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ModSquad Takes the Virtual Stage at CMX Summit and Slack Frontiers

In true 2020 form, industry conferences have gone remote. And since remote is our specialty, ModSquad has been making the rounds. Just last week, we were out in force at two events. While we miss seeing familiar faces and meeting new folks, it’s fun to see how technology has risen to the cause, crafting great experiences… even at distance.

First up was the annual CMX Summit, where thousands of community pros gathered together to gain insights from industry leaders. At one of the featured events, Izzy Neis, ModSquad’s Head of Digital, and Carlos Figueiredo, Director of Community Trust & Safety at Two Hat, had a lively discussion about “The ROI of Positive Community Engagement.” The pair, fresh off a recent insightful discussion on community moderation, shared insights on the long-term benefits of implementing moderation and community strategy in the early stages of any app, game, or digital experience.

Many companies think of these elements too late in the planning process, Izzy explained. “They’re missing out on how to build out a very thorough, robust program and associated tools from day one. You’re not only putting a filter in, you’re building in roots to help pull the important data that protects people and provides a great experience. When you have a community or a hungry user base, they’re going to want to want every aspect of their experience to be tied in together, and that goes from how they engage with other people to how they’re acknowledged, supported, recognized, and rewarded. Those are huge aspects of moderation and community that people don’t talk about until they have to prove the value of moderation.”

Proving worth is closely tied in with creating positive experiences for users, she said. “You have to balance the necessary moderation aspects with role modeling and tools that help you identify the value aspects of your community. If you don’t look at the 360-degree view of a user’s experience in your product, then you’re really not considering the value of what they mean long term. You want to give people an opportunity to grow, improve, and change for good.”

Once you view the user holistically, rather than as someone who’s passing or failing moderation, you can build a community of individuals that have collective worth to your company, as Carlos noted: “Content moderation is part of the user experience. When new users are acquired, we have to create a positive experience. Understand the makeup of your community — positive behavior is normative behavior. It’s important to have a tool that surfaces that information to you, so you can see it by the numbers. On average, of all the communities that we serve, 85% of the chat is positive. As a community manager and content moderator, it’s important to have those tools to show your exec team that most of your chat is positive.”

Speaking of positivity, Carlos summed up the ModSquad-Two Hat partnership with some kind words: “ModSquad is a great partner. We’ve been working with them for years now. We work with gaming companies that have a need for the tools and for a team to do content moderation and community management. We have a great working relationship, and I really appreciate the very thoughtful work from ModSquad.”

Next, Steve Henry, ModSquad’s SVP, Client Services, was invited to speak at Slack Frontiers, a virtual expo hosted by the business communications platform that focused on finding new ways to work with distributed teams. Steve, who was recently featured in a ModSquad profile piece on Slack’s blog, joined with Kristen Swanson, Slack’s Chief of Staff, Customer Experience to provide an overview of how ModSquad makes the most out of Slack Connect.

Given that ModSquad started out as a work-from-home company in 2007 and has since mastered the remote model, it’s no wonder Slack wanted to know how we use Slack Connect. Steve explained, “At a minimum, we set up one client channel, but there are often numerous channels with clients. These channels are designed to open up shared communications and planning between our team and client stakeholders. With some clients, we will set up SLAs [service-level agreements] or incorporate dashboards. We use Geckoboards and alerts within Slack to monitor reports on live queues as well as monitoring any volume surges, trends, or related activity.”

Using Slack in this manner helps ModSquad achieve its busines objectives and priorities, which Steve went on to describe: “It starts with providing world class customer support and digital engagement solutions. We also strive to offer strategic value to our clients. This includes being a proactive partner, providing thought leadership, delivering high quality, providing actionable data, and helping our clients grow their business.”

ModSquad finds Slack valuable in managing client SLAs as they impact the end-users or customers. Steve described the process. “We’ll set up alerts, send updates out to staff, prioritize workflows, and shift staff around to different queues in real time. All of this is very helpful in that we can drive improved customer satisfaction, improved resolutions, and expanded coverage where needed.” Steve also highlighted that “Slack Connect allows us to triage and troubleshoot issues quickly. We are able to pull in other departments and subject matter experts directly into client conversations.”

Finally, Kristen asked Steve for best practices based on ModSquad’s experience with Slack. “Look for areas where Slack can improve speed-to-resolution, drive efficiencies, and expand on business relationships,” he said. “Bring your vendors, clients, and partners into Slack. Leverage the apps in Slack. There’s an unbelievable amount of apps out there that do really cool stuff. Involve stakeholders in the setup. Organize how you want Slack to work. For example, we have announcement-only channels, where we’ll push out new workflows and product updates. We’ll have community channels that aren’t necessarily work-related, but pull people in with similar interests. Our most common channels are the collaborative or the working channels that we use day to day.”

Both Izzy and Steve were delighted to join in these discussions and were equally pleased that so many viewers left comments and submitted questions. We’ll be coming to you again from future conferences, both virtual and in the real world. ModSquad, signing off!

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