Khoros Community

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Effectiveness of the "Ask a Question" widget

A few months back we added in the Ask a Question widget to the homepage, and saw a bump in questions being asked.  Recently we ran a heatmap tool (CrazyEgg) on the page and the data confirms how much use it gets:

 

heatmap2.png

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Re: Effectiveness of the "Ask a Question" widget

Interesting - thanks for sharing the CrazyEgg usage data.

 

One thing I would say here is that there is a difference between usage and effectiveness. In my experience, Ask a Question is great at generating new topics, but not so great at driving deeper engagement. Many community managers have found that it can actually be a hinderance to the success of the community if users become reliant on asking their question straight away without first performing a proper search or browsing for existing content on the topic they're interested in. That is to say, you may end up with a community full of questions with no answers that have already been discussed elsewhere.

 

Depending on the goals and usage for your specific community, swapping standard search functionality for Ask a Question may be a better bet.

 

Further reading for those of you that have access to the Customer Connection board.

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Trusted Contributor
Trusted Contributor

Re: Effectiveness of the "Ask a Question" widget

The Ask a Question does have an autocomplete function, so it will tell you if there's another topic with the same title.  In my experience, those people that need the widget would have given up and not asked their question, rather than done their homework.  Or they would have just gone straight to support, which increases our support burden.

 

In our case we have more people standing by ready to answer questions than we had questions, so it was a good boost to the community.

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Re: Effectiveness of the "Ask a Question" widget


tolstoshev wrote:

The Ask a Question does have an autocomplete function, so it will tell you if there's another topic with the same title.  In my experience, those people that need the widget would have given up and not asked their question, rather than done their homework.  Or they would have just gone straight to support, which increases our support burden.

 

In our case we have more people standing by ready to answer questions than we had questions, so it was a good boost to the community.


All good points.

 

The thing you're reminding me of that I forgot to mention before was that established communities tend to have better luck with AaQ because there are good results (especially Accepted Solutions) to be presented when that auto complete kicks in. It may make less sense for new communities that are light on content. In that light, some communities wait to turn it on until they feel they have reached a critical mass of content.

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Honored Contributor
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Re: Effectiveness of the "Ask a Question" widget

There's also a third step of community evolution where "AaQ" actually performs worse: If you are running a mature community with a lot of content that is partially up for years already your AaQ users might end up with old outdated content in the auto-completion suggestions all the time. So success of AaQ as a mean to both a) surface existing relevant content and b) provide an easy entry point to get a yet uncovered question posted relies just as much on a good enough backlog of answered question as it is depending on an established archiving strategy.

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Occasional Contributor gregg
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Re: Effectiveness of the "Ask a Question" widget

Originally we implemented a search widget, instead of AaQ at giffgaff. We saw community searches quadruple over night and were very happy with the results. However, I am tempted to give AaQ a go as I still feel our newer members struggle to figure out how to post a question. 

 

Do you find yourselves needing to make many changes to it, or is it great straight out of the box?

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Trusted Contributor Trusted Contributor
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Re: Effectiveness of the "Ask a Question" widget

Interestingly we are wanting to use this to Search the TKB in our Community, but will hide the feature to then go on and ask a question and post in the Community. Is there a better Search widget to use? This is a quick-win while we develop a fuller Search function for the website. 

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