How do you define success? Depending on who you ask that question to, success may have a different meaning. If you ask a bakery magazine publisher, the response may be that success is measured by the number of subscriptions. If you ask the museum curator, their success may be measured by the number of visitors that enter their doors each day. Truthfully, it’s different for every person, every company and every industry.
However, when it comes to building world class communities, success is more than just a goal for the number of members you would like to see in the community or the number of page views you would like to get. An effective picture of success for a world class community correlates to the overall business objectives and provides a clear guide for evaluating whether those objectives have been met.
When illustrating a picture of success, there are four key questions that should be top of mind. By answering these questions, they will help you to develop a clear picture of success and they have the potential to influence the design of the community. These questions include:
What existing processes need to improve for the community to be successful?By taking a deep dive into the process of each facet of your company – ranging from market research to support – you can find ways to improve business processes across your organization.What capabilities does the company need to establish to support this new way of engagement?Does your company’s human resources and marketing departments need a way to collaborate across departments? Or maybe you have no way to obtain feedback and need to institute a mechanism in order to do so. You are not alone because companies such as Long Realty faced the same challenges and developed an answer to this question early.What are the specific outcomes your company needs to achieve for the effort to be worth the investment?This could pertain to something as simple as finding a way to establish faster support. Or the issue can be a little more complex, such as your revenue has been down the last 2 years and you need a way to turn things around and increase revenue. What feedback can the company solicit that would be most beneficial?In order to understand where you are lacking and where you can improve, every company needs feedback. Feedback can range from gaining greater responsiveness from analysts to receiving increased customer satisfaction.
Once you have effectively developed a picture for success by answering the questions above and the community has launched, there is a set of metrics that can be applied to aid in community management. These metrics include:
The key thing to note is that you should start developing what you envision success to be at an early stage. If the answer to any of the above questions is not crystal clear, then it’s time to take a fresh look at your definition of success and start developing your picture of success. By developing a picture of success early and by applying the right set of metrics, you are well on your way to building your very own world class community.
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