Jive software, one of the social software vendors, has done a survey under its customers about the benefits of using social software.The survey has been executed by an unnamed independent research company. Some details have been given about the survey but not many. Since the results are being published by the vendor and the fact that they’re quite positive overall makes you want to know more about this research, but as is often the case you only receive the results.
I have displayed the results below. The survey was both about internal use of social business tools among colleagues as external social software towards the customer.
39% increase in employee connectedness.
25% decrease in onboarding time.
29% increase in executive communication.
34% decrease in time to find information and experts.
27% reduction in email sent.
26% decrease in time needed for meetings.
27% decrease in duplicated tasks.
32% increase in ideas generated within the company.
23% increase in win rate.
32% decrease in time to find answers.
37% increase in project collaboration and productivity.
30% increase in employee satisfaction.
24% decrease in need for travel.
42% increase in communication with customers.
28% decrease in support calls.
33% increase in customer satisfaction.
31% increase in customer retention.
34% increase in feedback and ideas from customers.
34% increase in brand awareness.
27% increase in new customer sales.
27% increase in existing customer sales
34% increase in web site traffic from existing customers.
32% increase in web site traffic from new customers.
26% increase in web site sales.
31% increase in brand advocates.
33% increase in clicks from Google searches.
27% increase in channel sales effectiveness.
26% decrease in channel support costs.
These variables are also not really properly defined (employee connectedness?), but the main idea of the survey was to ask employees of companies who have bought and used Jive software how they thought these variables have changed. This of course makes the results a perception of these respondents and therefore subjective. This is not necessarily a bad thing but important to keep in mind.
Dion Hinchcliffe has also criticized this survey because of this, but also argued that if you view multiple of these surveys there are trends visible.
The ones he sees popping up in multiple surveys and researches are:
- Workers can find the information and people they need faster with social tools.
- Communication overhead in legacy platforms shrinks when social tools are deployed.
- There is a correlation between increased marketshare and socially networked organizations (McKinsey Research).
So for now the status of Enterprise 2.0 remains unchanged. Because IT purchases are frequently involved a cost-benefit analysis needs to be made before investing in social software. It is however still difficult to provide clear-cut claims on ROI, although much anecdotal and case study evidence can be provided that social software is an investment that pays off. In this evidence a positive trend can be seen.
The PDF with Jive’s survey results can be downloaded here.