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The single most important KPI of your Community

Khoros Staff

#1 Community KPI.png

Why the most important?  

If you had 5 minutes with your CEO to demonstrate the importance of your Community and how it improves over time, what KPI would you use? Communities are complex - there are many metrics to choose from - and it is often easier to create a dashboard that looks something like this…



Seriously, if you have to summarize in a single KPI how Successful your community is, what would that be? I would argue this KPI is the Community Success Rate! 

Remember from the previous article What is success rate, and why does it matter? “, in its very essence this KPI does indicate how well Community visitors succeed in achieving their purpose of coming

Good for them, but what is the benefit to the brand hosting the community? 

Actually, the Success Rate does also indicate the Success for the Brand as well! On top of that, it is easy to measure and can be improved with dedicated best practices. Really? Yes.

Let me put that down again: the Success Rate is just a simple, easy and very impactful way to indicate Community Success. That’s why it is the single most important Community Business KPI. 

Let me explain.

Why is it impactful? 

Every community is different, but all of them serve two basic purposes: 

  1. a Brand delivering valuable Community services to people
  2. Community Users willing to spend the time and engage with those brand services and each other. 

And that’s the exact insight the Success Rate is providing; how well does it work on both sides? Think about it as an indicator of how easily people are finding the right answers whatever the questions are about (support, products, ideation, sharing, etc) from a service hosted by the Brand. 

On the Brand Side...

Any organization that is running a brand Community strives to deliver a successful Community experience!  This sounds so simple, still very often is neglected and the Success Rate is not considered!

Let’s illustrate the impact with an example of a peer-to-peer service and support Community use case. It is relevant as it is the largest use case for brand Communities globally. And the Success Rate is sometimes called Resolution Rate or Findability Rate, but ultimately refers to the same concept. 

In the support use case, the most prevalent method for measuring value and success is by measuring efficiencies, savings from contact deflection, and service gains. Within a variety of methods measuring savings from contact deflection, there is one broadly shared by TSIA practitioners, 3rd party analysts, and adopted by the vast majority of Khoros customers.

That method is considering the volume of contacts deflected by taking in account the traffic seeking support that comes to the Community. And then it takes from that traffic how much of it is really successful (Success Rate) and how much of it really does not go to the contact center (deflection rate). 

This deflection rate depends very much on external factors to the community (how digitally savvy the visitors are, the place of the community in the navigation journey and the very nature of the request itself). 

The Success Rate is all about the community itself! And increasing it only by 1 point has a tremendous multiplier effect on the cost savings - hence for the organization’s bottom line. An example of that is explained in this recent SAS Kudo, demonstrating a $7M savings from contact deflection in a year

On the Community User side...

The Success Rate impacts the overall Customer Satisfaction. Of course, other factors play a role, such as the quality of the products and the services delivered, but from a Community user experience perspective, CSAT is highly impacted by the Success Rate. 

To illustrate that, in the graph below you can see anonymized and representative Khoros Community data of  Success Rates (Resolution Rate) versus CSAT (measured as a percentage of only Satisfied and Very Satisfied users). There is a clear pattern of correlation between both KPIs. 



For the data lovers,  a pretty accurate formula is actually: 

“Success Rate = 78% of CSAT”.  

So the higher the Success Rate, the higher is the CSAT! 


How can you improve it? 

The first step to improving something is to start measuring it. In the Khoros Community platform, there is an easy and simple feature - Value Analytics survey - that allows you to capture the feedback from the user and determine that Success Rate. Obviously there are guidelines to follow for a smooth and continuous navigation experience with a survey to capture the data in an effective and non-intrusive way.

The second step is to consider the Success Rate as an indicator of how the Community delivers on the search/find expectation, which really turns around 2 fundamentals: 

  • Does the content (I am looking for) exist? If not it needs to be created! 
  • Is the content (I am looking for) findable? If not it needs to be surfaced to the questioning user!

By definition, improving the Success Rate is about having more users finding what they are looking for. We have 2 main ingredients for that:  

  • what you are looking for is available and,
  • what you are looking for can be found.


Based on the 4 cases listed in the Available/Findable content matrix above, we have: 

  1. Can Find & Available: wonderful, this is what we want for the optimal Success Rate!
  2. Can Not Find & Available: if the content is here, how do we make sure it can be found?
  3. Can Find & Not Available: the content is not there, but people find it valuable… ok that’s magic, not sure it really exists.
  4. Can Not Find & Not Available: obviously the content is missing here and needs to be created.


A larger and more complete set of practices on improving it are here for you

Please have a look and share your feedback. 


Bottom line

Hopefully this gives you a good perspective on the importance of the Success Rate of your Community and a good reason to start defining the strategy and tactics to improve it. 

You can also consider few of the following examples of improvement of Success Rates (Resolution Rates) recently shared by your peers in the Khoros Kudos: 

Khoros Kudos: SAS sees a Success Rate of 74%

Khoros Kudos: Intel improves Success Rate from 38% to 50%

Khoros Kudos: Fido improves Success Rate from 34% to 49%

Khoros Kudos: EE improves Success Rate by 7 pts


Please share with your Khoros peers your experiences, your Success Rate and your plans for improving it. This will help the broader community learn and progress on that key topic. 


As always, let us know your feedback and comments, and let’s keep the conversation going.