How Waterstones’ intranet forums attract over 100 posts a week and have led to improved customer service and increased sales

Waterstones is one of the leading booksellers in the UK, Ireland and continental Europe, with more than 300 stores and a successful online store at They have been using Interact Intranet for over two years and have found great success using the intranet forums.

The forums are an integral part to Waterstones’ intranet and they have proved enormously popular with staff across all 300 stores. Using the forums has successfully encouraged internal communication and collaboration, attracting over 100 posts per week and unlocking key information within the company.

Ayesha Graves, Intranet Editor at Waterstones explains how the company is using discussion forums in Interact Intranet extensively to boost business efficiency:

We use the forums for sharing ideas and information across all of our stores. We know that there is a lot of knowledge out there and our intranet enables staff to post a question on the discussion boards and get an answer to it.

As we have a number of forums, I have set up a homepage for discussion boards in order to help channel the enquiries in the right direction and ensure that moderating them can be done by appropriate individuals. The forums are split into different genre types including Fiction, Non-Fiction and Children’s.”

Home Page for the Waterstones’ Discussion Forums

Waterstones also use the forums for Head Office enquiries, so that staff from all of their stores can communicate with senior management.

The Waterstones’ ‘Ask Us’ Forum

Ayesha continues:

We make great use of the ‘Ask Us’ forum, this is for process and procedural questions, which are usually responded to by the teams at our Head Office.

Another forum we use a lot is The Media Watch Board, which is used primarily for staff to advise customers. The forum allows us to pose questions about relevant books or subjects heard in the news. It’s an extremely useful tool, as inevitably someone in another store will have heard what you’re looking for, even if you’ve only got a very vague description. This information is then shared with all stores, which makes people aware of current media buzz and helps us serve customers better – it can even make the difference between a sale and non-sale.”

The Waterstones ‘Media Watch’ Forum

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