I recently listened to a podcast from Elliot Masie, Fingertip Knowledge: Learning in a “Flatter” World. Mr. Masie introduces a concept called fingertip knowledge. He is using it in context of learning, but it is a concept I recognize — I have called it learning-on-demand. It is the idea that I wont try and learn all that I need to know, I will use Google to find what I need, when I need it.
This also translates to our support web sites. As I have indicated in my prior blogs, users will come to your site to learn a specific piece of information to solve a problem. Your users are employing the concept of fingertip knowledge more and more every day.
It is this idea as to why I suggest that the best way to determine success on your web support site is to look for the users who left your site immediately after reading a content (knowledge) item. Once you have fulfilled their learning-on-demand need, they will return to their work. Remember, as a provider of support information, customers come to your site because your product or service failed — once solved, they will go back to using your product to complete their real work.