You cannot improve what you cannot measure! In this day where inbound traffic is everything for a website, webmasters can't live without Web Analytics tools. They give you hard data about how your website was accessed, the usage patterns, user interests and trends and so on.
However, they cannot tell you semantic data about your application. For instance, Google Analytics cannot tell you the efficiency of your support reps, or the rate of participation of your customer community. It cannot tell you whether your users really "found" the answers to most of their questions or they just kept shooting in the dark till they got frustrated. It cannot tell you if ideas are languishing without votes or questions without answers. You will need special tools for that.
Zoho Discussions now has an
integrated statistics and analytics panel
that gives you just that ability. Here is a quick screenshot of how the stats dashboard looks like:
You can now use the unique user participation trend graphs to find out how many users are effectively engaging. Such stats let you figure out the effectiveness of the knowledge base that you have accumulated in your customer support community. How? Well, if the number of users visiting the site does not drop down (measurable using this dashboard or also from WebAnalytics tools), but the participation levels have gone down, then possibly users are finding their queries answered - just the nirvana you want to achieve through your support community. Of course, this analysis is not complete without measuring the participation or closure rate on topics raised. That brings us to the next graph
The stats dashboard also gives you snapshot graphs that show the effectiveness of your customer support community. Higher response rates indicate satisfied customers - since most of their queries are answered and issues solved. You can use this data to drive improvement campaigns centered around increasing customer satisfaction.
Sometimes just knowing generic participation is not enough. Zoho Discussions packs a powerful
topic type segregation
feature that helps your users classify their queries / opinions into discussions or questions or ideas or problems. If you are running a customer support community area, it is very important that you are answering all user queries and problems on a daily basis. Ideas on the other hand need more thought, analysis before a response is made. The statistics dashboard can help you differentiate response periods for each topic type. The figure on the right side shows that user Questions need attention from your customer support representatives.