In a world where it’s easier than ever for companies to switch vendors at any time, getting users to value and helping them be as productive as possible—as quickly as possible—creates competitive advantage. Particularly in our current economic climate, the ability to prove ROI and positively impact the business’ bottom line is crucial for ensuring adoption and retention.
In parts one and two of our blog series highlighting the business value of being product led, we explored how product-led strategies are helping the best companies improve customer health and grow efficiently, in spite of market challenges. Organizations who embrace similar product-led tactics are also achieving incredible outcomes related to user productivity—namely in the areas of support, feedback and data collection, and user onboarding—generating cost savings that are more welcome than ever.
Let’s explore how companies of all sizes can leverage product-led tools and tactics to help drive productivity across their business, empowering them to do more with less.
Why is understanding user productivity important?
Every business measures productivity in a different way. For some, it’s calculated using a formula based on inputs (effort and labor) and outputs (tangible goods or services produced). For others, it comes down to intangibles—like the effort saved on conducting typical business functions. And for companies selling software, user productivity is generally correlated with cost savings, time to value, and adoption—which show up in areas like support, feedback or data collection, and new user onboarding.
Depending on how your organization is structured, support could include a number of different services and offerings—including implementation, troubleshooting, break/fix or incident-based services, and sometimes even enablement. In more traditional businesses, these processes are highly manual and require 1:1 attention from technical support specialists to triage and resolve, and rely heavily on human-led motions to deliver even the most routine information to users.
Data is just as valuable for helping companies understand how users interact with their products as it is for improving their own internal processes. Having an understanding of how customers and users are engaging with your product—including where they’re getting stuck, which features they’re leveraging the most, and how they feel about their experience—is the crux of any great product-led strategy. It helps internal teams focus on the right things so the company can innovate faster and operate more efficiently.
All software—no matter how simple it is to set up or intuitive it is to use—comes with a ramp-up or onboarding period. Ideally, this onboarding process should be fast, contextual, and empower new users to feel confident completing core tasks without the need for additional help. The longer it takes for users to get onboarded into a product (and the less enjoyable that experience is), the less likely they are to fully adopt or continue to use it after their initial ramp-up period. Streamlining the onboarding process is important for not only delivering immediate delight, but also for helping users become proficient in the product as soon as possible so the business can quickly realize return on its investment.
How product-led companies improve user productivity
Companies of all sizes can leverage product-led strategies to gain efficiencies and help their customers and users be as productive as possible, as quickly as possible. Product-led tools and tactics help teams across the business be more efficient by freeing people up to focus on higher-value engagements and opportunities, and leaving routine or recurring tasks to be driven by the product itself.
It all starts with data. Product-led organizations leverage product analytics to understand how users engage with and move through their products. For example, this insight allows product teams to identify features or areas of the product that need improvement, gives enablement teams the information they need to build better training for their customers, and empowers customer success teams to proactively intervene when customer usage patterns are indicative of dissatisfaction or churn. Companies that leverage product-led tools like analytics collect product data 30% faster on average, which drives data-driven innovation and helps them iterate on existing offerings—and bring new ones to market more quickly.
Support also plays a major role in driving user productivity and happiness. Product-led organizations use in-app messages to proactively address common customer questions—allowing users to self-serve the resources and enablement they need, whenever it’s most convenient for them. On average, product-led companies see a 15% reduction in support ticket volume by making resources like product guides, support docs, FAQs, announcements, and feature requests portals readily available within the product. Not only does this in-app support strategy free technical support specialists and customer success managers (CSMs) from spending hundreds of hours responding to mundane support requests (which are easily solved without human intervention), it also results in a better, more frictionless user experience.
Similarly, product-led onboarding brings the activities associated with a user’s initial ramp-up period inside the product. It helps companies accelerate their customers’ time to value by immersing users in the product experience from day one. And it eliminates the lag time that often accompanies traditional human-led onboarding activities, like costly and time-consuming in-person training sessions. Bringing user onboarding inside the product also allows customer success, implementation, and enablement teams to create personalized enablement tracks for their customers or users based on their unique needs and levels of proficiency—making for a better, more relevant learning experience. Organizations who take advantage of these strategies see an average 27% reduction in user onboarding time.
Download our full report, The business value of being product led, to see how product-led approaches help drive productivity for teams of all sizes, and to explore even more ways product-led tactics contribute to incredible business outcomes.