Contributor: Manida Thiensiripipat is an assistant vice-president in the dtac App & Digitalization Department.
With some 1.4 million page views per month and around 66,000 members, dtac’s Online Community is one of the largest of its kind in Thailand. Its ability to answer customer questions quickly and reliably is a powerful example of digitalization, as customers are getting help using a digital platform rather than through our shops or call center. But at its core, building an online community is all about the people.
Firstly, our online community’s very appeal is that it speaks the language of our customers. When someone is considering a new price plan or mobile device, they don’t want to make the decision just by reading the details on the product web pages. They want trusted advice from someone who talks like a friend would. That’s why it’s so important having a community of passionate dtac fans to field customer questions. They offer advice that is approachable and easy-to-understand.
The other benefit of community members engaging with one another is that it shifts the focus away from the kind of negative feelings we all experience when something goes wrong. In the dtac community, there’s a sense of friends speaking to friends and conversations remain constructive and positive.
“To be honest, communities don’t just happen.”
To be honest, communities don’t just happen. My job is to carefully support some of the community’s most active experts through rewards programs called “Super d Hero”. We use ‘gamification,’ where useful answers and activities on the forum garner points and are in turn converted into both virtual and real-world rewards. Our top members, the Super d Heroes, get perks ranging from online ranks to free smartphones.
However, our relationship with the Super d Heroes doesn’t limit itself to prizes. I also frequently mentor them via LINE Group to help them develop their ability to best answer customer questions. They’re mostly quite young guys who love tech, so I really feel like a senior to them. They’ve visited our office, too. That personal relationship is really important to keep the community active.
Super d Hero are also branching out into more than just support, but they also review venues that have partnered with dtac rewards. The higher-ranking Super d Hero (d Expert, d Excellent, d Fantastic) will even have the right to nominate and create FAQs that they think will be useful for customers. We try to keep things more interesting by offering them trainings in various digital skills such as YouTube 101 & Content Creation Strategy.
Ultimately, digitalization also allows the dtac call center to focus on the customer cases that truly need a human touch. Our call center used to get bombarded with messages. Now, much of those issues can be resolved by the Super d Heroes. Our call center stills monitor all the questions and steps in only when needed. That means that if you really do need to call in, you’re going to wait less time and talk to someone a whole lot more relaxed. At the end of the day, digitalization is here to complement and support people, not replace them.