Driving business through social and community engagement
How to drive sustainable business using social tools

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Our objective was to create an open and transparent way of doing business by developing new channels of communication and interactivity to provide a truly innovative way for customers to engage with our products, services and teams. The DPG Online Community is a ground-breaking social network that enhances our customer’s journey and provides unique experiences across all our products. The Community allows us to share relevant and interactive content. We have created more value for our customers by personalising their experience and connecting them with each other in a seamless, portable way. It’s open, it’s social and it’s fun.

In under a year the DPG Community has grown to over 1300 members and is growing daily. Over 70% of all members have visited the Community in the last 30 days and up to the 30th April there have been 192,521 customer interactions. Using Google Analytics to track activity helps us further understand our customer needs and connect with them more effectively. Our approach is about enabling conversation and allows us to react to customer feedback much quicker than ever before. By being open and transparent our customers know we’re trustworthy and credible enhancing our reputation across our industry.

The DPG Community has been built around our customers and embraces the concept of open and social business. We’ve created a sense of community and belonging with our customers and provided a completely different approach to our competitors. Technology isn’t the focus it is the enabler to connect, collaborate and share. We are also using the concept known as ‘gamification’ to encourage and reward those who participate and contribute to the community. By using leader boards and highlighting top members we are able to identify and reward our ‘top collaborators’.[/one_half_last]

Creating an online social community is challenging. The dedicated time and resource it takes to develop shouldn’t be underestimated. Start with why and have a clear strategy of how it will support your business and offer value to your customers. In the early days we tried to do too much and it was confusing so our advice is to keep the design simple and focus on what matters most and what your customers want. Technology is only the enabler and the real value is created through building relationships, technology is just a means to encourage sharing and fostering conversations.

We all live in an ever more connected and social world. Customer trends and buying patterns have moved online and with it businesses must become more responsive, open and social. New ways of attracting and retaining customers must be developed to ensure you have a sustainable business model. This requires thinking differently and can only happen if people change and adapt. The DPG Community not only operates in this way, but is developing the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to help organisations to create the environments, conditions and cultures that truly represent the 21st century workplace.[/one_half_last]

Mike Collins
Head of Customer Experience

Mike Collins is the Head of Customer Experience at DPG plc. Mike has created and developed the DPG Community, a professional community with over 1300 members focused on raising the standards within Learning & Development and HR. Mike is a huge advocate for social technologies and how they can foster new connections within organisations that lead to improved communication, collaboration and innovation. Mike passionately believes technology is only an enabler and true value is created through building relationships, technology is just a means to encourage sharing and foster conversations.