We strive to optimize PeerBoard for a set of the most common use cases we see across our partner communities. To serve these use cases best, we're introducing a concept for Workflows. Each workflow is a set of activities and product features that helps you achieve your goals for a specific use case. It consists of three large parts:
- Core functionality of the workflow - often defined by specific post attributes and logic
- Member incentivization - reward mechanisms to facilitate community participation
- Admin insights - analytics for you to measure the business impact of this participation
The Questions Workflow
In most of our communities, questions are the most dominant type of content. Members seek help from community leaders and from their fellow members. There are multiple use cases that rely on this workflow, usually based on your business type.
For brands and products, questions help to drive more sales by making customers happy and by helping them better understand and evaluate your product offering. For creators and educators, answering questions helps with member retention. For software companies, this becomes a support ticket deflection mechanism.
With this in mind, we wanted to make it easy, enjoyable, and rewarding for community members to ask and answer questions, and for you as community administrators to be able to engage with Q&A discussions and understand their impact.
1. Core Mechanics
The idea is simple. A community member has a question, and they are looking for the best answer. When they make a question post, it has an "Open" state, visible to everybody in the feed and in the post itself.
When somebody posts a comment, answering this question, both the post author and administrators have a new option to mark this comment as the best answer. Other community members see what question has been marked "Best" but cannot change the selection.This also moves this comment to the top of the comments section when the page is refreshed so it's easier to find for future readers.
This marks the question as solved and triggers some other events related to gamification and insights which are described below. We also show an avatar of the person who gave the best solution in the feed, providing a little extra recognition.
To enable this functionality all you need to do is go to Spaces in your admin panel and select post type as Questions for one or several spaces.
Space Page Filters
After you do this, we'll also start to show a question status filter on the space page, helping you and other members to easily find open questions that they may help to answer. As you can see in Product Questions space of our own community, for example.
Note that on this page we count Open Questions from Jul 1 2022. Older open questions are treated as neither open nor solved - until you solve them. We added this limit to alleviate some of the migration burden for you. So after the space type switch you only need to process open questions from the past 3 months.
💡 All of this functionality is available on all pricing plans.
2. Member Incentivization
To motivate members to help more, we had to build a whole new gamification layer. Usually this word assumes something overly simplistic, a proxy vanity metric like upvotes that doesn't align well with the community's goals. We wanted to avoid this, so we came up with an idea to tie member awards to workflow mechanics.
The way this works for Questions is beautiful in its simplicity. We introduced member badges for different types of use cases. But they don't work as your typical binary badge that is only received once. Each badge is tiered and can be progressed to get to a higher level. With each level it takes more effort to get to the next one. It's not linear and while it's fairly trivial to get to level 1, it takes a real hero to get to level 9.
These badges are shown in member profiles. Only this member and admins see the progress bar below the badges while everybody can see the badge level.
When an admin or a post author picks your answer as best, in addition to updating the question's status, we add a point to your Community Helper badge, helping you to progress to the next level. We also send you an in-product notification and an email notification (members can choose to unsubscribe from this type of notification email).
In the notification we highlight the comment that helped and encourage the member to continue to provide such great support in the community. This serves as an immediate recognition and reward mechanism for a truly helpful contribution.
When you reach a required number of points to get to a new level, we send you another, bolder, notification, to congratulate you on the achievement.
These things give us a great foundation to build more reward mechanisms, so stay tuned for our upcoming member leaderboard, gamification events in member profiles and more!
💡 All of this functionality is also available on all pricing plans, all you need is to have at least one Questions space enabled in your community.
3. Question Insights
Ok, so how do you know that all of this is helpful and adds value to your business? For this we created a whole new Insights page so you can track key stats with your Q&A KPIs and see the most important questions and the most helpful contributors.
Let's start with the Key Stats section. Here you can see total number of questions asked for a time period (month, week or day), the percentage of questions solved, the percentage solved by the community (the community value) and our optional deflection value metric that you can configure if you'd like to measure the value in cost savings.
Don't worry if in the beginning the "Solved by the community" value looks humble. It takes time to build the habit and this and our upcoming changes are aimed at increasing this number. Lead by example and allow your community's champions to mature in their own time.
For customers using us for community support, let's pause for a second to consider the deflection value metric. Some of our customers are huge fans of this because it gives a very simple and streamlined way to calculate the actual financial benefit of community help for the cases where support deflection is a primary objective. All we need here is a couple numbers from you to understand your cost of closing a ticket. And then we multiply that by the number of questions solved by the community. Et Voila - you have your community's ticket deflection value!
Next we have Q&A trends where you can see a number of posted and solved questions which you can filter by space.
There's also a list of most helpful members by answers given in a period - which you can also filter by member groups.
Lastly, of course we couldn't complete the circle without giving you a list of most popular questions by upvotes given in a selected timeframe.
This concludes an overview of our new Insights: Questions panel.
💡 Question insights functionality is available on Growth plan and above only.
With that addition you have the complete flywheel of 1) questions asked with a clear state, 2) members motivated to help and 3) a full picture of what's happening in the community for this use case.
Give it a go, switch the post type in some of your spaces to Questions and let us know what you think in the comments below or by posting your own questions in this community!
We also recommend that you process some earlier questions manually by picking best answers from the existing comments so that your members a) see the actual state for the questions in their feed, b) start getting the badges for their previous answers and feeling appreciated for this help.
We'll continue to work on some of the new gamification layers and we also will be launching new post types for different use cases, with a goal to get to 4 main ones we see in the next 2-3 months. The foundation is in place and we'll continue to build on it from here.
Let us know in the comments what use cases you'd like to see productized!