Businesses are constantly looking for ways to improve software products by adding new features, or removing those that are less successful, in hopes of getting more opt-ins, sign-ups, and revenue. Often, companies go with intuition or comments from the loudest customer when making these kind of decisions. However, as many have learned the hard way, going with that gut feeling is inefficient and doesn’t always result in more customers, or necessarily lead to measurable success.
Smart product managers know that everything revolves around metrics and analytics when it comes to quantifiable customer insight. Analytics can give you strategic business insights through the interpretation of current and past data. Investing in an analytics platform in 2016 can improve your relationship with customers therefore making your product more relevant and desirable. Here are 5 key ways analytics can improve your product:
1) Customer Acquisition
In order to get more leads into your funnel, it is crucial to understand customer acquisition. How exactly do visitors behave and where they are coming from? Do you really know, are there assumptions being made, or perhaps what used to be true about the customer path has changed? Collecting actual path and funnel data allows product managers and engineers to make solid decisions about features and enhancements, offer a product that is suitable and increase conversions, or acquisitions immediately.
2) Timing of Conversions
Timing is a huge factor when trying to convert visitors. Do visitors linger on the page before converting? Or, do they convert almost instantly after a hot 5 seconds? Are they clicking through your sub-pages before clicking the “submit” button? Knowing when customers convert can influence how and where to add messaging, whether to change a button color, or even to remove an item that is distracting from conversions.
One way to track timing is Google Analytics. While Google analytics presents an average pool timing of visitors’ behavior on a website, coupling this data with other conversion tools that can hone in on each specific visitor’s timing and behavioral patterns can provide much richer product insights. Picture a salesman in your local shoe store – if a customer comes into the store with little time to spare, a salesman may choose to pitch a hard sell immediately. While another customer browsing the store in a more casual way may respond favorably to a more relaxed sales approach before making a purchase. Understanding timing analytics can have a huge impact on conversions and customer acquisition, even in the digital world.
3) Source or Origin of Visitors
Insights into groups of traffic that you may not have targeted (and where that traffic is coming from) is also important for handling conversions and stepping into product analytics. Best practices encourage building campaigns to engage each specific traffic type differently. Good data and analytics will help clarify where visitor traffic is coming from: by device -mobile or desktop, by location -local or across the Pacific Ocean?
Once past the entry point in the cycle, analytics continue to be a huge factor in product success and customer retention. After those leads are in the funnel, how can numbers and data shape the product manager’s decisions and drive more customer engagement?
4) Guides and In-App Messaging
Tag up the product for tracking and analyzing. Similar to understanding conversion timing, it’s productive to understand timing within the product itself. How long are customers using different features? If an action takes too long, happens too quickly, or worse is completely overlooked, analytics can help product managers see where to add messaging and/or adjust the product for customer convenience. With retroactive analytics tracking, after a guide is added or a change in the product is made, product and customer success teams can measure whether or not the changes made a difference in customer engagement.
5) Segments of Users
Breaking up users into segments, or groups of people, allows smart targeting of messages and features for maximum ROI. Distinguishing between the heavy “power” users and light users of the product clarifies where the opportunities exist for customer success to sell up to the next level, or where they may be losing an atrophied account. New and inexperienced users may take longer to adopt a new feature than a client who is already familiar with your software, and in-app messaging reaches more users faster than customer phone calls or chats. Breaking users into clear segments can encourage custom software guide solutions that fit every need and create a better user experience instantly.
Analytics for All in 2016
Let 2016 be the year of investing in the customer through analytics. Software that is both analytically driven and actionable can give product managers immediate, measurable results. It can become an ally of customer success. And, it provides a nice lift in business and quick ROI. While those are all fantastic benefits, the best part is that it drives better user experiences which is what Pendo and 40Nuggets are all about.