• December 18, 2015
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Lithium Adds Analytics to Its Community Platform

Lithium Technologies has expanded the analytics available to users of its platform for building and operating online social communities with the release yesterday of Value Analytics and Lithium Cohort Benchmarking.

Katy Keim, chief marketing officer at Lithium, says together the two products help companies answer the following three questions regarding their social communities: "How am I doing?"; "How am I doing compared to other communities?"; and "How can I improve the community and deliver more value to the business?" 

"Social communities, for a lot of companies, are new and exciting, but the question every company wants answered is, 'What is this doing for my business?'" Keim says. "They also want to know what their customers are experiencing in the community. We can give them a sense of how they are delivering on their customers' expectations."

Building on Lithium's Community Health Index (CHI), Value Analytics is a data-driven approach for brands to measure the impact of their online social communities on their customers and businesses. Value Analytics gives users deep insight into community performance by serving up both marketing and service/support data, including Net Promoter Score (NPS), customer satisfaction, and call deflection.

Pulling data from surveys hosted within the community, Value Analytics enables companies to do the following:

  • calculate call deflections generated by the community;
  • assess user satisfaction with the community experience;
  • measure the impact of the community experience on customers' likelihood to refer (using NPS);
  • quantify the success rate of user visits and how this impacts customer support costs;
  • identify high-performing areas of the community and areas that offer opportunities for improvement; and
  • develop short-term tactics and long-term strategies that ensure the community is driving actual business results.

Lithium Cohort Benchmarking empowers companies to benchmark their community performance against similar companies. It pulls data from the more than 400 social communities running on Lithium's platform—which together see about 100 million unique visitors every month—anonymizes the data, and delivers it back to the companies to help them benchmark by geography, industry, and digital maturity. Companies can measure and compare themselves to others using 15 community-specific performance indicators, such as unique visitors, replies, and solutions; NPS; customer satisfaction; and call deflection.

"We look at community behaviors to tell our customers how they compare to other brands across our portfolio," Keim says. "And then we tell them how to keep improving their communities."

Keim points out that the data presented "is very pragmatic."

"But the level of customization and the filters we use are what really makes the solutions so powerful," she says. "All our customers want to look at other companies like them within very specific markets."

Rob Tarkoff, president and CEO of Lithium Technologies, said in a statement that the new releases can help clients make sense of their social strategies:

"For years, businesses have been wrestling with knowing they need to have a strong social presence but not having the right numbers to quantify the business impact of their social strategy. We can outline best practices for our customers to get the most out of their communities. This is all backed up with our new ability to provide customers meaningful data, like CSAT and NPS, and give them the ability to benchmark performance against a relevant peer group."

Value Analytics and Cohort Benchmarking follow two other analytics products that the company released earlier this year. At its LiNC user conference in San Francisco in June, Lithium first introduced Lithium Social Intelligence, a tool for measuring overall community activity, and LSW Shared Dashboard Monitor Wall, for creating tailored views of the data and visually sharing it across the organization.

Keim says Lithium is the only social community provider to offer such detailed analytics.

"This will bring a whole new way of thinking about social communities," she says. "It will bring a new era of how [social community] initiatives get funded in the future."

Companies, she adds, are eager to deploy social communities because they can serve marketing, sales, and customer service functions simultaneously.

"Communities are all about answering how-to questions. It just depends on what type of question the customer is trying to get answered at the moment."

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