Proof. It’s what we’re all after. No business leader in his or her right mind makes decisions without assessing the hard evidence. Gathering that evidence, therefore, is the crucial first step in determining ROI and optimizing strategies. So, when you build a Customer Engagement Portal, you should plan on measuring its performance from the outset. That way, you’ll have all the proof you need of its performance, and have a clear path to optimize and develop future programs.

A Recap: The Overarching Purposes of Your Portal

Your Customer Engagement Portal should be planned with your particular business goals in mind, but designed with a service mentality that strives to meet the needs of your targeted audience — such as prospects, clients, or others in your industry. Serve them, and they will serve you.

In addition, your portal should support the efforts of several departments in your business, including your marketing, customer engagement, sales, and account management departments.

Assuming your staff are all operating the system correctly, this is how you will measure whether your portal is properly supporting your cross-company goals:

What Should You Measure?

To have the full picture of the success of your Customer Engagement Portal, you should launch a measurement plan that ties the performance objectives of the portal directly to the company goals. That is, you need to plan on measuring more than basic site traffic analytics; those alone won’t tell you if your program is succeeding at the company level.

You can organize your measurement in these two broad areas:

    1. Measuring Portal Performance and ROI

    First and foremost, you want to evaluate the efficacy of the program against the identified goals of your business. After all, that’s why you built the system.

    To do so, you will need to measure both online and offline activities, typically taking a baseline measurement before the program’s existence, and then subsequently measuring the same Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) continuously after the program’s launch.

    For example:

    Remember: You’re not measuring to measure. Your portal is meant to help your company achieve business-building goals, so you need to measure the right KPI to determine if it is succeeding. This requires a combination of offline data (e.g. surveys, financial, time sheet data, etc.) and analytical data (e.g. traffic, log ins, most popular content, points earned, time on site, etc.)

    2. Measuring for Insight Development

    The other element of a proper measurement plan mentality is to examine all data (from online and offline sources) to better understand how people are using the program. This enables you to identify opportunities to improve the system, close leads, or add new tactics and services.

    For example:

    • Sales: Track the engagement of individuals to know when and how to interact with those prospects. To do so, you could look at the most popular content and to use that content in other ways to drive new leads in.

    • Referrals: Analyze the users who refer the most and compare to the amount of engagement on the site. You might find the need to change your content, marketing or sales processes, or to add new channels (such as webinars, presentations, etc.) as a result. We know that the most informed customers will be the best referrers – does your data reflect this?
    • Remember: Just as your can use data to determine the program’s success, you can also use the data to learn not only what’s happening with your system, but also what you can do to improve its performance and to boost KPI results.

    You Want Proof? Operate With Precision and Measure With Care

    The proof is in the measurement. As a business owner or leader, you’re investing in a Customer Engagement Portal because you know the evidence shows that it can improve sales, create efficiencies, and differentiate your brand. To ensure your portal is helping your business meet its goals, you’ve got to measure the right metrics and identify the opportunities to adapt. Of course, the success of both your portal and your measurement plan hinges on the proper operation of the system by your staff. Before you launch, both your measurement plan and your operations plan should be crystal clear to everyone on your team who’s affected.