February 8, 2021

That “Aha” Moment

Scott Whiteley

What’s that? Some call it the “eureka” moment. Some, the “wow” moment. But it’s all in the name; the “aha” moment is when a user thinks, “Aha! I get it.”

If you read my last blog post, you’ll know that first impressions matter. The first-time user experience is really important in long-term engagement. Why? Because users are exploring. They’re curious. And they probably have a problem to solve. With Saas competition on the rise, users might not stick around if they don’t find value quickly. So the sooner they feel that “aha,” the better.

Plus, a good first impression will keep your users coming back for more. Stats show that improvements in the first 5 minutes can drive a 50% increase in lifetime value.

How do we find it?

Your job is to find out which actions or behaviours led users to their “aha” moment. Then, adjust your product accordingly so that more users take that same path.

Step 1: Look For Patterns

Whether you have your own platform or use third-party tools, turn to your user data analytics. You want to look closely at what separates your “power users” from your visitors. Did they finish your onboarding experience? Did they continue using your app after the product tour? Did they engage with any of the core features? This will help you understand your product’s retention trends. Focus on those who stayed instead of those who didn’t.

For example, the behaviour exhibited by the most number of retained users is meaningless if it’s the same behaviour exhibited by the most number of churned users. But the behaviour exhibited by the most number of retained users, and only a few churned users? That’s something to look into.

Step 2: Ask Your Users

You’ve got your quantitative data. Now it’s time for qualitative data. Reach out to those “power users” for feedback. They know the ins and outs of your product. If the numbers have shown a correlation between certain behaviours and retention, these users can tell you why.

There’s no wrong way to get in touch. A survey, email or phone call will do. You’ll get information that the numbers can’t give. Why? Because people speak. They’re expressive. You’ll find out what features they used first, what other options they considered, and at what point your product became their go-to.

Don’t discount your churned users. You can learn from them too. If they didn’t find your product useful, you’d benefit from knowing why. Maybe they experienced some friction in the user experience. Maybe they prefer another platform (blasphemy!) So, ask them. Well, try. Chances are one-time users won’t be as giving as your loyal customers with their time, but a quick exit survey could do the trick.

For example… Asking a multiple choice and an open-ended question is a quick and easy way to get actionable feedback from churned customers.

Step 3: Experiment With New Users

You’ve identified patterns and you’ve listened to users. By now, you’ve got some idea what influences retention. This is called your hypotheses, and you’re going to test it. How? With new users.

You’ll reverse-engineer the journey of your “power users” and apply it to segmented newcomers. Yes, segmented. You need a “control group” who aren’t exposed to the changes. Use A/B testing to determine how variables impact retention.

If your hypothesis is proved? Great. You know where to drive your users. Once they get there, they’ll experience value and they’ll stay. So you’ve got a clear goal for your onboarding.

The goal?

There are many “aha” moments. And there are many factors that contribute to them. As your user-base grows, so will your understanding of what these factors are.

The best product leaders think about value from their user’s perspective. Make it easy for your users to find the value in your product. It isn’t always obvious. Experimentation, iteration and analysis is key to a better experience. For you, and your customers.

And remember, your users are the reason for your product. They have a problem. You have a solution. Make sure it solves their problem better than anybody else.

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