There’s a cringe-worthy trend emerging around how online community ROI is being articulated which has captured my colleague, Peter Ward and my attention. So, we pulled together this blog post our workshop materials, in order to share our point of view. We see many online communities using cost reduction as the primary measure for assessing return on investment (ROI). In some cases, communities can reduce call center costs by offering customers a self-serve option using the online forums and interactive FAQs. This is a good thing; it enables customers to resolve low-complexity questions independently and frees up customer support to focus on more complex issues. When online customer communities are first launched, cost reduction is often a short term focus. But over time, if the community becomes adept at solving customer problems and engaging with customers about new products, services and enhancements, customers will start turning to the community for customer support due to the company’s demonstrated attention to customer care. This success will actually raise costs – but in a good way – because additional benefits will come from increased customer loyalty, time-to-market and quicker recognition of customer needs and wants.
|Scooped by Denis Failly|
Denis Failly's insight:
"...some key steps to establishing ROI for social business and online community:The community or social business initiative should be proactively aligned with one or more functional organizations (e.g. customer service, product management, R&D). Identify a limited but substantive set of business outcomes which can be created or accelerated due to the social initiative.Through discussion with the functional organization(s), learn how their success is measured today (e.g. problem resolution, new features, customer satisfaction).Establish which stakeholder/s (e.g. customers, field service, distribution network) provide the most reliable input / feedback, and which venues (e.g. customer advisory councils, regional conferences) have traditionally offered the best opportunity for interaction? Why?Explore what the potential impact of feedback on a global and continuous basis, as well as the opportunity associated with integrating offline and online activities, will be on the functional organization.Come to agreement on meaningful ways the community initiative will measure success (in alignment with the functional organization) and establish an operating model for incorporating feedback and / or insights.Document baseline measures of success and establish a realistic target for the community initiative which is in alignment with the strategic objectives of the functional organization."