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Product Adoption: The Best Leading Indicator of Customer Success

leading indicator of customer success

Product adoption will be your leading indicator for achieving customer success. You will have to stay on top of tracking it so that you can reduce churn and increase retention. In the SaaS world, measuring it using product adoption metrics will verify how much value your customers are receiving from your product. If they are gaining a tremendous amount of value, you will see user retention levels increase, along with lifetime value. If they are getting very little value, expect churn to skyrocket and revenues to drop. 

The Product Adoption Curve 

The Production Adoption Curve is similar to the Rogers Adoption Curve, also known as the Technology Adoption Curve. It shows you how and where your customers adopt, implement, and use your product. When you understand what this metric shows you, you gain insights into the journey a user has with your product. You also can glean invaluable insight that can assist you in building improved products that are more useful. You also get the opportunity to receive more revenue, because you will know where to focus your efforts within the product adoption curve. 

Studying Product Adoption 

The process of product adoption will generally follow the same steps, regardless of what product is involved. The basic steps are: 

  • A user becomes aware of the product. 
  • The user gets onboarded and starts using the product. 
  • The user becomes competent and proficient with the product. 
  • The user becomes seasoned and becomes more advanced with their use of the product. 

Now that you have a basic understanding of the process a user goes through; we will take a closer look at some product adoption metrics

Product Adoption Metrics 

Using various metrics will help you gain insight into leading indicator of customer success. They will allow you to take a look at usage, as well as key performance indicators. They also help you prioritize and send out alerts based on a particular change that occurred within the product or one of its features. You also get to uncover opportunities to increase revenue. 

Here are some specific metrics that will be helpful in understanding product adoption. 

Usage Counter 

Usage counters can give you insight into how often your product is engaged with. This could mean how many files are uploaded to it in a given time period. It could also mean how frequently files are uploaded within a given day, week, or month. 

Whatever form of engagement your product uses, it can be tracked. Usage counters are showing you the actual value users are getting from your product. 

Activation Metrics 

Another set of metrics you can use to glean insight into the adoption of your product are activation metrics. These will measure activation or the use of your product’s capabilities. For example, you can measure how much storage space is left in a user’s account to upload files. 

Usage Ratios 

Usage ratios can come in really handy and show you whether your product is helping your user base overall. The most commonly used usage ratio is Daily Active Users/Monthly Active Users, or DAU/MAU. 

DAU/MAU is a ratio that will measure the number of active users who are also daily active users. User retention rates are what it will show you. 

Time Windows 

You may have a product that is designed to be used on a daily basis. Alternatively, it may be used less frequently or during certain times of the year more than others. This means you may need to modify time windows, such as by the day, week, month, year, or something else. You want to match the time window to the type of usage your product receives. 

How to Speed Up Product Adoption 

Now that you know the product adoption metrics you can use as leading indicator of customer success, you may want to know how to speed up adoption. There are a few key approaches you can take to speed up product adoption. When you approach and execute it correctly, adoption will increase your revenues far beyond what you may have anticipated. 

Understand the Process of Product Adoption 

Earlier, we talked about the product adoption curve and the process a user goes through. Understand this process, so that you can identify where a particular user is within their journey of using your product. 

By understanding adoption, you can see a wealth of insight and information. For one, you can get deeper insights into what users of your product are thinking and feeling. You can then use that information to optimize your adoption efforts. There is also greater opportunity for coordinating amongst internal teams, leading to more insights. The user experience can become streamlined, and additional improvements can be made. 

Create an Adoption Roadmap 

A roadmap for adoption will serve as a helpful tool for a number of business functions. You can create a roadmap that is specific to product adoption. This journey map helps to set measurable goals. It also allows you to track your progress. Finally, it has the ability to inform your decisions and boost adoption of your product. Not only will you understand the adoption of your product, but you will know how to improve it as well. 

Increase Product Engagement 

Increasing product engagement will lead to increased adoption. The more users enjoy using your product and find it fulfills a need or want they have, the higher the adoption will be. You will want to identify the weak points, whether they be onboarding, training, support, or use of the product. Once identified, see which ones can be optimized for the user experience to be better. 

You will improve engagement the most by making the onboarding process as simple as it can be. Another area that have been shown to boost engagement is the improvement of support. Make all the necessary adjustments needed to your product, so that it is more usable and provides greater utility

Product adoption is the best leading indicator of customer success, so go ahead and take advantage of it. Analyze it, using key metrics, and modify your product when necessary. 

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