This is a submission by Verizon Residential, for the Forrester Research Groundswell Awards. Category of submission is : North America, Business to Consumer, Embracing.
Verizon has a history of getting its customers talking, particularly through its Residential Community (http://community.verizon.com). Peer-to-peer forums have been operating in the Verizon Community for over three years. Many product enhancements suggested in the Community conversations have helped Verizon realize that it needed a way to harness these ideas to share with their product development team.
Identify new product and service enhancement opportunities
Facilitate customer-driven improvements or new products/services
Enhance the Verizon brand through an innovative engagement model
In July 2010, the Verizon Residential Community launched the Verizon Idea Exchange (verizon.com/ideas), powered by the community provider Lithium Technologies. It is aimed at capturing, categorizing and ranking customer ideas based on the votes of participants. By providing a simple and cost-effective way for organizations to continuously harness and respond to customer feedback, Lithium Ideas drives innovation and customer loyalty.
Not Business as Usual
Verizon Residential asks its customers to “Share your ideas with Verizon, big or small.” For example, the Verizon FiOS development team (FiOS is the company’s flagship fiber-optic network) has become fully engaged in the Verizon Idea Exchange, and it has changed the way they do business.
The FiOS team reviews customer ideas for product improvements on a weekly basis and provides timely feedback to customers about their submissions. The company launched a “Sneak Peak” program in the community as well, giving members the opportunity to provide feedback and help refine the close-to-final FiOS release just before launch of the latest Interactive Media Guide (IMG 1.9). As a result, nearly 85% of IMG 1.9 was tweaked or suggested by Verizon’s customers – a major innovation in Verizon’s product release process.
In addition, the Verizon Idea Exchange has had positive impacts on Community engagement that were unexpected. For one, Verizon’s customer Community Leaders volunteered to help moderate the Verizon Idea Exchange, highlighting customer questions and identifying duplicates.
Also, this new part of the community has enabled customers to interact with Verizon who have never contributed to the community before. Consumers don’t have to be technical experts to vote or comment on someone else’s idea, and many of these “first timers” have actually submitted ideas themselves.
Results to Date
Over 1700 customer ideas have been submitted
31 Ideas have already been implemented, and over 250 customer ideas are currently being worked by Verizon product teams
Verizon Idea Exchange has seen a 107% growth in comments; 403% growth in votes; 555% growth in visitors
Verizon Residential is continuing to build on the success of this program by rolling out idea exchanges for other parts of the organization.