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Atlantic Lottery is in the business of fun.

But “fun” isn’t typically associated with implementing a new software solution. In fact, “pain in the neck” (or a less polite euphemism) tends to be more accurate.

Established by the four Atlantic provincial governments—New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador—Atlantic Lottery works to provide lottery games for all Atlantic Canadians.

Fortunately, the organization’s customers aren’t the only ones to get lucky. Sprout Social onboarded and trained 25 Atlantic Lottery team members from various departments in a little more than two weeks, resulting in a social media payoff even the most discerning lottery player would be proud of.

Business Buy-in

Atlantic Lottery has long been an innovator, from pioneering barcodes on lottery tickets to allowing individuals to play the lottery on the internet.

It’s only fitting the organization would now be focused on social.

“We have three strategic pillars on social: engage, educate and sell,” said Meredith Kidney, Marketing Manager of Corporate Assets at Atlantic Lottery. “Marketing plays a role, but we also have our corporate affairs team and our customer care team. We also have a social media governance team with representatives from across the business to look at our three pillars and the strategies that fall under each of those and make sure we’re measuring performance and continuing to improve.”

Atlantic Lottery worked with digital marketing agency Simmons Sharpe to develop this corporate social media strategy and governance structure. Early on, Simmons Sharpe identified a need for a tool that would help unify Atlantic Lottery’s marketing, communications and customer care teams to effectively engage with customers on social media. Previously Atlantic Lottery was using native applications for social media. The organization had invested in a social media management platform, but getting team members to use it was a struggle. Simmons Sharpe reviewed multiple platforms for consideration and helped Atlantic Lottery select Sprout Social.

“The main trigger for us moving to Sprout Social was that we needed a platform our customer care team could really buy into,” Kidney said. “We needed something that was user-friendly, that would simplify their tasks and that could report on their performance and give them an idea of how they were doing. Anything we had tried before wasn’t really delivering on those and we couldn’t get them to really buy in.”

Enhancing customer care capabilities was also a primary goal.

“We wanted our customer care team to be able to find engagement opportunities using social monitoring,” Kidney said. “We didn’t want them to only interact with people when they’re directly asked a question. We wanted them to be able to see a conversation that’s happening about us and jump in and have some fun. Part of our brand voice and tone is to be playful. Our whole industry is about fun.”

Of course, investing in a social platform to help teams accomplish these goals is one thing. Making sure they’re onboarded, trained and comfortable using the new technology is something else entirely.

Enter Sprout Social.

Pain-free Process

Sprout took a four-pronged approach, including:

  • Planning: Review implementation process, discuss desired criteria, determine timelines and success factors.
  • Technical setup: Configure and set up users, groups, profiles and security settings.
  • Training: Instruct individuals, teams and departments on the use of the platform.
  • Ongoing support: Introduce points of contact to dedicated Relationship Manager, create timetable for regular check-ins to support success.

“I will say the highlight for me, or the moment I knew we were meant to be together, was when we had our very first meeting with Greg [Tirico, Director of Solution Engineering and Services at Sprout Social],” Kidney said. “He took us through a PowerPoint of exactly what to expect over the next few weeks. Literally day by day, who was doing what, how long it would take, who on our side would be needed, what did our schedules look like, when could he come. I was so impressed with that one hour of my week. I knew we were going to have full buy-in from everyone because it just set the stage that it was going to be a smooth and easy process. Everyone knew what was expected of them. I just had all the confidence from that moment on.”

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Atlantic Lottery was so confident it moved up its implementation timeline in hopes of having everyone onboarded before Christmas.

“Christmas is a busy time for us and we knew support staff could possibly be lighter,” Kidney said. “We wanted to make sure our customer care group was as comfortable as possible using the platform before the holidays.”

The Sprout team made it work.

“Greg and the team were very accommodating,” Kidney said. “Greg gave me a couple of options for which days he could be here. I worked with the team back here because I had a lot of different departments that were involved. The training was very simple. I was really impressed with how well it went. It didn’t take much time, which was great because it’s really difficult to take our customer care agents off their duties in the middle of the day, but it was only an hour. The training was concise and well done. Greg was able to keep their attention and make it fun and light. No one’s sitting there yawning and thinking, ‘This is a very boring hour of training.’ It was engaging and I think it was another step in getting our customer care folks to buy in.”

That training occurred on a Friday. Everyone was up and running on the Sprout Social platform by that Sunday. It took less than a month from initial introductions to launch, with integration of team members into the Sprout system and onsite training occurring over the course of 10 working days.

Procedural Payoff

And just like that, potential pain in the neck was transformed into pleasant surprise.

“You expect when you’re moving to a new platform with technology that it’s going to be scary,” Kidney said. “It was not scary in the least. It was almost as though you had seen it a hundred times the first time you went into the platform. It’s so intuitive.”

As with any new technology, questions were bound to arise after the training sessions. Sprout was on hand to provide assistance.

“We had a few questions within the first week or two,” Kidney said. “Any time I reached out to Jessica [Young, Relationship Manager at Sprout Social] and Greg, they would get back to me right away. Everybody’s on the platform and using it and doing great, as I speak.”

While the Atlantic Lottery team has only been using the platform for a few short weeks, Kidney is confident buy-in is no longer a problem.

“Anytime I say, ‘Hey, how are things going?’ in the hallway with our customer care group, they’re saying, ‘Great!’ and they’re very excited when they say that,” she said. “Working with Sprout was great. The experience so far has been absolutely top-notch.”

It’s good to know adopting a new software solution doesn’t have to be a gamble.

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