By far the most common reason to launch a branded community today is to reduce customer service costs. This has a clear and direct link to revenue. If your customers can find the answer to their question in the community before contacting a paid staff member, you can theoretically reduce the number of customer service staff members (or hopefully find them cushy, yet important, jobs elsewhere in the business).
This is usually measured by direct or indirect call deflection. We’re going to make an assumption here that call deflection or indirect call deflection also includes any contact with the customer service agent. This can include email, instant chat, showing up at the office and shouting angrily, etc.
To measure this, you need a lot of data. This includes:
- Number of questions answered in the community.
- Percentage of questions that were answered satisfactorily.
- Percentage of satisfactory answers from users who would otherwise have called customer service.
- Possibly percentage of customers in warranty.
- Number of users to resolved questions pages in the community.
- Percentage of these users who gave satisfactory answers who would otherwise have called customer service.
- Possibly percentage of this group in warranty.
- Total customer service staff costs.
- Technology costs associated with customer service.
- Allocation of fixed overheads.
- Total number of calls (all contacts) received per year.
In practice, you might want to use the same answers for 6) and 7) as you did for 3) and 4), as the answers are unlikely to vary much.
Community ROI Template
You can drop these figures into this spreadsheet here or follow the process below.