Which metrics to demonstrate reduced support costs?

(Lucas Miller) #1

Hey @Nick_Emmett - when starting your community, what metrics did you use to measure growth and activity? The goal of my community is to decrease service costs over time. My company operates within a heavily regulated industry where our customers don’t often interact with each other or if they do, they do so indirectly. My first “use case” is simply setting up a knowledge base from which users can read help content for the application they are using. They will access the community through the application via a “help button” which means I won’t be recruiting growth widely. The community will only be accessed if a customer has a particular question and clicks the help button to find an answer. They won’t be visiting the community regularly until later phases.

That being said, does it make sense then to track growth in terms of “amount of search queries placed” or “number of questions asked” rather than number of users accessing the community? Or would I track new user visits vs. return user visits and count “search queries” and “questions” as activity?

So, what are you working on?
(Sarah Hawk) #2

Hi Lucas,
Great question. (Note: I’ve split this out into a new topic to keep it focused).

There is a chapter in our ROI resource which addresses exactly this.


Measuring general growth and activity may not be the most important metrics in the sense that they don’t go directly toward demonstrating the achievement of your primary goal.

“Amount of search queries placed” and “number of questions asked” are good ones in that you will be able to tie a direct $ to them.

I think the above resource will help you to clarify your thinking (and figure out what metrics you have available).

p.s. @Nick_Emmett – please jump in with your own experience, I don’t mean to hijack a question directed at you. :slight_smile:

(Nick Emmett) #3

Hey @lucasmiller3 - thanks for the follow up.

I guess to start with we were using fairly standard metrics to track, things like the number of active members, the number of contributions we were getting in the forums and the average number of contributions per active member.

We have just recently launched our Knowledge Base, which is made of up articles created by our support teams when dealing with issues raised via the support tickets they get. There are a couple of thousand articles now. For that I’m now tracking the views those articles are getting, the route that people get to those pages and the search terms that are coming up etc. Our customers also submit cases through our community so, coupled with the Knowledge Base, case deflection is something that is becoming easier to track too.

Part of me would say yes to all the above. But i think you need to be clear of your fundamental reasons for being, which will in turn help guide you as to what to measure to show your growth. what’s your Community’s why? What’s the value you hope your members will get from it? What behaviours do you want them to be displaying? Measure that stuff… If you want the number of questions being asked to grow then you need to measure it, but you need to know how many people are logging in too… people might find the information without the need to ask a question, or be shy etc. All of that depends on what it is you want the Community to be doing. Tell us more about these areas and lets see if we can guide you.

@HAWK’s link is awesome by the way - the information in these guides is r.i.diculous! Be sure to check out as much of it as you can. [quote=“HAWK, post:2, topic:5275”]
p.s. @Nick_Emmett – please jump in with your own experience, I don’t mean to hijack a question directed at you

You can hijack my questions any time you like :slight_smile:

(Bas van Leeuwen) #4

Yes! But always compare this to the total amount of users that your org has; otherwise your community goals are orthogonal to the goals (assuming that’s growth) of your organization.