Now we get to change tracks a little. Many organizations don’t create an online community to increase revenue via retention or acquisition; they create a community to save money. Many of the most successful examples of community we hear about are based around saving money. These communities have the closest immediate links to value and tend to gain high levels of funding. The most common are communities designed to reduce customer service costs via call deflection.
Many of the most successful examples of online community we hear about are based around *saving* money
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However, you might also want to measure if your community is (or could be) used to reduce customer acquisition costs, research costs, or recruitment costs. If the community can perform any of these tasks more more efficiently than current methods, there is a clear return.