The Law of Diminishing Returns in Many Community Strategies

Too many community roadmaps have goals which look like….

You have a goal (i.e. resolve xx% of customer support questions via the community) and progressively try to increase that number.

But this also becomes progressively more difficult (and expensive)!.

Once you resolved the easiest questions, solicit the simplest ideas, or attract the members most likely to be attracted, the costs (time and money) begin to rise rapidly.

For example, a typical customer support community can answer 60% – 70% of support questions relatively easily. These are the most common questions, the ones many other customers have the answer to, and the ones which staff have been trained to answer.

But the remaining 30% become progressively more tricky.

These are the harder questions which require more information and advanced technical expertise, they are the questions in multiple languages, and questions which might require a bigger team to provide more rapid answers before they reach typical customer support channels.

It might look like this:

Which is why you will usually gain the most value from a community not from pursuing a single goal to the extreme level, but instead getting it to a higher level and then moving on to another goal.

Once you’ve reached a 75% response/resolution rate, that might be a good time to build systems to solicit and implement great ideas, reduce newcomer churn through community mentoring programs, or start collecting testimonials and reviews from members.

The biggest bang for your buck isn’t to single-mindedly pursue a single goal, but to expand continually to new goals.

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