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H&R Block Social Story

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Lessons from H&R Block’s Social Media Efforts focusing on its Online Community – Of all the channels H&R Block has invested time in when it comes to social media, their online community site has ...

Lessons from H&R Block’s Social Media Efforts focusing on its Online Community – Of all the channels H&R Block has invested time in when it comes to social media, their online community site has reaped some of the more positive engagement. A big lesson was focusing on the 1-to-1 conversations the community helped nurture between clients and 1000 Tax Pros and clients. The individual conversations promotes H&R Block’s commitment to their customers by demonstrating Block's tax expertise one unique answer at a time.

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  • Block has been in the social space for several years.
  • We were one of the first brands to enter Second Life. It was a key listening experience for us – a safe, anonymous way for tax consumers to approach us.
  • Successful marketing program – Key learning for Block was that while marketing may amuse taxpayers, it doesn’t resolve their underlying need for information.
  • In tax season 09, we launched a robust social hub. It was to serve as primary content storehouse and “engagement engine” Provided consumers with access to various HRB “voices” and granular, relevant content Showcased blogs and podcasts and used RSS to distribute content Year-round events CTA messaging to generate conversions met with some success – in-season.
  • Our social media efforts consisted of marketing campaigns.
  • With all that we were doing, what we found – clients and prospective clients want a one-to-one relationship with a tax professional. They were so hungry for a personalized solution that they were soliciting tax info from strangers and other consumers. Opportunity for HRB Tax Pros to showcase knowledge and interact with consumers online Rich content that can be surfaced and distributed via widgets and apps Expose HRB brand to larger audience via mass appeal, high search engine ranking of Answers site Create a Yahoo! Answers-type area, showcasing recent Q&As.
  • We refocused. We listen to the voice of the stakeholders – Not just Clients Associates Investors The media Potential clients Competition Industry influencers Enthusiasts All are important – who’s the priority? It shifts depending on the communication/conversation. We listen to the chatter and push follow-up to the appropriate internal teams.
  • What will work for you? …here’s the organization structure that works for us… We roll up to the CMO because: For us, social media is all about the Brand and the conversations going on with the brand We are the ears and the lead voice of the brand Client Experience (Office and Digital) We have a very close partnering relationship with Customer Service, IT, HR, and Legal, however they look to us for direction on all things social media-related.
  • How do we work within the organization? Jeremiah Owyang We are the social media thread. The organization knows that anything social goes through our team. Sometimes it just flows through, other times we lead the initiative. Though we are mostly in the center, we trade off with other organizations on the leadership role depending on the issue/project at hand. For instance, CSO is in the lead when there’s a customer complaint or HR if we have an employee issue or Legal if there’s an IP issue. We have a director-level social media council that meets to discuss large initiatives, make sure we have consensus. But most work is done via small team conference calls, 1:1 block and tackle meetings. We agree to sandbox covenants: Who owns this, how can we help to resolve?
  • The organization works together to help our stakeholders.
  • What is the pulse? How can we communicate the pulse? The Voice of the Customer is the lifeblood of a successful business. Service issues, product questions, help requests – they are all posted across the web on our site and external sites. As we listen, we report on the issues to the appropriate teams and two things happen – their products and processes are informed in real-time, and with a feedback loop to Social Media, we can answer online, real-time which communicates to all users. By listening and acting on the voice of our customer - it helps us with indirect deflection – avoiding a call in the first place because the question is answered. Cost avoidance. It also helps us with our content strategy. When we see an issue evolving we write a blog post, shoot a video to have the content out there for searches and for our SEO. Reducing call volume and helping with Google juice.
  • Here’s how our team contributes to helping… Our team is responsible for three lead social media initiatives. First we own 2:1 We listen to the voice of the stakeholder – our clients, our associates, our investors, the media, our potential clients, our competition, industry influencers, enthusiasts…all are important We listen to the chatter, push follow up to the appropriate internal teams In order to respond in 1 brand voice, We educate our associates on our social media policy which is tied to our code of conduct, we currently coach all authorized associates that respond on our social sites. We are creating a social media certification program for those associates who want to join in the conversation representing our brand. We continue to provide brand voice guidance through our intranet MyBlock highlighting associates who are social site brand champions. We also include our social media policy in all our partner/vendor MSAs.
  • Secondly we lead engagement… The conversation (back and forth dialogue) shows you are in it for the long haul on your stakeholder’s turf. You are there to resolve issues and respond to questions. On the Get It Right Q&A Forum – we’ve trained over 1000 Tax Pros (3 rd tier) to answer tax-related questions. If you can create a 1:1 relationship, highlighting your expertise you are immediately building trust and proving you deserve the consumer’s business. We’ll dive into this in more detail in the next few slides. Twitter is more proactive answering of complaints – so you are complaining to a friend and we respond – SAVEs Facebook is a client care destination Blogger outreach – providing bloggers with our digital tax product “H&R Block at Home” for blog giveaways…tapping into industry and segment influencers for brand consideration, reviews, and Google juice.
  • Provide relevant, timely content – show your expertise, show why they can rely on you as a resource, be there with content before the ask. Can you say Google juice? The listening tool and our GIR Q&A helps us hone in on the content our audience is wanting. It’s the pulse of the conversation. By providing the community content that is relevant and timely, they know you are listening and acting on their requests which builds trust. We follow a corporate policy to deliver 3 or more uses for each piece of content creation with customization as needed based on channel.
  • And thirdly, we lead resolution with a strong partner in the Client Service Organization and our 1000 Tax Pros.
  • On the Get It Right Q&A Forum – we’ve trained over 1000 Tax Pros (3 rd tier) to answer tax-related questions. We have participated online now for several years, and we have learned that clients want a personal relationship with their tax professional. They believe that their tax situation is unique. If you can create a 1:1 relationship, highlighting your expertise you are immediately BUILD TRUST and proving you deserve the consumer’s business. The iPhone app links in to the Get It Right community allowing clients to submit questions from their device.
  • As needed: New members are asked to create an account in order to ask a question in the Get It Right Community, giving us the ability to customize all of the content towards each user’s unique tax filing needs. Member profile pages serve as a central place to track all questions a user has asked and features content that is unique to each specific member based upon their profile settings. For example: the right hand sidebar highlights the local H&R Block offices (based on a stated zip code) and also displays helpful featured products that match back to the user’s specific tax preparation needs.
  • Profiles can be edited and updated by the Community member when they are logged in and are easily accessed site wide by all users. Additionally, users can integrate their profiles with other social networks such as Facebook, allowing information to be shared between platforms. During the process of submitting a question, customers are exposed to a “Your Question Is Like These” functionality, which shares relevant past answers in order to answer customers’ questions even faster. Members can determine if their answer already exists or, if not, submit their question. In order to increase engagement with the site, answers can be reviewed, rated and shared by all community members. Members can also connect directly with the network of resident tax experts who participate in the site. To make this network of tax experts more accessible, each has their own branded “TaxPro” profile that shares comprehensive information on their professional experience, areas of expertise and interests.
  • Provide relevant, timely content – show your expertise, show why they can rely on you as a resource, be there with content before the ask. Can you say Google juice? The listening tool and our GIR Q&A helps us hone in on the content our audience is wanting. It’s the pulse of the conversation. By providing the community content that is relevant and timely, they know you are listening and acting on their requests which builds trust.
  • David B. Thomas blog: The whole point of the Get It Right community and the activities surrounding it is to answer people’s tax questions and use their expertise to help people. Their stated purpose in creating the community is customer retention, which, when you think about it, is bizspeak for “thanking our customers.” (And, brilliantly, they will answer anyone’s questions. They don’t ask whether or not you’re an H&R Block customer.) How much more meaningfully can you say “thank you” than by being there to help at tax time? Think about what you’re giving your customers who have chosen to follow you on Twitter, read your blog or “like” you on Facebook. Are you sharing content, information and assistance that makes their lives better? Is anything you offer online going to make it easier for someone to sleep better at night?

H&R Block Social Story H&R Block Social Story Presentation Transcript

  • H&R Block’s Social Story Leigh Mutert: @leighmutert Zena Weist: @zenaweist #sofresh
  • In the social web beginning, H&R Block was there
  • Second Life 2007
  • Truman Green 2008
    • We grew with the platforms and tools
      • We tweeted
      • We were on Facebook
      • We promoted & campaigned
  • We evolved – #sofresh
  • Customers = Stakeholders #sofresh
  • Our Team #sofresh CMO VP Com VP Marketing VP Client Experience Director Social Media Strategist Community Manager Business Analyst Project Manager
  • Revolving Hub & Spoke Social Media Team Legal HR Product Field Com IT Marketing R&D CS #sofresh
  • Our Team’s Mission Our business and our job is about helping people #sofresh
  • #sofresh
  • We Listen
      • 2:1
      • 2 Big Ears
      • 1 Brand Voice
  • We Engage
      • 1:1
        • Get It Right Q&A Community
        • iPhone App
        • Twitter
        • Facebook
        • Blogger Outreach
    #sofresh
  • We Engage
      • 1:Many
        • Get It Right Community Blog
        • Facebook
        • YouTube
      • 1:3
        • Content
    #sofresh
  • We Resolve
      • 5,200 responses (Facebook and Twitter)
      • 10,700 CS-inquiries resolved (Facebook, Twitter, Community)
      • 114,000 questions answered on Get It Right Community
    #sofresh
  • Tax Season 2010 We stepped up to engage 1:1 with the launch of our Get It Right Q&A Community Forum More than 1.5 million people visited the site between January and April 2010, viewing 13 million pages and asking over 120,000 unique tax-related questions. Apple’s highest rated financial App for February 2010 #sofresh
  • #sofresh
  • #sofresh
      • We engage 1:Many
      • Get It Right Community Blog
    #sofresh
  • How much more meaningfully can you say “thank you” than by being there to help at tax time? Their stated purpose in creating the community is customer retention, which when you think about it, is bizspeak for “thanking our customers.” (And, brilliantly, they will answer anyone’s questions. They don’t ask whether or not you’re an H&R Block customer.) Social Fresh Speaker Extraordinaire David B. Thomas #sofresh
    • Questions?
    • @leighmutert
    • @zenaweist
    • @hrblock |@hrblockanswers |@hrblockcareers
    #sofresh