Vanilla Helped Bring Spitfire’s Customer-Centric Strategy to Life

5 minute read

February 10, 2022

Vanilla Helped Bring Spitfire’s Customer-Centric Strategy to Life

Founded in 2007, Spitfire is a software that enables users to create sample libraries and virtual instrument sounds. They are the market leader in orchestral sounds and over the past 5 years have grown their user base exponentially. They specialize in film and TV scores.  

The Challenges: 

Over the years, Spitfire’s customer base has grown exponentially and as they grew, so did the need to both centralize their support effort and create a wider offering. There were multiple different communities available to Spitfire users, but none were affiliate directly with the company.   

The Search: 

Spitfire set out to find a community provider that could offer something more configurable, broader, and with better appeal to our marketing efforts. They wanted to improve their SEO, and offer their users gamification and rewards options.  

The Launch: 

When Spitfire migrated to Vanilla, they wanted to start from scratch: “we wanted to put our best foot forward and utilize the Vanilla offering as best as we could – it just seemed to make more sense to start over with Vanilla.”   

Results: 

Spitfire saw immediate results in their ability to moderate and have found comments to be constructive and helpful. They’ve seen tremendous customer satisfaction with 98% support satisfaction and 4.8 out of 5 on Trust Pilot service reviews, both directly applicable to the use of their community.  

“We wanted to find a community provider that would enable us to centralize our customer base and offer them independence with our product. Vanilla over delivered.” 

Head of Customer Experience, Ben DeVille 

 

The Challenges: Multiple Spaces with No Control 

As the Spitfire user base grew, so too did the need to centralize it yet, even with a community powered by another software, Ben found it difficult to incentivize his customers to use it.  

Instead, he found that users turned to Facebook groups and other online spaces to connect with one another, all the while Spitfire was losing out on invaluable information and constructive feedback from their customers.   

Their support team was inundated with tickets that could have been simplified through the use of a knowledge base and an easy-to-use platform, yet it was proving difficult to achieve that.   

There was a need to create a space that was not only under the control of Spitfire, but that was helpful, user-friendly, and aligned with the Spitfire brand. It was time to find a new online community software provider, and they needed to do so quickly to ensure their growing customer base was taken care of.  

PAIN POINTS 

No Centralized Space  

Strained Support 

Poor SEO 

Spitfire’s user base was scattered across multiple communities, none of which were under the company’s control.  

Spitfire’s customers are the product experts, yet they found it difficult to share information with one another – as a result, Support was overwhelmed with ticket requests. 

Without a central hub for content or conversation sharing, Spitfire was losing SEO juice to other websites – their own product needed a boost.   

 

The Search: In with the New 

Though Spitfire had been using a competing software to try to centralize their customers, they found that the community was pretty much dead. It was difficult to navigate, and their members used other available websites to find information.  

They wanted to offer a space where customers could help one another, and indeed interact and connect based on their mutual passion for music and software. The Spitfire customer base are experts in their field with a lot of technical expertise, and without the ability to share their knowledge both the customers and the product development team were losing out.  

Spitfire had a checklist for their new provider, and they weren’t going to be happy until they found someone who could check all the boxes. They had spent time and money on a software that just didn’t fit right, and they didn’t want to waste any more.  

Vanilla turned out to be the perfect fit. Not only did Vanilla speak SEO and prove that with a Vanilla powered community SEO could be improved tenfold, but they also offered a customizable platform that was easy to navigate both on the back and front end.  

With gamification features out-of-the-box, Spitfire could offer a personalized space for their members while rewarding them for their participation and peer-to-peer support, all wrapped up in the one price point. It was an easy choice to move to Vanilla, and rather than drag bad energy with them, actually start from scratch and do the community right this time! 

THE SPITFIRE CHECKLIST 

 

Customizability 

“We wanted a space where our customers who are experts in their field could interact with each other, and indeed learn how to better use our product from other users but we wanted it to be reminiscent of our brand and our product too.”  

 

Gamification  

“It was really important to us that our users were rewarded for their participation. On our old software that simply wasn’t possible – we were adamant that our new provider would offer a gamification feature.”  

 

Strong API 

“As we develop our own website we wanted to be able to bring our third party offerings into the same ecosystem for our customers.”  

 

Search Capabilities 

“I wanted to show products, knowledge base article, forum posts, and tickets in an easy to use but bespoke and intuitive way for our customers.” 

 

The Launch: A Fast Turnaround 

Ben wanted to move on from their previous provider as quickly as possible, he hadn’t enjoyed the experience working with them and felt that it was best to cut ties and start fresh. 

“We didn’t see the point of migrating our old community. It was pretty much dead, and it just wasn’t doing what I needed it to do,” Ben said.  

Spitfire wanted to start from scratch and create the best community they could.  

The process was simple and smooth – Spitfire entrusted their new community to Vanilla and within a matter of weeks, a new space for their dedicated customers was born.  

The Outcomes: Finally, a Worthwhile Space 

The new Spitfire community offered customers the ability to connect with one another, and enabled one-to-many support, a benefit that Spitfire felt really happy about. “We could reward our customers for being knowledgeable and helpful, and actually it enabled us to hand moderation over to the community,” Ben told us. 

Overall, the Vanilla community has enabled Spitfire to thrive. They’re not only using the community to increase support efforts, but they’re finding new ways of reaching out to customers too. 

“We’re experimenting with using the forum for Q&A sessions with composers and experts who use out product,” and they’re offering an exclusive space to discuss their latest product offerings.  

The company has found it much easier to communicate developments, news, and ideas with their customers and the Spitfire user base loves it. In fact, the Spitfire support satisfaction sits at 98%, and their service and product has an average rating of 4.8 out of 5! 

Making the move to Vanilla has helped Spitfire achieve great things, and saved them money, but ultimately, their community has contributed to an increased customer satisfaction, and better connection with their members.   

4.8/5  

98% 

Trust Pilot Product and Service Reviews 

Customer Support Satisfaction 

 

Reflecting on the Spitfire Journey 

Spitfire wanted to purge and start fresh, and wow, was it the right decision! Their community has become a central hub for their customers to connect, interact, and offer constructive product and service advice. If you’re thinking of starting a community, or indeed of making the move from your current provider, reach out to set up a demo and see how a Vanilla community can help shape your future.  

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Nuala Cronin

Written by Nuala Cronin

Nuala is the Content Marketing Manager at Vanilla by Higher Logic. She has adored writing since a young age and graduated with a Master's Degree in Publishing and Literature from the National University of Ireland, Galway.

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