Top 11 Social Metrics for Support

by May 20, 2019

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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