Even though it’s been a few months since we’ve published SAS Support Communities metrics (found on the top of the homepage of Community Matters), the community management team continues to make headway to improve one measure in particular: percentage of accepted solutions. How, you might ask? It’s simple, really.
You’ve all seen them – highly-visited and asked topics that have a ton of replies but no accepted solutions. So we picked the top 100 of such topics and have accepted a solution for 76 or so. But that’s not all. We made sure the one shining answer was as complete as possible. In some cases this meant that other replies within the thread needed to be worked on to reach the “best” answer. In other scenarios, extra resources and helpful notes were added. Here’s an example: How to calculate difference in days between two dates.
Why spend energy on accepting solutions? Because it helps you find answers more quickly. Solved topics carry more weight in Google land. When you ask Google a question, a solved community topic is more likely to show first or second versus an unsolved topic.
So accepting solutions is important.
Encouraging fellow community members to accept solutions is important.
Solving the problems is important! And not just solving with one or two-word answers. Take care to offer complete answers so that you not only have a better shot at helping the user who asked the question in the first place, but also the hundreds, thousands of users who have the same question and find a thorough solution … under your name.
Before responding ask yourself, will this answer have a lasting effect? Does it give ample context and complete (within reason) direction? If the answers are yes, then wow, have you helped out the community. And boy do we thank you for it.
Other points to note in the latest metrics involve “participation” and “reply rate.” Participation represents the percentage of signed-in users versus anonymous users. Our membership is growing, but so is our number of anonymous visitors (thank you Google). So the fact that it’s trending down isn’t a bad thing, but it tells us that we have an opportunity to bring back repeat visitors for deeper participation.
Reply rate is off the charts, literally! How can that be? If a topic added during one month doesn’t receive a reply until the next calendar month, then that reply is “deferred” to the month where it happened. That’s how we can exceed a 100% reply rate in a month.
Do you have any observations from the latest data?