Declining Engagement Isn’t Always A Problem

Two companies this week complained about a decline in engagement.

But is a decline in engagement a bad thing?

If your community goal is to reduce support questions, a decline in engagement could simply mean you’ve already solved most of the problems your members face. Because of your community they can find answers without having to ask questions.

That’s a success you should be celebrating, not a cause for concern.

This is one of the many problems with measuring any form of engagement. You’re not measuring the things that matter to your company or to your members.

Feelings matter more than actions. Often, simply knowing there is a world-class community supporting the product is even more important than how often they use it.

Yet the things that really matter (and influence buying decisions) are rarely the things we’re measuring. For example:

  • Do customers feel the community adds unbeatable value to your products/services?
  • Do customers feel any problems they have would be quickly resolved?
  • Do customers feel they would be listened to and have influence over what you do?
  • Do customers feel they could hire great people from the community to work for them?
  • Do customers feel the community could give them feedback on what they’re doing and suggest ideas they haven’t discovered before?
  • Do customers feel they have a place to vent and receive emotional support from people just like them?

All of these things are measurable through surveys and interviews, but we rarely try to measure them.

If you ask your members to rank how important each product/support feature is in their buying decision, you will soon see how important the community ranks. That gives you a good baseline to work from.

Your members aren’t sitting around right now wishing they were more engaged in a community. I bet they are wishing for more of each of the above.

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