Top 11 Social Metrics for Support

Social media strategies introduce non-conventional opportunities to deliver Support. Instead of providing direct assisted services or self-help content, Support creates an environment for others within the community to provide the expertise to help other customers. As Support develops social channels it must consider how to measure the impact of these strategies relative to their pursuit of technical support excellence.

Top 11 Social Metrics for Support

Here are eleven social metrics for Support

1. Active Forums

The number of distinct sites where your products and service-related issues are discussed in an active and ongoing way.

May include your own discussion forums, or those hosted by third parties (e.g. product user groups, professional associations, publications, etc.).

2. Thread Density

The proportion of discussion threads that include topics directly related to your products or services.

Density may be as high as 100% if an active forum is dedicated to your product.

3. Customer Engagement

The percent of the customer base that actively uses the community.

This indicates the extent to which the entire installed base for a specific product line or brand uses a community (e.g. if individuals from 100 companies out of a total installed base of 1,000 companies use a forum the Customer Engagement rate is 10%).

4. Entitlement

The percent of customers that use the community that are also entitled to support (e.g. they are covered by an active support contract).

This is the percent of the “engaged customers” that are entitled to request assisted support.

5. High Severity

The extent to which topics of high/critical severity are discussed.

High Severity of 5% indicates that at least 5 percent of the discussions about your products relate to issues that impeded the user’s ability to successfully use a key product feature and/or to use the product to support a critical business function.  You can align this metric with your own severity level definitions.

6. Deflection

The rate that existing threads successfully resolve customer issues to the point where issues are resolved without engaging assisted support resources.

For a definition of deflection see the article titled: How to Define and Measure Deflection

7. New Issues

The rate that new topics related to your products are being discussed but have not been previously reported to Support.

If 20% of issues discussed through the community are unfamiliar and no solution has been developed the “New Issue” rate is 20%.

8. Resolved by Known

The rate that topics discussed within the community are resolved by a “known” answer.

If 30% of issues discussed through the community can be resolved by a previously documented answer to an issue from the knowledge base or other discussion thread, then the “Known Issue Rate” rate is 30%.

9. Knowledge Overlap

The extent to which topics discussed within a community are currently covered within the knowledge base.

Like the “known rate”, knowledge overlap indicates the rate that issues discussed within the community could (or should) be answered by existing knowledge base articles.

10. Knowledge Gap

The extent to which topics discussed within the community are not covered within the knowledge base.

Like the “new issue rate”, knowledge gap indicates the rate that issues discussed within the community cannot be answered by existing knowledge base articles.

11. Sentiment

The general tone of the active forum as it relates to customer / user feelings about your products and services.

A sentiment score is typically calculated by using a text analytics tool designed to extract customer “feelings” from the text of a community post.

Featured: Social Media - Implications and Opportunities for Service and Support

Social media’s ability to empower consumers by giving them the voice to discuss their problems and perceptions publicly has dramatically shifted the business/customer relationship. Companies need a strategy to engage socially with customers. Service and support organizations should view social media as a platform to gain insights about the issues, questions, and perceptions customers have about their products.  If you don’t have a Social Media strategy for Support, it’s time. It’s better to start small than not start at all.  This perspective describes the reasons why business, and particularly service and Support organizations, must embrace a social media strategy.

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Top 11 Social Metrics for Support

Social media strategies introduce non-conventional opportunities to deliver Support. Instead of providing direct assisted services or self-help content, Support creates an environment for others within the community to provide the expertise to help other customers. As Support develops social channels it must consider how to measure the impact of these strategies relative to their pursuit of technical support excellence.

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Top 10 Social Practices for Support

Social media’s ability to empower consumers by giving them the voice to discuss their problems and perceptions publicly has dramatically shifted the business/customer relationship. Companies need a strategy to engage socially with customers. Service and support organizations should view social media as a platform to gain insights about the issues, questions, and perceptions customers have about their products. If you don’t have a Social Media strategy for Support, it’s time. It’s better to start small than not start at all.

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Where Customers Look for Support Information

More than two-thirds of customers indicate that they attempt to help themselves when they need technical assistance. A general web search (e.g. Google or Bing) is the most likely first action customers take when attempting to resolve technical support issues on their own. In general customers find good information and are reasonably satisfied with their results.  This ServiceXRG study examines the expectations and perceptions of 588 individuals that use self-help resources to resolve technical support issues.

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Selling Service Value

Selling the value of service is making the case for why the customer is better off with it than without. Selling services demands that you establish a credible and compelling value proposition.

The Guide to Selling Service Value

Selling services demands that you establish a credible and compelling value proposition. The value proposition describes the relationship between the price and benefits from the services a customer receives. To be compelling, the benefits must be perceived to exceed the cost. Service benefits may be intangible – insurance against risk, or tangible – a commitment of specific resources or attainment of a specific outcome.

Although difficult, it is imperative to quantify the value of all service benefits so that they can be compared to the price. A compelling value proposition is fundamental for successful sales and renewal activities. Selling the value of services requires the following:

 

  • Understand your customers’ needs and expectations from the product and services they buy from you.

  • Offer a robust portfolio of services. Not all customers will need or benefit from the same types of service so develop offerings that can align to the customer segments you serve.

  • Set reasonable prices for your offerings. This does not suggest that reasonable is low, but it must be justifiable. Customers must understand and agree that the benefits of service are consistent with the price they pay.

  • Create a clear and compelling value proposition.

  • Help sales channels and renewal teams understand the elements of the value proposition so that they can clearly articulate it to customers during sales and renewal activities.

Featured: Selling Service Value

Selling services demands that you establish a credible and compelling value proposition. To be compelling, the benefits must be perceived to exceed the cost. This playbook describes the essential steps to develop a compelling value proposition to maximize support sales and renewal activities.

This report is FREE. Register or Log-in to get your copy.

Login to Access the Full Report

If you don’t have an account, create a free* membership.

Login

*Membership level determines your access to ServiceXRG research and other member services. Paid memberships include access to research and playbooks. Free memberships include access to some reports and discounts to others. Please visit our membership page for a list of available membership programs.

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Why don’t customers buy services? Because they believe they do not need the coverage or that they do not feel that the costs outweigh the benefits. Selling the value of service is making the case for why the customer is better off with it than without. Selling services demands that you establish a credible and compelling value proposition.

Overcome Customer Objections

Selling the value of service is making the case for why the customer is better off with services than without. Selling services demands that you establish a credible and compelling value proposition to equip your sales channels with the knowledge and skills to overcome customer objections.

Top Reasons Customers Do Not Buy Services

Why Customers Don’t Buy Services

The primary reason customers do not buy services is that they do not feel that they need what is offered. Sometimes customers do not buy services because they are simply not given the opportunity to do so. In other cases, customers react to the cost of services and feel the price is too high, or they simply cannot afford to purchase a service contract.

When customers express that they do not need services there is also a consideration for the price they are asked to pay.  If services were free, then they would most certainly take the services.  This “I can do without” attitude combined with some degree of price sensitivity demands that we equip our sales channels with the knowledge and skills to overcome customer objections.

Establish a Compelling Value Proposition

The value proposition describes the relationship between the price and benefits from the services a customer receives. To be compelling, the benefits must be perceived to exceed the cost. Service benefits may be intangible – insurance against risk, or tangible – a commitment of specific resources or attainment of a specific outcome.

Although difficult, it is imperative to quantify the value of all service benefits so that they can be compared to the price. A compelling value proposition is fundamental for successful sales and renewal activities. Selling the value of services requires the following:

  • Understand your customers’ needs and expectations from the product and services they purchase from you.
  • Offer a robust portfolio of services. Not all customers will need or benefit from the same types of service so develop offerings that can align to the customer segments you serve.
  • Set reasonable prices for your offerings. This does not suggest that reasonable is low, but it must be justifiable. Customers must understand and agree that the benefits of service are consistent with the price they pay.
  • Define a clear and compelling value proposition.
  • Help sales channels and renewal teams understand the elements of the value proposition so that they can clearly articulate it to customers during sales and renewal activities.

Featured: Selling Service Value

Selling services demands that you establish a credible and compelling value proposition. To be compelling, the benefits must be perceived to exceed the cost. This playbook describes the essential steps to develop a compelling value proposition to maximize support sales and renewal activities.

This Playbook is FREE – Register or Log-in to get your copy.

Login to Access the Full Report

If you don’t have an account, create a free* membership.

Login

*Membership level determines your access to ServiceXRG research and other member services. Paid memberships include access to research and playbooks. Free memberships include access to some reports and discounts to others. Please visit our membership page for a list of available membership programs.

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Selling Service Value

Selling the value of service is making the case for why the customer is better off with it than without. This article explores the 5 critical steps for establishing a credible and compelling service value proposition.

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Service Excellence Defined

How do your service initiatives contribute to the overall attainment of corporate goals and objectives? The pursuit of service excellence aligns service activities and outcomes with the attainment of overall corporate KPIs.

Service Excellence Defined

Service Excellence is the contribution of the maximum possible benefit to the business from service initiatives. Indicators of service excellence may include the attainment of high NPS, low churn rates and retention of recurring revenue (ARR).  The full impact of service excellence however must extend beyond traditional measures of service performance and result in positive strategic benefits to the company.  To achieve service excellence, consider how service initiatives affect corporate performance indicators such as:

  • Market Share
  • Brand Affinity
  • Product Quality
  • Financial Performance
  • Operating Efficiency
  • Expense Control
  • Shareholder Value

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Social media strategies introduce non-conventional opportunities to deliver Support. Instead of providing direct assisted services or self-help content, Support creates an environment for others within the community to provide the expertise to help other customers. As Support develops social channels it must consider how to measure the impact of these strategies relative to their pursuit of technical support excellence.

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How Much Should You Charge for Support?

Setting the correct price for your support programs begins with a baseline understanding of what your market will bear but ultimately the price must be based on the type and level and entitlements offered.

Average Support Program Price

The average prices for support programs range from 15.6 percent for a basic level of support to more than 26 percent for a high-end premium program.  Prices vary based on the entitlements offered and the ways that pricing is structured.  Here are a few considerations:

Net vs. List

Pricing may be based on the percent of a products’ list price or the net price after discounts.

Add-on’s and Fixed Fees

Some support programs consists of a fee tied to the percent of product list or net price plus add-ons.  Add-ons are often associated with optional entitlements such as named support resources such as designated support engineers and/or account managers.

Adjustment Fees

The price of support in the first year is often not the price a customer will pay in subsequent years.  Support prices typically include annual adjustment fees to account for inflationary factors.

Pricing by Support Program Tiers

Support pricing is typically established by program level or tier.  It is not uncommon for support portfolios to consist of two or more tiers with names like Silver, Gold and Platinum.  Although support programs may sound alike, they often vary from vendor to vendor.  For the purposes of establishing baseline pricing benchmarks ServiceXRG has normalized support programs into the four distinct tiers described below.  Classification is based on the underlying program entitlements and not on the program names.

Support Program Tier Classifications

Average Support Program Price

Establishing Support Prices

The price of support must be set at a level sufficient to cover delivery costs, yet not too high to discourage customers from buying.   Customers are likely to have preconceived ideas about what support should cost based on experiences they have with working with other technology vendors.  If your “gold” support is priced at 23% of product list price but other vendors are priced at 18%, customers may perceive that your prices are too high even though you offer more for the price. 

It is imperative that you price support reasonably so that you can make a compelling case that the benefits outweigh the costs to the customer.

Making the Case for Services

Selling services demands that you establish a credible and compelling value proposition built upon the entitlements customers want and need from services balanced with a reasonable and justifiable price level.

Featured: Selling Service Value

Selling services demands that you establish a credible and compelling value proposition. To be compelling, the benefits must exceed the cost. This playbook describes the essential steps to develop a compelling value proposition to maximize support sales and renewal activities. Log-in to get your copy.

Login to Access the Full Report

If you don’t have an account, create a free* membership.

Login

*Membership level determines your access to ServiceXRG research and other member services. Paid memberships include access to research and playbooks. Free memberships include access to some reports and discounts to others. Please visit our membership page for a list of available membership programs.

Related Articles

Selling Service Value

Selling the value of service is making the case for why the customer is better off with it than without. This article explores the 5 critical steps for establishing a credible and compelling service value proposition.

read more

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Why don’t customers buy services? Because they believe they do not need the coverage or that they do not feel that the costs outweigh the benefits. Learn how to overcome customer objections by understanding what customers want from Support.

read more

How Much Should You Charge for Support?

The average prices for support programs range from 15.6 percent for a basic level of support to more than 26 percent for a high-end premium offer. Setting the correct price for your support programs begins with a baseline understanding of what your market will bear but ultimately the price must be based on the type and level and entitlements offered. This article offers guidelines for setting the right price for your support programs.

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Should you charge for support?

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