Executives are always seeking means to achieve a wide spectrum of organizational objectives through a single initiative or investment. Strategic objectives are designed to propel an organization towards success. That success could be defined in direct monetary gains like increased profitability and revenues, or indirectly like greater customer retention, increased communication, product innovation etc. Big technological changes, for example, are often undertaken to accomplish some of the above-mentioned objectives.
How many times has a company invested in technology only to find that the tech ends up becoming the biggest bottleneck to success? Lack of communication among various internal stakeholders is one of the top reasons for the success or failure of a project. This lack of communication creates a wide range of issues like failure to coordinate expectations, goals, deadlines, resources, get timely feedback or advice on problems.
Communication and technology implementation
One relatively recent case that exemplifies the criticality of efficient communication and experience transfer is Target Canada which opened its first store in 2013. Lack of general communication/coordination and the inability of the more experienced employees to transfer learning to the newly-hired, fresh out of college employees contributed massively to the total collapse of their inventory/supply systems which ultimately lead to bankruptcy filings by 2015.
What if there was a means to significantly increase efficiently managing information and communications flows, provide easily accessible training modules with peer support as well as a space to troubleshoot the new system, and share successes and challenges at the same time? In other words, a way to avoid many of the pitfalls that led to the challenges faced by Target Canada?
The State of Community Management 2018 data suggests there is.
Communities can contribute to communication efficiencies
According to the SOCM 2018, communities are contributing to multiple strategic objectives, some of which they were not explicitly set up for. Communication efficiency and speed was a key benefit of 70% of the programs. This was in addition to over 50% of the programs reporting increases in productivity and efficiency. Furthermore, 40% of the programs contributed to quality improvements. Some of these benefits are inextricably linked. For example, communication efficiency can be a core factor that contributes to productivity efficiency as well.
What was very interesting about this data was that communities with their main use case being customer support were not only contributing to case deflection/support but also to quality improvement and innovation. Each of the four use cases analyzed in the 2018 report contributed to eight strategic objectives including monetary objectives like revenue growth.
In addition to organizational objectives, communities also contributed to individual potential. Read about this and the other contributions of communities in the SOCM 2018.