For SaaS businesses, it’s all about the product experience. If customers don’t have a good time using your SaaS, they will start churning in droves. Companies who develop software products for different markets must compete based on experience, including the availability of features, the ability to access support, and the perceived value of the software.
If customers don’t enjoy the product experience, they will likely spread bad reviews, which turns off potential customers. Luckily, if businesses spend just a little time improving product experience, they can positively impact customer retention and time to first value.
With a good product experience, your SaaS business can scale because you will retain customers regularly. In an effective product experience, many parts of the experience will be automated, allowing your business to grow its customer base instead of being hampered by size.
What is Product Experience?
User experience, or customer experience, is any type of contact that a customer has with your brand. This can range from contacting support to interacting with your sales team to your social media channels. Product experience, then, is one of the touchpoints that happens during user experience when customers engage with your product.
Every point at which a customer engages with your product falls under the umbrella of product experience, including the login screen, User Interface, onboarding, and anything else that happens within the product.
The goal is to make your product experience as intuitive and streamlined as possible, eliminating all sources of friction in the way of customers becoming successful with your product. Without a good product experience, customers will be disappointed by what they find after they sign up for your service.
The Importance of Product Experience
For SaaS businesses in particular, product experience is of the utmost importance. Gone is the heyday of software businesses selling on-premise solutions that relied on an intensive sales process. Now, customers are purchasing software on a subscription model, which means they can try products for free, consistently evaluate them against competitors and choose whether your product is right for them.
This makes the product experience of your software ever more important as the emphasis shifts to retaining customers rather than acquiring them. SaaS businesses don’t generate as much profit up-front and rely on customers who continue to renew their subscriptions.
How the end user rates your tool, rather than senior executives looking to generate ROI, has become more important when deciding to keep SaaS products. If companies want to experience Product Led Growth, then improving the product experience is vital to appeal to a new era of customers.
The Benefits of Product Experience
Influences customer retention
Customers with a better experience with your product are likely to be retained for longer and at decreased risk of churn. Customer retention is an essential metric for SaaS businesses to pay attention to, as is its direct opposite, customer churn.
When customers actively enjoy using your product, they will use it more. And with countless competitors out there, a superior product experience is one key way that you will win them over.
Helps with marketing your product
One of the key ways that SaaS companies market their product is through a free trial or freemium model of their software. The product experience, then, is a factor in how new customers perceive your product and whether they consider it worth buying. Therefore, improving the product experience has the potential to attract new customers.
Large swathes of customers more quickly adopt products with the best user experience. If your product is not easy and fun to use, even your best marketing efforts will fail.
Improves customer loyalty
Customers who are highly engaged with using your product are more inclined to be loyal. They will be more resistant to price increases or any mistakes made by the company because they feel invested in your software. A great product experience massively impacts customer loyalty, who wouldn’t consider switching to another solution very lightly.
Loyal customers help your SaaS to grow by continuing to patronize your business, spreading the word to their social circles, and writing rave reviews online. Keeping hold of these customers through an exceptional product experience is key.
How to Improve Product Experience
Make onboarding better
Customer onboarding is the critical time when you want to start engaging users with your product. Essentially, onboarding is the beginning of the product experience and should be treated as the most important period for helping customers adopt your product and its features.
If onboarding fails, customers are highly likely to churn. Customers who don’t understand how to use your product will start looking at competitors with a better experience. And remember, today’s customers have little time to explore a clunky and confusing interface.
Interactive walkthroughs, tooltips, tutorials and checklists are all tried and tested methods for helping customers complete onboarding successfully. Not all customers are the same, which is why it’s also important to personalize the onboarding experience based on data and behavior.
Build a self-service knowledge base
Some aspects of your product may be less than intuitive for your users. Instead of forcing them to contact your support team, you can create a self-service knowledge base of helpful resources that customers can consult when they get stuck.
A self-service knowledge base improves the product experience because it means you have already anticipated customer needs. You know the types of questions your support team are likely to get and have created content to fill the gap.
Even better is a knowledge base that serves content contextually in-app, so customers can find help exactly where they are. This content predicts questions that customers typically have when interacting with your software and drastically improves the product experience.
Listen to your customers’ feedback
One of the best ways to gather customer feedback is through in-app surveys, which you can deliver through a platform such as Churn360. You can ask customers questions about when they need to use a feature, whether they consider it essential, and more to gain insights into how customers use the product.
Other surveys such as the Net Promoter Score (NPS) measure customer loyalty, which you can use to find out ratings about how essential they consider your software product to their daily business. If customers give low scores, you can use their qualitative feedback to determine how you can improve the product experience.
Schedule a demo with one of our experts to take a deeper dive into Churn360Book a demo
Directly asking your customers how you can make the product better is a surefire road to success, and you can also save customers before they churn. Feedback tells you whether customers are using the product as intended and might provide you with some unexpected use cases.
Pay attention to product usage analytics
Product usage analytics through tools such as Visual Tagger and Mixpanel tell how customers engage with your SaaS product. Critically, they can tell you when customers are experiencing moments of friction which can highlight parts of your tool that are hard to use.
Even if customers don’t take the time to leave feedback for your SaaS, analytics still give you insight into user behavior and tell you where you can make improvements to the product experience. You’ll see which features are used most frequently and which could benefit from further customer education.
All your customers will leave a behavior trail that reveals how they use the product. A better product experience leverages these insights to make changes backed by data, repeatedly learning from existing customers who are a vital source of knowledge.
Have customer success reach out to at-risk customers
A little help from your customer success team can augment your product experience. No matter how intuitive your software is, some customers might get stuck or forget why they signed up for your software in the first place. These at-risk customers, who may not have logged in for some time, are the perfect candidates for communication from your CS team.
Churn360 can come up with a health score that tells which customers are most at-risk. It can indicate which customers have become stuck along the customer journey and require intervention from your customer success managers.
Customers who are at risk of churn need your CSMs to help them with the product experience. The perfect time to take action is to show your customers how much you care about their business before it is too late.
Product experience needs to be the best it can be if your SaaS company is going to scale effectively. Retaining customers through great product experiences means your company will improve customer lifetime value (CLV) and enhance overall profitability. Since your software is the core component of the business, it makes sense to maximize the product experience greatly.
If product experience is poor, you can be sure that customers will consider your competitors. When customers interact with your software, you must ensure they achieve time-to-first value as quickly as possible and regularly find uses for your product.