Are You Doing Best Practice Online

image A company with online best practice will likely be leveraging Web 2.0 tools and processes to create an engaging online community of customers and partners including collaborative capabilities.

This will include discussion forums, wikis with high customer participation and designated community experts tasked with moderation and administration.

To quote from the PWC benchmarking page on their web site under Global Best Practices?:

Best practices are simply the best way to perform activities within a business process.

They are the means by which leading companies achieve excellence in cost, quality, and time and provide goals for other companies to achieve.

Best practices are not, however, the definitive answer to a business problem.

Instead, they are a source of creative insight–a proven way to improve performance, which you can adapt to meet the specific needs of your business.

According to TSIA awards criteria, a company with online community programs such as mufti US 2009 services and best practice Star awards Winner: Cisco Systems, Inc., will have demonstrated quality programs in the following areas:

Online discussion boards.

  • Enables customers to post questions & answers to an online discussion board or forum.
  • Online discussion boards fit into our overall web self-service strategy, and use cases for the forums (peer to peer support, customization questions, beta trials, etc.).

Collaborative content creation.

  • Involve customers in the content creation process, by collecting input on documentation and product best practices via emails and enhancement requests,
  • Leverage a Web 2.0 Wiki. Allowing transparency of examples of how customers contribute to or make suggestions about existing knowledgebase for others to link to this as self-service content.

Reputation model.

  • The reputation model must be in place for the community, including the various levels (for example ‘Novice,’ ‘Intermediate,’ ‘Expert’), And have a scoring methodology for moving from level to level,
  • A high percentage of the community members should get to Expert level within a year.

Usage and effectiveness metrics.

  • Information is readily available on the size and activity level of the community It will be in pace such as number of page views, posts or other activity on a daily or weekly basis, average length of time for questions to be answered.
  • In the discussion forum blog readership, etc will be measured.

Customer moderation.

  • Customers have part the moderation responsibilities of the community, specifically the discussion forums. Internal supplement this to moderate as resolution resources are required Customer experts recruited, recognized and rewarded with reciprocal consulting services.

Launch/promotion.

  • Training and self help web based campaigns familiarize customers with the online community and what activities were executed to encourage adoption.
  • Community launches are timed to be lead in conjunction with sales and/or marketing?

Customer Impacts.

  • Customer Satisfaction data is collated to illustrates customer experience with the online community.
  • Indicators on overall customer satisfaction and/or loyalty are acknowledged to increases links to encourage the introduction of customer community programs.

Business Impacts.

  • Actual business impacts of all cases are documented, including metrics illustrating actual cost savings or efficiency gains such as incident deflection, or call/incident avoidance.
  • Other financial impacts, such as savings due to customer authored content or online collaboration are maintained and shared with customers to plan improvement plans.

How do you measure up?

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