithium in part because of their SaaS (Software as a Service) delivery model, but most importantly because they weren't talking about technology features and platforms, they were talking to us about community success," said Community Manager Mike Hardy. "It was clear that Lithium put more focus on community strategy and management than other vendors, and that we could rely on their active moderation services to help us create a positive and engaging community environment."
As a result of a large number of customers using the community to find answers to their May 2008 postal rate change questions, Pitney Bowes was able to save hundreds of thousands of dollars by dramatically reducing the number of incoming calls to its call centers. Customer support is not the only objective for the community it also serves as a key vehicle for a company-wide initiative to improve the overall customer experience.
"Engaging with our customers in more open dialogue is a priority at Pitney Bowes from the CEO on down," said Rudy Chang, Vice President of the Online Solutions Group. "We know that customers are having conversations about our products and services, and an online community is a great way to bring those conversations under our own roof and give us an opportunity to participate in and learn from them."
Pitney Bowes's community provides general discussion areas where customers can engage with one another around various mailstream topics, in addition to "Ask the Expert" forum events where a Pitney Bowes expert hosts a week-long discussion on a specific topic of interest. These events generate enormous buzz within the community, as customers discover new solutions, perspectives, and other community members with similar interests. Pitney Bowes has also launched a "Think Tank" forum where customers can post and vote for ideas about Pitney Bowes products and services. Pitney Bowes management reviews these ideas, plus other customer insights gained from the community, during a monthly executive steering committee meeting.
"Communities are a powerful way to gain insight into customer needs by providing an always-on listening device for customer sentiment, ideas, and feedback," said Lyle Fong, CEO of Lithium Technologies. "These insights are valuable to every function within an organization, and smart companies like Pitney Bowes that understand are better equipped to provide the products and services that customers need and want most."
About Lithium Technologies
Lithium is the leading provider of customer-centric social networking solutions for the enterprise. Working with market leaders such as Best Buy, Sony, AT&T, Research In Motion Limited (RIM), Univision, and PayPal, Lithium delivers online customer communities that work. Lithium solutions inspire customers to share knowledge, connect with each other, and connect with the enterprise, thus providing a unique method for companies to identify, engage, and understand customers. As a result, businesses measurably improve their marketing and sales, accelerate innovation, and increase customer satisfaction. Lithium's platform is proven in high-volume, growth environments and provides the security, analytics, APIs, and multi-language support that enterprises demand. Founded in 2001, Lithium is privately held with headquarters in Emeryville, California. For more information, visit www.lithium.com.
About Pitney Bowes
Pitney Bowes is a mailstream technology company that helps organizations manage the flow of information, mail, documents and packages. Our 35,000 employees deliver technology, service and innovation to more than two million customers worldwide. The company was founded in 1920 and annual revenues now total $6.3 billion. More information is available at www.pb.com.
Lithium Media Contacts:
Michael Paige, Corporate Headquarters & Global, firstname.lastname@example.org , +1 (510) 318 7014
Sandra Teuber, Central & Southern Europe, email@example.com , +41 (79) 223 7356
Prelini Chiechi, UK & Northern Europe, firstname.lastname@example.org, +44 (7826) 912788
Imogen Riley, APAC & Australia, email@example.com, +61 413 274 210