Case Study

Constant Contact Drives 98% Customer Retention with Digital and Community Customer Support

Constant Contact is an online marketing company for small businesses. Through the Constant Contact Toolkit, customers get real results through marketing campaigns like email newsletters, surveys, events, Facebook promotions, online listings, and more. The company offers award-winning support as well as free marketing resources to make the path to success smoother.

  • Goal

    Deliver on the promise to prioritize a great customer experience and the best customer support through multiple channels – in a way that aligns fully with the Constant Contact brand.

  • Solution

    Implement a Lithium-powered online customer community that reflects the Constant Contact brand, aligns with the company’s strategic objectives and provides an intuitive, easy user experience. Secondly, build a help center that puts equal weight on all support channels, including community, so customers can choose how to interact with customer support.

“Engaging with our customers is a critical part of our success formula. Our community provides a key channel for our customers to give us feedback while connecting with each other.”

— David McCann, VP Customer Operations, Constant Contact

What role do social channels and community play in your customer support?

Our social channels and the community help to ensure that we are meeting our promise to our customers –customers first, always. Having award-winning support for our customers has always been a top goal for Constant Contact. By adding in other channels to our support team, we can help our customers through the channel on which they wish to interact. The community also helps us create a space for peer-to-peer engagement. For small businesses, the ability to get insight from other small business owners is critical to their success.

How does community support your ability to listen to customers?

We pride ourselves on being transparent and listening to our customer feedback. Throughout the organization we have many listening posts, and the community is an integral part of this. With an in-product widget, we can get feedback from customers during the moments that matter. We can use the community to crowdsource use-cases, find trending topics, and report back to customers on progress with different ideas.

What are your support channel goals?

With Millennials settling into the workplace, we needed to prepare for how we handle change in support channel preferences. Constant Contact has primarily focused on 1:1 support channels (phone and chat) in the past. We set out to build a help center that puts equal weight on all support channels, and we are committed to giving the customer a choice in how they want to interact with us.

We are also working to ensure our self-service channels are set to handle potential growth and that we serve up the right content in a way the customer wants. With video becoming a more relevant help tool, we made sure our knowledge base provided more video options. We started out with 25 videos in 2015 and grew that number to 70 by the end of 2016. In the same time span, video views grew from 105,000 to 566,000 views – more than doubling our year-over-year usage.

How have you handled support staffing to support social and community?

We use a unique staffing model that is flexible, scalable, and cost efficient. Our Tier 1 support specialists dedicate time daily to help staff our front-line support on community and social media. The specialists report what is happening on community and social media back to their teams and promote great community content that their teammates can send to customers after a chat or phone interaction. Directing customers to resources on community has a couple of benefits: the customer is presented with our best, most thorough resources while allowing our support specialist to move on to the next incoming call.

Can you give a specific example of how community has helped you better support customers?

Through our community and social channels, we listen to our customer’s feedback. The data showed us that our customers wanted support over the weekend. We are now able to provide that via Twitter and in the community. Since starting this initiative, we have seen an increase in engagement on social and in the community.

“We are on target to increase our savings by 24% in 2017.”

— Samantha O’Connor, Community Manager, Constant Contact

Walk us through your new community design project.

First, we started with structure, looking at the customer experience (CX) on the existing community and determining where we could improve. We then looked at how the rest of the support organization and the overall company was approaching CX. Armed with this information, we reduced the number of boards from about 60 to 22. We also divided the community into four distinct sections: Knowledge & Support, Join the Discussion, Your Feedback & Ideas, and Developer. We also re-designed our pages to match the in-product experience by switching the side rail, changing colors, etc.

Second, we focused on creating boards that matched unique community audiences and set up boards to cater to their needs. Third, we launched a responsive site with the assistance of the Lithium Professional Services Team. We wanted to ensure that the experience across all device types was consistent, seamless, and easy to use. Finally, we took a unified approach to online help by working to integrate our help channels to create a cohesive experience and design. This helped us present a branded experience across all online touchpoints, a unified approach to support, and an ease of use and familiarity to our customers.

What impact did you see from the new design?

In the first six months, we experienced a 22% increase in unique visitors, 20% increase in page views, 27% increase in solution views, 17% increase in accepted solutions, and a 25% increase in Kudos.