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How a network of global volunteers helps millions of people get the most out of Zoom

How a network of global volunteers helps millions of people get the most out of Zoom

The desire to connect with other people is part of what makes us human, and communities play a big role in that. They can bring people together over shared experiences, mutual interests, and the desire to help others. Some communities are created naturally based on where you live or spend your time in person, but thanks to the power of technology, others, like the Zoom Community, can exist online.

For the past two years, the Zoom Community has been a gathering place for all things Zoom, allowing people from around the world to come together, exchange questions, and learn from one another.

Since launching in August 2021, more than 12.3 million people have visited the community’s forums, and 274,000 of those people have registered to take part in the community itself.

“Our community is constantly growing, and the best thing is that people keep coming back,” said Briuana Green, senior community manager at Zoom. “And that’s exactly what we want. The whole point of having an online community is for people to interact and help each other — a community that runs itself.”

That was the idea behind the Community Champion program, which the Zoom Community team introduced last year as a way to help scale the number of solutions they could provide for a growing community. “Without the help of our champions, there wouldn’t be as many impactful solutions posted in the community,” Briuana said.

Champions help the Zoom Community thrive

The Zoom Community Champion program includes Zoom employees, as well as a select group of Zoom customers who were invited or nominated based on their contributions to the community. These community members are active users who volunteer their time to help others find solutions, often using their vast knowledge and experience in IT or virtual events to solve a problem. 

Community champion Eliot Robinson spent his career helping banks modernize their technology systems. The Zoom Phone product forum is right in line with his interests and expertise.

“I answer one or two questions a day, partly because it’s a puzzle — it’s fun,” he said. “Sometimes my answer will solve an issue, but more often it’s the beginning of a discussion. I might reply, then someone else might suggest something a little different. I might have questions for the original poster. It turns into a conversation.”

Denise Lahat, a community champion based in Israel, is very familiar with online communities — in fact, she runs an active Facebook group called Zoom Events Pros, where people ask questions, learn about new product features, and provide feedback after producing their conferences on Zoom Events. A virtual, hybrid, and in-person event video producer, Denise became involved with the Zoom Community as a way to learn and share her knowledge, talk to her industry peers, and stay on top of the latest Zoom Events product news.

“I joined the community because I love being part of a group of global Zoom users helping each other,” Denise said. “Sometimes people come to the community completely stressed out about an upcoming event and they need help immediately. I’ll jump on a Zoom with them and help solve their issues and give them the confidence they need in order to produce their event successfully. It gives me a tremendous feeling of satisfaction to be able to help people, and I have also found new clients this way, which has been great for growing my business.”

Ray Harwood, the most active Zoom Community customer champion, said that he sees the community as a place to help people and expand his own knowledge at the same time.

“In my career in IT, I’ve been the go-to person. People would come to me when they had an issue they couldn’t fix, and I’d help them find the answer,” Ray said. “When the community first started, I joined in to ask my own questions. I learned a lot, then I’d start to see things I knew the answer to. Eventually, I was answering over 30 questions a week.”

A community within itself

The community champions program isn’t just limited to providing solutions in the Zoom Community. Community champions themselves have their own micro-community. About 150 community champions — 20 of those being customers, and the rest being employees and Zoom partners — stay in touch on a dedicated Zoom Team Chat channel and attend monthly virtual meetings.

“When I was invited to become a community champion, I became part of a fairly tight-knit group of people,” Ray said. “We help each other out, helping everyone else out. Which to me is just the way the world’s supposed to work, you know?”

Champions can send a quick chat to the group to get support on a question they’re answering. “It’s nice to know that I have access to other champions and their knowledge,” Denise said.

Champions can also raise the flag on common issues or questions that are being brought up within the community. 

“Our champions constantly give us feedback — they are the voice of our customers,” Briuana said. “They provide suggestions and let us know about their experience with Zoom. Since we’re constantly striving to grow and improve, being close to our customers like that is helpful.”

Making connections around the world

In a community of 274,000 users, community champions make up a small fraction, but their impact is significant. “We have about 150 community champions, with 20 of those being customers, but they’ve provided more than 40% of solutions to the community,” Briuana said. “It’s amazing that they want to volunteer their time to make sure other users are having the best experience with Zoom.”

All members, whether they have community champion status or not, contribute to the community in some way, whether it’s by sharing a unique way to use Zoom, or simply liking a post. And those connections can happen from across the world.

“Once I got a question in the Zoom Phone forum, and even though the poster was in Australia and I’m in the U.S., telephone systems work pretty much the same way in most countries,” Eliot recalled. “I was able to help fix his problem from as far away as Australia, which was kind of fun.”

“The most rewarding part about being a community champion to me is making connections — both with people who are visiting the community, and with other champions,” Ray said. 

With a mission to deliver limitless human connection through our platform, we’re proud that the Zoom Community has become a place where people connect every day. “It truly is special to know that people come here from different countries, around the clock, to share and support each other,” Briuana said. “That’s what a community is all about.”

Become a Zoom Community champion!

Briuana’s team is always looking to recruit more champions in the community. Community champions enjoy special badges, perks and gifts, invitations to exclusive events, and the chance to connect with other community champions. 

If you’re interested in being a part of the Zoom Community Champion program, apply today! Or join the Zoom Community to say hi, ask a question, or find solutions. We’d love to welcome you!

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