ROI is important, so lets look at ROI first of all. With a customer support community it’s a pretty straightforward deal. Ok, let me rephrase that, it ‘should’ be a straightforward deal, because I’m assuming you know how much each problem resolution costs via your standard support channels. You do? Great, then lets move on. Once you have that simple bit of information, all you have to do is measure each successful problem resolution via your online community (that was solved by other members rather than yourself), and divide that by the cost of your community to get the cost per resolution. Compare that with your traditional method and Bob’s your Uncle.
... Cisco have had an online support community for years now, where millions of customers gather online to talk about Cisco products.
Cisco estimates that the online support community diverts around 1 million support requests away from official channels each year. The value of having problems solved by the community is estimated at over $120 million each year! Did you get that? $120 million each year. I reckon that kind of saving would be enough to prove to senior management that social media is worthwhile don’t you?
Great summary and the Cisco-numbers are blowing everybody away. I am always using an internal IBM example of a Self Service community. All the Mac and iOS users in IBM are organized in a Mac Community helping each other. No official support by IT, but a community with experts and not vwery technical users like me solving all questions themselve. (And of course IT provides the necessar entry points, like the VPN gateway for Mac, Traveler access for iOS etc.). Meeting the experts and help each other is a great success factor for communities.
This is why a Corporate Website should host communities, And this is why a Social Portal is so important as part of your Customer Experience. Any successful Customer Self Service Communities you know about and best pratcises to share?