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5 Metrics That Matter for Product and CS Teams

Agnes Sokol // November 10, 2017

Are your customers getting ongoing value from your product? You may think that you know the answer, but without clear metrics to understand and optimize the product experience, at best, you are making an educated guess.

Customer success and product organizations both measure user engagement patterns and have a rich overlap of key metrics they use to quantify success. Once both teams understand which metrics are unique and which are shared, they become more effective and collaborative as one cohesive team.

On November 7th, we sat down with Dave Blake, CEO of ClientSuccess, and Dan Demas, VP of Customer Success at Pendo, to discuss five key indicators vital for both product and customer success teams and how they use each in their respective organizations.

Highlighted below are five key metrics that ClientSuccess and Pendo use to deliver exceptional product and customer experiences.

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Metric #1: Product Breadth

Product breadth is the first of a three-part metric called BDF (Breadth, Depth and Frequency) which is used to measure product and customer health.

It’s a measure of how many total users you have, and more importantly, how many users you have per account. Product breadth is a great indicator of how sticky your product has become at any organization. It allows you to monitor and ensure that you do not have a sizable churn risk.

Why it matters:

Product breadth gives you the ability to absorb turnover within your customer base and ensure that you are not incurring a huge churn risk. If you only have one or two users at an organization and lose a single user at that company,  you are looking at a 50% turnover of your user base which can feel like a serious hit. Alternatively, if you are able to get 10, 20, 30 users at that same organization to use your product, losing one makes it much easier to recover and gives you ample time to rebuild the relationship.

Metric #2: Product Depth

Product Depth is about leveraging your product to the fullest and is another key measure of product and customer health.

It speaks to how much of the product gets used – specifically how many core features or areas of the product are being utilized.

Why it matters:

Sometimes customers use a product at a surface level. Product depth is looking at how sophisticated your customers are at using all parts of your product. Are they using it to its fullest potential or are they using a limited portion of the overall application? You want to have balanced usage of the product to relay full value.

It is vital to look for sustained usage for each part of the application. If users are coming back repeatedly, it shows value of that particular feature. If there are parts of your product that are never used, you may want to explore if the feature has true value to the product and even consider removing or sunsetting that feature or feature set.

Metric #3: Frequency

Frequency speaks to how often your users are coming into the product and is another key measure of product and customer health.

It measures how often users (or users from specific accounts) log-in to your product in a given time frame. You want to look at frequency by examining if your users are coming into the product on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Why it matters:

Frequency speaks to that “addiction” factor. You want to be the software that customers absolutely cannot live without. Your goal is to have your product as a consistent part of their workflows and vital to performing their job functions. This makes your software not only valuable, but also irreplaceable. To measure frequency, you want to look at how many days per month users are coming into the product, and also explore how much time users are spending within the product and how many components of it they explore. This will uncover if they are finding sustained value in the product overall.

These core metrics are great quantitative measures of overall product experience, but as we know at Pendo, quantitative measurement is only part of the story. To gain a true understanding of customer and product health, it is paramount to combine quantitative measure with qualitative user feedback. The next two metrics will help you do just that.

Metric #4: Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net Promoter Score (NPS) provides a clear benchmark of customer loyalty that can be tracked over time. Many companies use it to measure customer delight and benchmark against their industry, their competitors and themselves.

Why it matters:

NPS is only one indicator of customer health but is a very popular one that many SaaS companies have adopted. You can send NPS surveys to product users and ask how likely they are to recommend the product to other users to gauge overall satisfaction and sentiment. It’s important to think of NPS as a direction as opposed to just one number since you want to track how you are trending over time. Strive to move your NPS in a positive direction and continue to improve it over time.

Remember that NPS is a company-wide metric and requires collaboration across the entire organization. NPS is traditionally ingrained in customer success but product teams should be equally invested to ensure a positive NPS score. Having cross-functional plans to address the customer feedback is key.

Metric #5: Time to value

Time to value looks at key value drivers within your product and is the final key measure of product and customer health.

This metric examines how long it takes for a user to gain enough proficiency with a product to have them actively realize value from it.

Why it matters:

Time to value is impacted by a number of departments including marketing and sales. Therefore, to accurately observe this metric, you want to change one variable at a time and ensure that you are controlling the environment. Explore the time to value indicators for your specific product which should be data-driven but also subjective. Are users achieving outcomes in your product? Have you had CSMs capture the core objectives? How quickly can you address those? These can be measured using a variety of tools and every company has slightly different value indicators.

Want to learn more about how CS and product teams use these core metrics to drive customer success?

Watch the webinar here


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