Measure the Impact of Your Community

Khoros compiled tips from the following experts from a session at Khoros Engage.

John DeRose — VP Professional Services, Khoros
Aslan Noghre-Kar
— Director Customer Community, Change Healthcare
Mark Obee
— Group Manager Social & Community, Intuit
Miles Hipkin
— Senior Product Owner, BT & EE Community and Social

How to Measure the Impact of Your Community

Whether you’re new to the idea of a branded online community or currently operating one, understanding how to measure your community’s success is crucial. When you know what your community’s purpose is and you have measurable objectives to help you reach your goals, you can ensure your community’s success. Cost-saving objectives might be why your brand decided to build a community, but when you’re able to move from those objectives toward relationship-building objectives you can drive more value long-term. A community is really about people, and communities are built to serve them.

Here are eight tips from experts at Khoros Engage to help your brand measure the impact of your community:

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1. Keep deflection metrics in perspective

Measuring the support deflection metrics of your community is crucial. Deflection often is the first metric most brands turn to when measuring the success of their community — but don’t let deflection become the whole story: there are other important ways to measure the success of your community, like SEO value, resolution time, and customer retention.

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2. Continue to note tactical measurements

When your community is new, you pay attention to tactical measurements — like whether or not people are joining and updating their profiles. But, as your community matures and you move into strategy, don’t forget those early measurements. No matter how long your community has been around, or how robust it is, you still want to make sure all the basic activity is taking place.

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3. Keep track of soft metrics as well

Hard metrics are a crucial part of running an efficient business, but soft metrics — such as understanding how your community impacts individual members of your audience — are also a good way to measure success. For example, if your community allows for relationships to form and new business ventures to be launched among members, that’s a good sign that your community is impacting individual members in beneficial ways.

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4. Keep KPIs and business outcomes separate (at least at first)

When you’re starting your community, keep customer KPIs separate from business outcomes. Determine your KPIs for your customers, and then separately determine what you’re trying to accomplish as a business. That way, you can ensure that your focus remains on both tasks and you don’t lose either perspective. The two will eventually merge, as one of the ultimate goals of a community is to enable customers to solve problems on their
own, which is of course beneficial to the business.

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5. Drive value for customers

Help customers get the most from your products and services while also eliciting feedback from them so that you can boost business value. A vibrant, successful community has a place for customers to offer feedback about what’s working, what isn’t, and what changes should be a top priority.

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6. Measure customer satisfaction (CSAT)

Another valuable way to measure the impact of your community is to measure how happy members and visitors are when they use your community. Resolution rate — how often customers were able to find what they came to your community looking for — and insights from value analytics tools can offer an important window into customer satisfaction.

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7. Consider the volume of insight that you’re driving back into the business

Communities that help the business as a whole improve are driving measurable value. You can assess this value in a number of ways, including noting the number of Q&A sessions that you run with customers for various products and how many new products you pilot with super user groups.

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8. Set appropriate expectations

When you’re trying to package the impact of your community in a way that brand executives will find valuable, it’s important to set the expectation of long-term goals: you’re building your community with the goal of improving the overall customer experience, and that not only takes time, it includes diverse arenas like support, loyalty, product and service development, and more.

About Khoros Engage

Khoros Engage brings together digital customer engagement leaders. Attendees hear from thought leaders inspiring them to bring their business to the next level, gain insights from brands and industry leaders on digital care, community, and marketing topics, and build a network of other digital leaders.

Want to learn more about online communities? Read our whitepaper: How Online Communities Improve Every Stage of the Customer Journey.