Net Promoter Score has served the industry very well as the standard in satisfaction intention, and can now be enhanced by adding explicit customer satisfaction data, influence and customer reviews already on the web.
NPS, a Industry Standard Before the Social Web There’s no better way to measure customer satisfaction and intention to refer than the Net Promoter Score. In fact, this simple mechanism asks consumers on a 0 to 10 rating scale:
“How likely is it that you would recommend our company to a friend or colleague?” Based on their responses, customers can be categorized into one of three groups: Promoters (9-10 rating), Passives (7-8 rating), and Detractors (0-6 rating)
NPS ,while effective at capturing the intention of advocacy, does not measure actual advocacy or detractions that occur in the social web. As a result it’s difficult to capture the entire ‘net’ experience as the social web has demonstrated.
Now The Social Web Provides New Data Sources The social web actually records customers making explicit ratings, rankings, recommendations or warnings about products in services, I’ve given some pragmatic reasons on why this is important. You can find these reviews in Amazon, Twitter, Plancast, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, and beyond. In particular, the social web allows brands to actually measure three new types of public data sources:
Customer Satisfaction: Customers can now provide ratings, reviews, and other critiques in online review sites.
Influence: Not all customers are created equal, in fact some customers have have great breadth of reach (like Celebrities on Twitter) or have depth in knowledge (expert blogger in your market).
Referral Activity: No need to ask “how likely” they are to refer, you can see them do it live.
Get Accurate, Measure the Total Social Customer Value (TSCV) Companies must value both the total customer satisfaction as well as influence and advocacy behaviors in order to provide a holistic example of the modern customer.
Matrix: Know Your Total Social Customer Value with 6 Factorials
Why it’s important
How you should measure
What no one tells you
Net Promoter Score
This is the mainstay of customer satisfaction measurement and shouldn’t go away. It’s easily understood, well documented, and is a useful metric to overall ‘referral intention’. (Intention doesn’t measure actual behavior, just the likelehood you would)
Support exit surveys, primary research surveys, work with Satmetrics, the owners of this methodology
This is the standard default measurement, yet needs additional factorials to represent the modern customer.
To determine if a customer is influential to others, such as celebrities, top bloggers, analysts and media. This doesn’t necessarily mean however they are trusted by your specific market.
There are a variety of secondary sources such as brand monitoring firms, like Buzzlogic, Radian6, as well as reputation management systems like Rapleaf. Your PR firm will have this list of absolute influencers, and their Twitter/blog/RSS numbers are good indicators
Total possible reach, frequency of publication.
These large influencers can cause mainstream media to shift attention, and will impact SEO, but don’t expect your actual consumers to trust them as much as they trust their peers. Assume high scoring at this level is towards the wider part of the funnel and may influence the lower elements.
These are individuals that are ‘experts’ in your particular market. While they may not have mainstream appeal, they may influence consumers directly. For example, bloggers that write a dedicated blog to your market, or super reviewers that provide detailed reviews about your products in online sites
Online communities, Technorati data, and brand monitoring firms
Unlike Absolute Influence, we’re looking for depth –not breadth of ability. Look for how detailed, knowledgeable and how much they engage with prospects and consumers.
This measurement must be factored into the overall formula as they have direct influence during the decision making stage in lower funnel.
Data that indicates a prospect is ‘willing’ to purchase, but has not yet. The difference here is that they do so in public.
Wish lists, shopping carts, or intention based data sources like Plancast, Facebook Events, Tripit, Dopplr.
This data is difficult to get, as it’s currently not aggregated. Expects Social CRM systems to emerge that will help to assemble all this data around a single profile.
Intention data is has high potential and therefore value, but low accuracy. Expect to factor in the chance that individuals will not move to the next stage, so conduct weighted averages here on probability.
Advocacy (Purchase, or Post Purchase)
This is the most key measure, as it measures when customers actually explicitly share with others that they have purchased a product, and may have posted an opinion, influencing others.
A variety of locations like Twitter, review sites, blogs, and social networks. See how vertical based review sites are emerging like GDGT, where consumers share their technology products with their peers, influencing purchase behavior.
Since you’ve already factored in their influence from above, you’ll add sentiment and accuracy.
The key that most marketers don’t realize is that here’s the opportunity to be proactive. If there are positive reviews, figure out how to broadcast them to other channels, see how Bazaarvoice and Zuberance help brands with this. For negative reviews, the company can contact the negative reviewed to provide updates to service or product and request a second review.
The absolute measure if a single individual or community has caused others to buy.
Referral codes in eCommerce systems, or surveys at point of sale, or special tracking tools from existing web analytics tools (cookies, 1X1 pixels, etc)
Provide advocates with referral codes, so they can encourage their friends to buy, or special tracking features to ensure an accurate measurement.
The key is to look for the path of least resistance among the social channels to identify where referral activity flows smoothes
Total Social Customer Value attempts to measure the entire value of customer satisfaction, influence, and advocacy in both intention and historical data types
While still early, expect this data to be collected into a social CRM system, then be exported to business intelligence software systems like SAS, Qlikview, Oracle, SAP, Microstrategy, and others
Adding all these factorials will develop a more accurate view of social customers
While early and mainly theory, I know of a few brands that are attempting to scrap this data together and glue it together. Expect a new analytics agency to emerge that will help aggregates this.
How To Use This Formula The above matrix is a formula to develop your Total Social Customer Value (TSCV) yet will require modification and customization for each company, as different verticals have higher rates of customer social activity. For example, technology, consumer product goods, and hospitality industry have a high degree of customer interactions –while component parts or specialized industries like tractors may not. You’ll need to develop a formula, use your social CRM system to track this and eventually use business intelligence software that can calculate this.
Total Social Customer Value = Net Promoter Score times Absolute Influence times Relative influence times Advocacy Intention times Advocacy at Point of purchase or post purchase times actual referrals
TSCV= NPS x Ia x Ir x Ai x Ap x R
Challenges to this Methodology My goal was to define how measurement of customer satisfaction, influence and advocacy have changed due to the social web, yet there are few challenges to this methdology, which I’m happy to point out as an industry analyst: 1) This is new thinking and not everyone will get it. 2) Data is disparate and scattered among the disparate web 3) It’s more complex, and requires more time to put together, however the accuracy of the data will be higher. 4) Social CRM is still very early, and aggregating all data into a single area is a challenge.
Relevant Research: Social Analytics and Social CRM
We’ve conducted research and published the following reports on Social Marketing Analytics (slides and recording, and the report) with 3-ex Forrester/Jupiter analysts Social CRM Report, with my colleague Ray Wang which will be the system to house all of this data, along with intelligent filtering and workflows. You’ll need to know more about the formulas to amend NPS, as well as understand the new processes and technologies in Soical CRM which will capture a single user profile regardless of where they publish online.
Praise to the Net Promoter Score
To be clear, I’m not suggesting that we do away with NPS, it still serves a vital function to customer satisfaction, and respect the value it’s brought to the industry. There’s no other single question that can yield so much intention data, It’s a fantastic tool and has advanced the industry, and I know we can build on top of it to reflect the moden web. I’m thankful for the work that Fred Reichheld, Bain & Company, and Satmetrix have done to create Net Promoter Score, and I fall into the promoter score as ‘9’ on the scale, as I’m here recommending you use this methodology, with my additional caveats.
After launching the research report ‘Social Marketing Analytics‘ (also embedded below), my co analyst (also from Forrester) John Lovett and I recorded this webinar yesterday that had over 800 registrants and 300+ attendees during the hour long presentation.
In the spirit of ‘Open Research’ we encourage you to use, share, and adopt our research framework to improve your work, abiding by our creative commons licensing of attribution and non-commercial usage.
Above: The Research Report that started it all, which you can also download and see nitty gritty details
Recognizing the Ecosystem
This was completed with the community in mind, and we’d like to thank the following folks for their contrabutions:
Charlene Li, Eric T. Peterson, Christine Tran
Our Ecosystem Contributors
Lisa Barone, Connie Benson, David Berkowitz, Blake Cahill, Adam Coomes, Monica Cordina, Bill Gassman, Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, Rob Key, Justin Kistner, Scott Lake, Matt Langie, Alex Mann, Louis Marascio, John McCory, Aaron Neumann, Katie Delahaye Paine, Sean Power, Chris Ramsey, Boaz Ronkin, Shiv Singh, R “Ray” Wang, Alan Webber, Jennifer Zeszut
If you’re a social analytics technology or service provider (brand monitoring, web analytics, business intelligence) and want to speak with John and I, we can help apply this framework to your business. If you’re an analytics professional and need help applying this to making it your own, please contact us: john.lovett at webanalyticsdemystified.com or jeremiah at altimetergroup.com.
Related Research From Altimeter Group:
A Collaborative Effort Between Two Firms: Web Analytics Demystified and Altimeter Group
It’s just been over a month since we published the Social CRM Research paper (over 36k views on slideshare) and we’re continuing our cadence here at Altimeter Group of publishing widely available reports under the spirit of Open Research. This time, it’s different, we’ve aligned with who I feel are the smartest team of web analytics minds in the space, John Lovett (ex-Forrester analyst) and Eric Peterson (ex-Jupiter analyst) both of the Web Analytics Demystified firm. Stemming from Altimeter founder Charlene Li’s (ex-Forrester Analyst) framework, we co-developed this framework, and put our collective minds to work on measuring the rapidly changing social media marketing space. This self-funded research effort resulted in a thorough methodology as we interviewed over 40 ecosystem influencers.
Industry Challenge: “I can’t measure social media ROI”
Marketers around the globe are ranging from toe dipping to jumping all the way into the social marketing space –yet most lack a measurement yardstick. While experiments can fly under the radar for a short term, without having a measurement strategy, you run the risk of not improving what you’re doing, justifying investments, and the appearance of being aloof to upper management. To be successful, all programs (even new media) must have a measurement strategy, and we’ve done just that.
Finally, A Measurement Framework Based on Business Objectives
If you’re familiar with the Altimeter frameworks of developing a social strategy based on business objectives, then you’re in good shape, as this research report is the natural extension of the business objectives we put forth:
Dialog: involves starting a conversation and offering your audience something to talk about while allowing that conversation to take on a life of its own
Advocacy: activation of evangelism, word of mouth, and the spread of information through social technologies
Supporting: customers may self support each other, or companies may directly assist them using social technologies.
Innovation: The business objective of innovation is an extraordinary byproduct of engaging in social marketing activity.
Our framework is a common denominator, so if you’re already measuring converted leads, or actual sales from social media, you’re already a leg up! In this meaty report, we hope you’ll share with your marketing and analytics team, and use the actual KPI formulas to create your own cookbook.
A Nod To the Community Spirit
We’re putting a big stake out there, in order to further the industry to come together around a common set of KPIs and metrics, but we realize we don’t know all the answers. In the spirit of Open Research, we want this to be an open framework (we’ve even licensed this under Creative Commons) to customize it and make your own for non-commercial reasons with attribution. If you’ve ideas on how to improve it such as new KPIs, vendors, or approaches, we’re listening, and will incorporate and improve this community body of knowledge for all to benefit.
I’ll link to others that extend the conversation (even critical reviews), feel free to embed the slideshare on your own site.
In addition to constant listening and alerting to their market, brands should conduct an initial, then annual social media audit to be successful in their endeavors.
Just as brands conduct audits of inventory, employees, and budgets on an often annual basis, they should also survey the landscape to find out what customers, influencers, partners and employees are participating on the social web. Audits are key for identifying priorities, benchmarking previous efforts, and planning for future efforts; the same applies for social media. I’ve been reviewing social media strategy documents from a variety of large brands, and I’ve noticed the following three common traits:
Understand the Three Types of Social Media Audits
Initial Kickoff Audit. Brands should audit their social sphere as part of their initial planning process. Brands should work with a partner to find out the conversation index, top competitors, top discussed phrases, and customer experiences with products and services.
Conduct Annual Audits: Social media teams should work with management and marketing managers to understand how and why the social web responded to activities in the market. Benchmark top advocates and detractors, and determine which topics or products are most talked about. Most importantly, benchmark your own social efforts, measuring the change and analyze what caused them, you’ll need this data as your budgets are questioned. Finally, use this knowledge to set quantitative and qualitative goals of where you want to be next year.
Conduct Ongoing Monitoring: This really isn’t an audit but is key as listening doesn’t just happen in spurts. Brands should be constantly monitoring their brand using alerts and reports. Ongoing monitoring is helpful in responding to the real time web (crises can breakout even on a weekend) but may miss out in seeing the bigger picture and macro changes.
I was involved (I come from practice within corporate) in the brand monitoring when I was running the social program at Hitachi Data Systems, I leaned on Converseon and Factiva, now owned by Dow Jones as well as setup Google Alerts and tracked Technorati links. Here’s a few things you’ll need to take into account:
Don’t conduct your audit in a vacuum. Identify the keywords and phrases to measure by involving a variety of stakeholders. Be sure to distribute the findings to stakeholders as well as conduct a findings meeting to discuss next steps
Find a brand monitoring vendor as a long term partner. Find a listening platform that understands your business, and gets the social web –beyond just mainstream media. Forrester has conducted research Wave on this topic to find the right listening platform vendors to meet your needs.
Appropriately Staff and Fund. Don’t expect this partner to understand the nuances of your markets’ discussion, assign a few part time resources internally to champion this audit internally –and don’t forget to budget. I’ve seen many annual pricing proposals at the 100k range –varying on services and number of keywords used.
Love to hear your tips, best practices, and pitfalls to avoid in the comments when it comes to developing an active listening strategy.
Left: Lithium’s Insight Report provides brands with key community attributes, and automated recommendations.
Measurement is more important than ever
I was briefed by Lithium, one of the vendors in my Community Platform Wave report, of their Insights listening product, which they announced today. In the Wave report, I heavily emphasized the need for measurement, here’s a few key reasons:
First of all, “new” media like social is already under scrutiny, measurement was already important.
During a recession, with dollars stretched, marketers are under increased pressure to prove their programs.
Social media, being largely experimental for many brands, need to measure to quickly ‘course correct’ programs in real time.
During times of cutbacks, marketers must know what to cut, and in order to do so, measurement is key.
Go beyond web analytics
Beyond this need, I quickly noticed there are two types of measurements when it came to communities, the first is server analytics, which we already are aware is web analytics, Google, Omniture, WebTrends provide these services. Secondly, the more advanced measurements are ‘community’ analytics that actually track the healthy, influence, and sentiment of a community.
Next steps for measurement –and what Lithium must improve
Despite Lithium’s momentous launch for this measurement tool, there’s still more to be desired: 1) Measurement should be based on business objective, not just attributes on a dashboard, to learn more, understand the difference between dashboards and GPS. 2) Although we’ve yet to see great tools to glean opinions, demonstrating qualitative information such as quotes and even sentiment will be the next step. 3) These reports will need to export and be seamless to other measurement systems and dashboards, although they have a partnership with Omniture, there’s still many other marketing tools used for analytics.
Lithium isn’t alone, there are a variety of listening platforms in this space that are offering social media measurement tools, you should also expect the other community platforms to launch competitive products.
Social Media Measurement is important, and now with the recession, critical.
Tremendous amount of customer and prospect data is available in these communities, the savvy vendors are hiring bright minds to analyze what works –and what doesn’t.
Measurement must evolve beyond web analytics and now focus on community insights, vendors are now hiring scientists to help decipher the community ‘code’.
Analytics tools on their own are worthless, without actionable insights, brands will suffer, vendors must provide recommendations.
I’m a former community manager, and many of my friends are currently in this role, and I want to make sure they are armed with the right knowledge to succeed during hard times –I know some of them may get laid off.
Community Managers are at risk of being let go
During a recession, we know that marketing, sometimes new media and unknown expenses get cut. Unfortunately, to some, the Community Manager role may sit in all three of those areas of scrutiny. Although I’ve been tracking quite a few Community Managers working at enterprise class companies, they must quickly learn to measure, and demonstrate ROI or risk getting cut.
Community Managers must educate stakeholders and management.
Measurement depends on which objective they are trying to solve, so I’ll break it down into specific objectives and tasks. During incidents the community manager should report in real-time to key stakeholders. Secondly, they should provide weekly updates that can be quickly scanned in 30 seconds to community managers. Each month, they should provide a detailed report, and initiate a 30-60 minute meeting with key stakeholders to discuss changes.
Among these changes they should measure:
Improvement in marketing efficiency
Community Managers should measure increased speed from word of mouth or marketing awareness, the best way to measure this is time from awareness to close –or spread of WOM. This could also include increase understanding of customers (listening) for marketing research, or warning stakeholders about potential detractors before they become real issues. Unfortunately, these metrics aren’t valued as much as the next two, so focus accordingly.
Reduction in support costs The bottom line is always important to business, so if you can measure a decrese in customers going to physical stores, emailing account reps, or calling the support center as they instead rely on community to help self-support themselves, you can start to put dollar costs on this actual community savings.
Actual improvement to sales
This matters most. Community Managers should start to measure how clicks from community directly impact ecommerce, go to product pages (perhaps if you’re B2B) or to affiliate marketing to demonstrate how community interaction increases revenue. If you can demonstrate this (like Dell’s million dollar sales in Twitter) tout this loudly to management.
Conduct additional research
If you’re like most companies, layoffs are coming, therefore Community Managers must educate the powers that be the value that they offer when it comes to customer service and support. Rather than focus purely on the role that they have, they should demonstrate the overall of the community –then discusss why a role is needed (like a physical store manager) in order to keep it running smoothly. Consider running quarterly surveys that measure Net Ratings or customer satisfaction, and don’t forget to quote qualitative responses from community members themselves, there’s nothing like a pure customer testimonial about why they are customers.
If you’ve other tips for Community Managers during a recession, leave a comment below.