Need evidence that communities can reduce costs, create efficiency and consistency, generate revenue, reduce attrition, accelerate skill building etc


(Christina Griffin) #1

At first glance, I’m really excited about some of the resources I see up here, and even more excited about connecting with other members who are experiencing similar challenges, or who may be a little further advanced in their journey who can offer advice.

I’m Christina from just outside Chicago and I’m with PwC.

I’m in the early stages of building an internal center of excellence designed advance our internal (employee) community strategy. Ultimately we will build communities across the firm, partnering with business to develop the community strategy and provide the day to day management services to ensure success.

My biggest challenge at the moment is describing in simple, yet powerful terms, how communities can benefit the organization from a business perspective – to gain buy in from stakeholders to get started. The people side of it is crucial, but I need evidence that communities can reduce costs, create efficiency and consistency, generate revenue, reduce attrition, accelerate skill building, etc.

If anyone has any studies that offer relevant stats that might be useful or has an example of a super-clean business case, I would love to see it!

First time here? Welcome!
(Richard Millington) #2

Hi @cgriff1000 and welcome to FeverBee Experts. I love that PwC are working in this field.

I moved this into a new topic as I feel it merits its own discussion.

So there are plenty of studies out there if you want to browse around Google Scholar. If you search for “attrition” and “Online community” for etc, you will usually find plenty of studies out there. It depends if you’re looking for studies or looking for vendor examples. The former is more accurate but harder to find, the latter is usually more persuasive.

One thing I’d note is we’ve consistently found (see here) that evidence is just one part of the problem. It usually requires you to have strong relationships with the people you’re trying to persuade and emotional message as well. Framing goals the right way is pretty important on the emotional side.

What would be the best stats you could see? Or super-clean business case?

(Christina Griffin) #3

Thanks, Richard - I appreciate bringing this into a more in-depth discussion.

Completely agree about relationships, and given how relationship-driven our firm is already, this is not as much of a concern, because we are “on it.” However, I do agree about the importance of having a bit more emotional impact. It’s a tough one because in a big Accounting Firm like ours, the culture doesn’t necessarily embrace the heart-felt messaging. Data is king, emotions are weak. I’m willing to be brave and follow that path, but also need to have the data embedded in the message or we will be taken seriously. I’ll have a look at the framing goals link you provided…

The type of case I’m trying to build is around hard business matters - like increased efficiency (today they have to network their way to an answer, then the community can streamline that), generating revenue by supporting a sales team, increasing the pace of innovation (reducing the time it takes to bring a new idea to market), consistency (sharing best practices and evolving toward a more consistent delivery approach across parallel teams). These are the metrics that really matter to our leaders. Attrition and engagement are seen as important, but they see it as a Human Capital responsibility. (We could argue that for days).

So you see my dilema - difficult to measure in the first place, and difficult to isolate the impact of communities in the mix of everything else tied to the metric.

It would be really great to do two things - 1.) communicate a compelling case for putting communities at the center of our talent strategy, and 2.) emphasize how critical the role of a community manager is in the success of a community. The argument is that we “already have communities” when in fact we have websites. If the group is lucky, someone pushes content at them. So given this is the current definition of success, how do I present my case in way that helps them reimagine communities and the opportunities they hold to help us achieve our objectives.

(Christina Griffin) #4

Oh and I should reinforce that we are creating a strategy for the general use of communities, not for a specific community. Basically saying – you need a community, here’s why. Rather than someone saying “we have a community, go support it.” We want to build a team of community managers that support different communities across the business.

(Renée Van Holsteijn) #5

At T-Mobile, the company I worked for, we had our forum community with 250.000 members. They helped each other answering questions, which directly decreased the costs of the customer service department, since they saw a drop in their incoming calls.
On the other hand, but not as measurable as the cost lowering part, some members are real strong ambassadors. No campaign can achieve that.

And I recently published a blog about writing the business case of your internal community on Workplace, maybe it helps you further.

Good luck @cgriff1000!