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Inside Value Analytics

CCO Emeritus

Holiday season is now behind us, but just before it arrived you may have noticed something new in the admin console -- a gift from our analytics team. It’s a new feature, part of our core platform and available to all customers on version 15.10, and it’s called Value Analytics.



I was lucky enough to help the team that developed Value Analytics, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on what’s in it and why it matters.



As you know, data and analytics has always been a key focus at Lithium. We’ve got the world’s largest database of enterprise social and community data, going back 15 years and covering hundreds of brands in dozens of industries around the world. But there’s one kind of data we’ve never collected in our platform: data on user intent, success, and satisfaction. This data was sometimes gathered independently by our customers, and sometimes they shared it with us. More often though, it was locked in spreadsheets or databases inside their organizations, or never collected at all.



Last year our Business Value Engineering (BVE) team -- our “ROI geeks” -- began to ask the question: could we find a way in every Lithium community to easily gather and analyze this data? Our analytics team accepted the challenge, and by late last year had a beta version of the product live in a small set of communities. (If you use the Lithium Community, you probably saw it first. They were included in our beta.)


So what does Value Analytics do? It starts with a standardized set of five survey questions:


  1. What is your purpose for visiting the community?
  2. Were you able to find the information you were looking for?
  3. If you did not find your answer, what would you have done next?
  4. How would you rate your overall experience on this community (very satisfied to very unsatisfied)?
  5. How likely are you to recommend our community to a colleague or a friend?


While the answers to some questions are customizable, the questions are not. They are based on formats most commonly used by customers already doing similar surveys, and ones endorsed by standards groups and professional organizations, including the creators of the Net Promoter Score SM (NPS®). This standardization saves you time and effort, but it has another benefit too -- it enables us benchmark your performance against other communities like yours. This is exciting for me, because in the 20 years I’ve been working with communities, we’ve never had the answer to questions like: how satisfied, on average, are users of brand communities today?



Value Analytics is designed for communities of all kinds, regardless of industry, audience, or focus. But there’s additional value if your community focuses on customer service or support. You’ll note that questions 2 and 3 provide data that can be used to quantify cost savings based on avoided calls to your call center. The results are already starting to roll in. Jaime Perez and his team Microstrategy share their results in a new Lithium case study.



We recommend that every customer enable this feature immediately. The questions will appear for a randomized set of community users based on simple configuration choices you make, such as surveying the community overall, or focusing on specific community areas (nodes) or roles. Don’t get hung up on all the other things you might want to ask or know -- you can run more extensive surveys using other tools. You may be doing so already, and that shouldn’t change. This tool is different. The power is in its simplicity. You’ll get a quick baseline and understand your strengths and weaknesses, using reports newly added to Lithium Social Intelligence. You can then use the data to understand the impact of everything you do -- new designs, features, content, and processes -- on the experience you’re creating for your users.  

We’re looking forward to seeing your results!


For additional information on Value Analytics you can refer to the 15.10 release notes and website, or you can contact your Customer Success Manager.


NPS is a registered service mark, and Net Promoter Score is a service mark, of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc. and Fred Reichheld.


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About the Author
Joe is Lithium's Chief Community Officer. An expert in business-oriented online communities, he's helped more than 300 companies create successful communities. Follow him on Twitter at @cothrel.

Love it. Far too many ROI calculations are based on assumptions and guesses. Surveying users to get the numbrs directly from the source makes the most sense.


@JoeC I really like the tool. But it would be even better with a comment box on the NPS question and a correct NPS score 0-10. 

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

I think is a big mistake from Lithium making the questions not editable. I understand that you want to unify data across your customers so it provides Lithium a better inside and possibilities of benchmarking but in my opinion the right way for doing that would have been advising customers about what questions they could ask rather than imposing them. Specially taking in account that Lithium still lacks of a decent survey feature. It feels Lithium is putting their interests before their customer’s’


We don't use NPS anymore as one of our most main KPIs and we were interesting in having other questions answered by the community so result: feature not very useful for us.

CCO Emeritus

@BrianOblinger, couldn't agree more. @oliverlutz1 a fix is already underway for the scale issue and will come in 15.12, and possibly sooner. Re the comment box, good feedback. We've had other folks ask for workflow that takes an unsatisfied customer into an escalation path. Looking forward to seeing what else we hear in the coming weeks as this gets rolled out to more communities. @Huntson, thanks to you as well. Our data suggests that, between NPS and CSAT, most customers will find the tool useful. But we'll certainly find out in the coming weeks and months as we monitor adoption. I don't doubt that some customers, like you, will continue to find that a traditional survey tool better meets your needs.


@JoeC Thx in advance for the fix. I'm looking also forward to a concret statement regarding our feedbacks. Otherwise we'll may deactivate the survey again. 

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Another thing to report to improve this feature is that some of the fixed survey journeys don't make much sense.



Q) What is the purpose of visiting our forum?

A) Answering someone’s question


Q) Where you be able to find information you were looking for? (if someone has responded "Answering someone's questions” in the previous question it doesn't make sense to me that this is the next question we ask)


I think a decent survey feature should provide the ability of delivering different questions based on users’ previous answers (different survey journeys)