When Andrew Hull, President and Founder of Elixiter decided to start a Marketo consulting services firm, it was very important to him that service to clients was exceptional and consistent. Hull was not interested in building a company of random Marketo consultants who would come at marketing automation from all different angles. He determined the best way to achieve great service was to train and develop all expertise internally.
“We train every single employee in-house,” Hull said. “We hired smart people who know marketing and develop them using the technology and best business processes.”
One of the decisions Hull and other leaders made early on was that the company needed to continuously put time, effort, and resources into a well-defined onboarding and training program.
Something that also became clear very quickly was Elixiter needed a way to capture and retain knowledge within the company.
“When you’re growing as fast as we are it is critical that we capture and retain info so we’re not reinventing the wheel each time someone needs clarification on something.”
After four years, growing to 34 employees and acquiring clients across 10 countries Hull was still searching for ways to improve training and onboarding.
Looking For A Solution
Hull researched a number of knowledge base solutions but most had a lot of extra features that seemed unnecessary for Elixiter’s needs. They were also expensive.
“Most solutions were $60-70 dollars a seat, which makes sense if you’re using it for all the things it’s providing but we didn’t need things like telephony integration.”
Hull found Bloomfire through a Google search. He pulled up the website and requested a demo. Over the course of a few weeks and a few demos Hull thought Bloomfire was a breathe of simplicity among other knowledge base solutions.
“Bloomfire demos really well. What you see is what you get. You can grasp things quickly. Creating a post is super simple. After some minor tagging and categorization it’s done.”
A Vast Improvement In A Few Months
Elixiter implemented Bloomfire in November of 2015 and in 3 months, is already seeing phenomenal results.
“The software does what it says it’s going to do. It’s great when something can serve a function right out of the gate.”
The analytics prove what employees have told Hull, that Bloomfire has helped them do their jobs more efficiently. “Even in the last month we’ve seen a 50% reduction in time to answer questions,” Hull said. “It took four hours for questions to be answered and now it takes two hours.”
As long as employees get the answers they need within a couple hours they will always go back, Hull said. And as time goes on answers to common questions are waiting for new people who come across the same issues.
Hull was also pleasantly surprised by how Bloomfire expanded on cultural communication. So much so they decide to create a category for fun. Employees post things such as a coupon for lunch in town and they set the post to expire when it’s done.
Here is a screenshot of Elixiter’s community.
Bloomfire is an amazing tool but it cannot be successful without a solid ignition sequence, internal support and ongoing maintenance.
Hull focused on a strong taxonomy on the front end of setup. Leadership worked with our customer success to to develop categories so information would be easy to find.
He also developed the training process in Bloomfire so new employees immediately learned to “Start with Bloomfire.” To guide existing employees to Bloomfire Hull added the most needed documents and ensured they couldn’t be accessed anywhere else. Also having executive support makes a huge impact.
“Executives we’re completely on board for a solution like this. They understood the need was so great.”
Elixiter also holds regular Bloomfire trainings at staff meetings to review things like how how to tag properly. These efforts ensure things can be found over time. They also review processes such as when to bring materials over to Bloomfire. To illustrate, all materials being developed are stored in Box then once they are completed they are moved to Bloomfire.
Though Bloomfire requires dedication and maintenance it has allowed Elixiter to achieve amazing feats in only a few months.
“Bloomfire is exactly the type of knowledge management solution Elixiter needed to help retain and reuse expertise between our consulting staff of 34. I really think our growth would slow down if we didn’t have Bloomfire in place to serve as a key knowledge retention mechanism for our team.”