The Problem With Measuring Satisfaction

If you use a satisfaction feedback score, community managers will only reply to questions when they are sure the answer will be happy.

That’s not in the best interests of the member (or your business).

If you measure engagement metrics, you’ll get more competitions, events, games, and off-topic discussions.

If you measure registrations, you’ll get pop-up boxes, clickbait, and rewards for people when they sign up.

If you measure activity per active member, you’ll get community managers removing the less active members.

If you measure the % of discussions you reply to, community managers will give shorter, repetitive, answers to each question.

And if you use all five, you might just get all five. None of which bodes well for the community.

Always supplement any data metrics with common sense and qualitative data. Use surveys, interviews, and your own observations.

If you use data-driven metrics alone to set targets, assess performance, and give bonuses, you’re setting yourself up for problems.

Comments

  1. Suzi Nelson says:

    This is so true - awesome post. Especially for those of us with platforms we dont own that don’t supply a lot of data, sometimes a big majority of what we have to work with is annecdotal. And sometimes there’s nothing wrong with that!

    “Always supplant any data metrics with common sense and qualitative data. Use surveys, interviews, and your own observations. If you use data-driven metrics alone to set targets, assess performance, and give bonuses, you’re setting yourself up for problems.”

    ^^ This is gold.

  2. Sarah Hawk says:

    Agreed – and I think in some ways it’s circling back a bit to how we used to work.
    When I started in community, there pretty much was no data. If you’re ever looked at a vB dashboard you’ll know what I mean. Most of what we did was anecdotal. We relied on a personal gauge of ‘community health’.

    Then the tide turned and we were all about data and proxy metrics, which don’t work well for the reasons Rich talks about in this post.

    I think there needs to be a balance of both. Some anecdotal, and some hard data (the key being that they are the right metrics – the ones that are tied to business goals).

  3. Richard Millington says:

    that should say supplement!

    @hawk please can you fix? :slight_smile:

  4. Sarah Hawk says:

    Sure thing – sorted.

  5. Ernesto Izquierdo says:

    This interview with Christie Fidura from Salesforce also goes into what you mention Sarah. Having both, a bit of data and qualitative analysis.

    We’re using the stats of conversations created by the community VS the conversations and replies created by the community manager as suggested in Buzzing communities.

    And then using data to know if questions are being answered or not recently. As we are just three months since opening these internal platforms, it’s important to keep an eye on what’s going well and what can be improved.

    But we’re also aiming at analysing on a case by case, how the community is helping each unit achieve their operational goals, be these upskilling, training, finding guidelines, or co-developing new ones.

  6. Suzi Nelson says:

    Hate it when that happens! :smiley:

  7. Alessio Fattorini says:

    That’s the key. Thanks :wink:

  8. Travis King says:

    Does anyone know how I can represent “gut checks” as hard data? :stuck_out_tongue:

  9. Sarah Hawk says:

    Yup. Prepend it with “True Fact”. That’s what my kids do.

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