I’ve noticed that I’ve been tweeting a lot of links rather than blogging them as I used to. And from time to time there are some links that need to be blogged to get to those who miss the tweets or don’t follow.
Here’s one from the Web & Information Team at Lincolnshire County Council in the UK titled ‘Let’s Turn Off The Web‘.
In order to try to calculate how much the local council website is worth, they turn the question around and ask how much it would cost to provide the same services and level of interaction with citizens if they didn’t have a website.
I like this way of thinking as it provides a way of demonstrating the value of your online services to those who see them only as a ‘cost’. (Your organisation probably already thinks in this way when it is trying to calculate the value of a marketing and PR but web units rarely do.)
So discussions of cost per user, as in a recent Freedom of Information Request to many councils, missed the point. It’s not just about cost per user. It’s about value to the user and savings to the council.
If we turned off our web services:
177,000 visitors per month (May 2009 figures) to our web site would find no web site.
If only 10% of these visitors were to contact us by phone – say 17,000 – then we would incur an extra cost of approx £51,000 per month.* Based on Socitm’s costs of phone contact
Obviously a whole lot of things couldn’t be done at all, but I was particularly drawn to these figures quoted by Lincolnshire Council from work by SOCITM called Channel Value Benchmarking:
*The costs of customer contact are…
Face to face £6.56.
(These figures provided by Socitm 2008.)
Suddenly your web unit is looking pretty good value for money.