Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

The Current State of Online Communities for Customer Support

541 views

Published on

Hotline-based customer support, where a helpful support agent dispenses support in real-time, is increasingly rare. While some customers or users lament what seems like the pending extinction of this support offering, others like the increasing array of options for self-help. In fact, many opt for self-help support channels because they are more accessible, convenient, low-cost or immediate.

The motivation for offering crowd-based or self-service support can vary, from organizations that simply want to lower their costs to those that want to better serve their customers. Whatever the motivation, self-service support channels are seemingly on the rise, and the first (sometimes only) resort to get help.

Demand Metric, in partnership with Vanilla Forums, set out to learn what the customer support landscape looks like and how effective crowd based, self-service support channels are working. To find out, these partners fielded an online survey, getting over 400 individuals and firms to click in to it. Those who reported that their organizations provide technical or product support to customers or prospects were encouraged to complete the study survey. The report shares the data and analysis from this survey providing insights into best practices for improving crowd based, self- service support.

Published in: Marketing
  • Earn a 6-Figure Side-Income Online... Signup for the free training HERE ●●● http://ishbv.com/j1r2c/pdf
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Legitimate jobs paying $40/h Tap into the booming online job, industry and start working now! ★★★ http://scamcb.com/ezpayjobs/pdf
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Be the first to like this

The Current State of Online Communities for Customer Support

  1. 1. 3 4 Introduction Executive Summary 6 14 32 33 Support Operation Overview Communities and the Support Process Acknowledgements Appendix: Survey Background Table of Contents Leveraging Support Data & Metrics21 © 2016 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved. License our research to fuel your content marketing programs. Contact us at info@demandmetric.com or +1 (866) 947-7744 2 26 Demand, Investment and Strategic Importance Analyst Bottom Line30 2016 State of Online Community for Customer Support – October 2016
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION Hotline-based customer support, where a helpful support agent dispenses support in real-time, is increasingly rare. While some customers or users lament what seems like the pending extinction of this support offering, others like the increasing array of options for self-help. In fact, many opt for self-help support channels because they are more accessible, convenient, low-cost or immediate. The motivation for offering crowd-based or self-service support can vary, from organizations that simply want to lower their costs to those that want to better serve their customers. Whatever the motivation, self-service support channels are seemingly on the rise, and the first (sometimes only) resort to get help. Demand Metric, in partnership with Vanilla Forums, set out to learn what the customer support landscape looks like and how effective crowd based, self-service support channels are working. To find out, these partners fielded an online survey, getting over 400 individuals and firms to click in to it. Those who reported that their organizations provide technical or product support to customers or prospects were encouraged to complete the study survey. The report shares the data and analysis from this survey providing insights into best practices for improving crowd based, self- service support. © 2016 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved. License our research to fuel your content marketing programs. Contact us at info@demandmetric.com or +1 (866) 947-7744 32016 State of Online Community for Customer Support – October 2016
  3. 3. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This study’s participants were distributed between B2B, B2C and mixed B2B/B2C organizations, most of which report revenue growth during the past fiscal year. Almost three-fourths of the respondents have marketing, sales or support job titles. The respondents come from a diverse set of industries, with one-third coming from the technology hardware or software sector. Half come from companies with less than $10 million in annual revenue, while 14 percent are with firms reporting revenues of $500 million or more. The analysis of this study’s data provides these key findings: !  Just six percent of study participants use a single channel to deliver support, while over 60 percent use four or more support channels. !  Around-the-clock availability is the top incentive customers have to use self- help support channels. !  Over three-fourths of the study participants are satisfied or very satisfied with their support processes and resources. !  Almost two-thirds of study participants report that their support process generates some level of revenue. !  Of the study’s participants that have an online community as part of the support process, half report a moderate or significant contribution to revenue. By comparison, just 39 percent of those that don’t have a community report this same impact on revenue. !  Study participants that rate their community content as “Extremely valuable” have a level of customer satisfaction with the support process that exceeds 90 percent. © 2016 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved. License our research to fuel your content marketing programs. Contact us at info@demandmetric.com or +1 (866) 947-7744 4 1 2016 State of Online Community for Customer Support – October 2016
  4. 4. !  Support communities are a factor in all stages of the customer journey, with 56 percent of participants reporting their community’s role is significant or very significant in the Consideration phase. !  When a community is one of the support channels offered, the usefulness of support data for gaining insights increases from 67 to 82 percent. !  Study participants with support communities track a broader spectrum of metrics. Their average usage of metrics is 15 points higher than for organizations without communities. This report details the results and insights from the analysis of the study data. For more detail on the survey participants, please refer to the Appendix. © 2016 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved. License our research to fuel your content marketing programs. Contact us at info@demandmetric.com or +1 (866) 947-7744 5 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 2016 State of Online Community for Customer Support – October 2016
  5. 5. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Demand Metric is grateful to Vanilla Forums for sponsoring this research, and for those who took the time to complete the study survey. About Vanilla Forums Founded in December 2009, Vanilla started as an open source project. Today, Vanilla's software-as-a-service (cloud) offering helps thousands of companies provide a great community experience to millions of people worldwide. Vanilla has reinvented online forums and offers a modern user experience that your customers have come to expect. With Vanilla, you can build a branded community that looks exactly like your website, set roles and permissions for customers and staff, reward customer participation with points, ranks and badges, manage the community with powerful moderation tools and integrate your community with your CRM system. Learn more about Vanilla Forums at www.vanillaforums.org About Demand Metric Demand Metric is a marketing research and advisory firm serving a membership community of over 70,000 marketing professionals and consultants in 75 countries. Offering consulting methodologies, advisory services, and 500+ premium marketing tools and templates, Demand Metric resources and expertise help the marketing community plan more efficiently and effectively, answer the difficult questions about their work with authority and conviction and complete marketing projects more quickly and with greater confidence, boosting the respect of the marketing team and making it easier to justify resources the team needs to succeed. To learn more about Demand Metric, please visit: www.demandmetric.com © 2016 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved. License our research to fuel your content marketing programs. Contact us at info@demandmetric.com or +1 (866) 947-7744 322016 State of Online Community for Customer Support – October 2016
  6. 6. APPENDIX: SURVEY BACKGROUND This 2016 Crowd Sourced and Self-Serve Support Study survey was administered online during the period of August 2nd through August 31st, 2016. During this period, 410 responses were collected, 271 of which were qualified and complete enough for inclusion in the analysis. Only valid or correlated findings are shared in this report. The representativeness of this study’s results depends on the similarity of the sample to environments in which this survey data is used for comparison or guidance. Summarized below is the basic categorization data collected about respondents to enable filtering and analysis of the data: !  Type of organization: "  Primarily B2B 42 percent "  Primarily B2C 23 percent "  Mixed B2B/B2C 35 percent !  Primary role of respondent "  President, CEO or owner 13 percent "  Marketing 43 percent "  Sales 5 percent "  Support 24 percent "  Other 15 percent !  Annual sales: "  Less than $10 million 50 percent "  $10 to $24 million 16 percent "  $25 to $99 million 11 percent "  $100 to $499 million 9 percent "  $500 to $999 million 3 percent "  $1 billion or more 11 percent © 2016 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved. License our research to fuel your content marketing programs. Contact us at info@demandmetric.com or +1 (866) 947-7744 332016 State of Online Community for Customer Support – October 2016
  7. 7. APPENDIX: SURVEY BACKGROUND !  Revenue growth environment in most recent fiscal year: "  Significant increase 14 percent "  Slight increase 56 percent "  Flat 18 percent "  Slight decline 9 percent "  Significant decline 3 percent © 2016 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved. License our research to fuel your content marketing programs. Contact us at info@demandmetric.com or +1 (866) 947-7744 342016 State of Online Community for Customer Support – October 2016

×