Peer-to-peer support communities where customers solve their own support issues have been around for over 20 years, but it has only been recently that Cloud-based packaged business applications have been available, scalable, and feature rich. After a year of diving into four separate support communities made up of contributors from around the world, we’re more positive on these initiatives than ever. The cases we followed were in high tech software, consumer and business software, consumer home entertainment, and business-to-business network gear. The results have been pretty impressive. Such as:
- On average, over 40% of customers resolve their issues in the online community
- Of those 40%, 30 – 50% also solve the problem there – which means an overall reduction of 15%+ of all service cases.
- The average ROI on a peer-to-peer community has been 100% within 15 months. Try that with your ERP or SFA or HCM!
- Overall customer satisfaction grew, while time spent interacting with the Brand went up
If you want to see an in-depth case study and are a Gartner client, you can check out some new research at: http://www.gartner.com/resId=1910415 .
We will have several more of these at our Customer360 Summit this March in Orlando (http://bit.ly/gLhUKZ ).
I had a great call with a client this morning where we were discussing forums and knowledge bases and her company’s next steps. I said that now might not be the best time for her to discuss results because the program was still midstream. She laughed and said, “You know what? I don’t know if we’ll ever be out of midstream.” I am always touched by the IT folks who work hard for companies that can hardly recognize their effort, who look forward at the possible and are not handcuffed by the past.
John F. Kennedy, who was my idol by reasons of proximity temporal and physical, said, “For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.” And it is truly a mystery and a testament to people’s dedication and commitment that they often work so long and hard for rewards that largely accrue to others. We need all be grateful that they do.
Thank you all, as always, for sharing your stories – successes and challenges.