What is product experience and how it affects the overall CX

ProfitWell Aug 11 2021

With SaaS products, much of the user's journey takes place within the product itself. This makes product experience an important thing for businesses to work on. A stellar product experience will aid in reducing churn and increasing customer satisfaction. But what is product experience and how can you make yours better? Let's break it down. 

 

What is product experience (PX)?

In the software world, product experience refers to the part of the customer's journey that takes place within the application itself. With SaaS, this includes a broad swath of interactions. For example, while a user may learn to use locally installed software from a website or video series, onboarding is performed within the application itself with SaaS.  

Product experience vs customer experience

Product experience may seem similar to customer experience, or user experience. However, these are all different things. Customer experience refers to the experience a customer has with your product and its surrounding experiences. Product experience is more specifically targeted at the experience with the product as a whole. User experience is even more specifically targeted. It focuses on how specific interactions with the product affect the user, with less regard for how the product as a whole does. Of course, these concepts are all related, so UX will affect PX, which will affect CX.

Why creating a great product experience is more important than you think

You may be hearing the term product experience for the first time, but it's an important part of doing business that you should take seriously. This is especially true in the highly competitive SaaS industry. Product experience touches nearly every aspect of your business:

Product adoption 

A good product experience is also a good marketing tool. It will help to improve metrics such as your Net Promoter Score (NPS), which determines how likely customers are to recommend you to a friend. Scoring higher here will get your product more exposure and increase adoption.

User acquisition and onboarding

Onboarding is a key part of the product experience, so focusing on improving PX will necessarily improve your onboarding process. This means more people trying your product and sticking around after they do.

Conversion and retention

Customers who are properly onboarded are more likely to convert and less likely to churn. PX goes beyond just improving onboarding though. By improving every aspect of the customer's journey with your product, you are building happier customers that are easier to retain

Revenue and growth

It stands to reason that bringing in more customers, who are less likely to churn, means that you'll be able to stop spinning your wheels trying to make user acquisition keep up with churn and instead, grow your revenue

Planning and innovation 

Proper PX evaluations will reveal all sorts of problems customers may experience with your product, and drive you to make improvements in those areas. It unleashes a constant stream of product improvements that will only aid in the other benefits. 

 

How to understand, track, and measure your product experience

Now that you know the importance of product experience, it's time to learn how you can begin to understand what your customer's product experience is and begin to improve upon it. This is an effort that the whole company will need to be a part of.

Build a shared roadmap and encourage holistic approach

When you discover changes that need to be made, they should be put into a roadmap that's shared with the whole company. This way, every department will be able to provide insights and feedback that will ensure successful implementation of the changes. 

Define product experience KPIs

Next, you'll need to define a set of KPIs that will help you gauge how customers are experiencing your product. This could include how frequently a given feature is used, how often customers log in, and other behavioral clues. A high churn rate or a low net promoter score is a surefire sign that something needs to be improved. 

Measure customer experience to evaluate PX 

The specific KPIs that need to be tracked will vary greatly depending on the product, but net promoter score is one that is universal. NPS is how likely a customer is to recommend your product, so it's about as close as you can get to understanding how they perceive their experience with your product.

 

How to improve product experience (8 Tips)

Knowing what your product experience is and getting the whole company on board is only the first step. Next, you must begin taking action that will improve your product experience. Follow the eight tips below, and use the KPIs you defined in the previous section to track the progress of your improvements. 

1. Optimize user onboarding processes

How well you know how to use a product plays a huge role in your experience with that product. For that reason, a detailed and complete onboarding process should be the first step you take. 


2. Gather and leverage customer feedback

We've talked about the net promoter score, which is a great way to track customer satisfaction. You should also solicit more feedback. Let users tell you what they like and don't like, and use that information when planning future updates. 


3. Take analytics into account 

Don't forget the KPIs that you defined earlier. Are customers not using that new feature you added? Maybe you need to provide better training on the feature. Or maybe awareness is the problem. Analytics are a great tool for finding and diagnosing product experience problems.

 

4. Educate about the value of your product

They say you don't know what you've got until it's gone. It's easy for customers to become so accustomed to your product, they forget what makes it special. Even after you've made a sale, you should keep your value proposition fresh in the minds of customers by keeping that conversation open.


5. Provide relevant and consistent product information

This feeds back into the point about customer's maybe not knowing about a new feature. Information about the product should be delivered promptly, accurately, and thoroughly so customers are never in the dark about how to make the most of the product. You want to ensure you're optimizing their experience.

 

6. Prioritize and handle customer complaints

Resolving customer complaints quickly not only keeps that customer's product experience high, but it'll also help you improve the experiences of anyone else having similar problems who hasn't spoken up yet. 


7. Make product experience important

Improving product experience must become a core value that your company holds and should be part of your retention strategy. If your customers aren't having a good experience with your product, they're going to go elsewhere. 


8. Scale your product 

Just as you continually refine your ad copy based on A/B testing, you should continually refine your product based on user feedback and information revealed by analytics and feedback. Products can always be improved, so they should always be improving. 

 

Boost product experience with ProfitWell Metrics

If you're looking for a way to track your efforts to improve product experience, ProfitWell Metrics is the perfect tool. ProfitWell Metrics will let you track important metrics not only for product experience, but for your entire SaaS business. Some ways ProfitWell Metrics will help you improve your product experience include:

  • Segment your customers — Understanding the customer experience starts with understanding the customer. Most businesses have several customer segments that make up their user base. Measuring and understanding those segments will help you see through the eyes of your customers the kind of experience they're having, so you can then make improvements. 

  • Track engagementCustomer engagement is a great measure of how customers perceive something. Whether it's engagement with your product as a whole, or for certain pages or features within the product. How customers use your product is key knowledge to have. You'll know what they like and dislike and can use that to guide future product decisions. 

  • Use data to minimize churn rate - Customers churn largely because they are unsatisfied with the product; they have a poor product experience. Using the data provided by Metrics, you can find out why customers are churning and resolve the issue, improving product experience in the process. 

Product experience FAQs

What is total product experience?

Total product experience describes the experience your customers have throughout their journey with your product. 

What is product experience management?

Product experience management is the act of gathering information about how your customers interact with your product and using that information to improve their product experience.

What makes a good product experience?

Customers have a good product experience when they understand how to use the software, it has the features they need to resolve their pain points, and can quickly get help for problems when they arise. 

Can you measure product experience?

Yes. The most direct way to judge how your customers perceive their product experience is through the use of the Net Promoter Score. You can also get an idea for which way it's trending by the number of complaints you receive.

How to enhance product experience?

The best way to improve product experience is to ensure your customers are fully trained in the use of your software to successfully utilize it, and of course that your product is meeting or surpassing their needs. You should also continually ask for, and act upon, customer feedback. 

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