Creating a customer-centric product relies on listening to what customers have to say about it. It’s an iterative process that involves mapping how people use the product at different stages of its lifecycle and using the data to improve it, a.k.a. gauging the product experience.
In an agile and rapidly growing competitive environment, product experience mapping (PXM) is a crucial process to not only speed up product development but also keep up with changing customer preferences and market trends.
It can result in higher retention, better conversions, and more revenue.
The challenge is building the right product strategy to collect, manage, and channel the experience insights into fruitful efforts.
That’s what we have for you in this product experience blog. We have outlined key aspects of the product lifecycle and practical strategies to build to create an immersive user experience across your product.
As a bonus, we have also listed a few critical PX questions for you to use in your surveys.
What Is Product Experience?
Product experience refers to the customers’ journey within the product lifecycle, from when they start using the product until they call it quits (churn).
It includes users’ experience within every stage of the product lifecycle, i.e.,
A solid product experience strategy aims to map how users interact with the product, identify the problems they face while using it, and explore the reasons behind churn.
It lets you weed out the issues and optimize the users’ experience.
What’s more, by collecting suggestions and ideas from actual product users, you can gauge customers’ expectations and exceed them in delivering customer delight. This includes personalizing the experience, adding new features, and revamping the product.
Product Experience VS. User Experience
User experience (UX) gauges the customer journey from product discovery to churn, while product experience measures their journey within the product. So, product experience (PX) is a subset of user experience (UX).
Why Is Mapping Product Experience Important?
1. Reveal How Customers Perceive Your Product
Investing in a product experience management program clearly shows the customers’ consensus about your product. It comes in handy, especially when you have a new product or have just added a product update.
If you see a rise in product engagement, you can know the changes are working. The same goes for the customer experience index scores. If you can increase the customer satisfaction (CSAT) score, you will know people like the product and updates.
But if they are unhappy, you can immediately act to correct course or roll back the changes.
2. Identify the Product Issues and Problems
Apart from the general perception about your product’s UI and UX, you can gauge users’ experience across your product to map issues and bugs.
These include convoluted workflows, confusing settings, product-breaking bugs, glitches, crashes, and other problems.
For example, if you run a monthly in-product NPS survey, you can collect user satisfaction scores and ask them about their problems while using the product. Or, you can analyze the helpdesk tickets to discover general product issues. Once you have the data, you can work towards fixing them.
The other case is you are oblivious to the user issues, leading to frustrating product experiences and customer attrition.
Product Experience Mapping Example 1 – KingsPoint
With Kingspoint, the epiphany came with the product experience surveys embedded in the checkout page. The team deployed exit-intent surveys at checkout pages on different browsers using Qualaroo to ask a simple question – What stopped you from completing your order today?
So, Kingspoint prevented a yearly loss of over $60000 from shopping cart abandonment by gauging and optimizing the product experience.
3. Building Data-Backed Product Roadmaps
There are hundreds of product improvement hypotheses, but how would you know which ones are viable to include in your product roadmaps?
As you monitor customers’ issues, suggestions, and preferences, you can develop ideas that would improve the product.
Depending on the priority, you can add these to the roadmap to release new updates regularly.
Product Experience Mapping Example 2 – Twilio
Twilio puts product experience mapping at the center of its development and optimization strategies. The agile work environment poses the challenge of fishing out viable ideas from a sea of suggestions to improve the product rapidly.
So the platform uses targeted surveys to collect feedback from app users, and over 18 teams at Twiio use this feedback to validate and test their ideas.
It allows Twilio to quickly push ideas into the product roadmaps and release new updates weekly.
4. Improved Conversions and Retention
Optimized products, satisfying product experience, and seamless journey across the product generate happy users, which automatically favor higher conversion rates.
A happy customer is more likely to return for more purchases to improve the overall retention rate and average order value.
What’s more, you can turn satisfied customers into brand promoters to bring in more customers and build your brand.
4 Essential Products Experience Lifecycle Stages
Let’s understand the product lifecycle stages contributing to the overall user experience.
Onboarding is probably the most important aspect of the product experience. It sets expectations for new users and familiarizes them with important settings and workflows. It would also result in lower support tickets as customers are up to date with the most prominent features.
The next stage is product adoption. It directly affects customer retention and product usage. At this stage, the new customer starts to use the product and its features. If they see value in your product offering, they continue to use it. Otherwise, they can reject it. You must monitor the adoption and engagement metrics to track drop-offs and plug the leaks.
Retention involves getting customers to use the product for a substantial period to improve lifetime value. There are plenty of ways to do so:
- Adding new features to the product
- Offering special offers to upgrade the plans
- Promoting long-term subscriptions at discounted rates
Retention is essential to customer and product experience as it directly impacts your acquisition costs, marketing strategies, and growth.
Read More: 14 Proven Customer Retention Strategies
The bitter truth is customers are bound to leave your services sooner or later. You can leverage this stage to gauge the overall product experience and explore why people leave your business.
It can also provide a ton of data for future customers to reduce churn.
At Qualaroo, we use the page to deploy churn surveys and collect valuable user insights.
Once we have the data, our teams can contact the churned customer to win them back.
5 Key Product Experience Metrics to Track
1. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
NPS gauges long-term product experience across the product and beyond. It’s an excellent metric to measure users’ loyalty and retention.
The NPS survey asks a simple question to the product users – Based on your experience, on a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend this product to your friends and family?
The respondents are categorized as promoters (0-6), passives (7-8), and promoters (9-10).
The NPS score is calculated using the following formula:
Here’s how to use it:
- Use a proper NPS tool like Qualaroo to embed the survey into your product.
- Use proper triggers to show the surveys to the right people at the right time.
- Target users who have used the product for over a month or more.
- Rerun the surveys after 3 months to collect the scores and compare them.
You can filter the score for customer segments and compare their product journeys. It would help to find points of interest, issues, and product opportunities.
A lot of NPS tools offer built-in NPS trackers to help you visualize the scores in real time for days, weeks, and months.
It makes the calculation and tracking easier.
2. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score
Customer satisfaction (CSAT) score is used to measure the in-the-moment product experience of the users. It helps to gauge how happy customers are with your product. You can collect customers’ feedback on different product aspects like specific settings, usability, design, and UI.
Here’s a CSAT question – How would you rate satisfaction with the [product feature name]?
The respondents are categorized into two groups: unhappy/unsatisfied and happy/satisfied users.
Here’s how you can use it:
- Identify the users at risk of churn. Target unhappy users to address their issues and problems to turn that frown upside down and make them happy.
- Turn happy customers into promoters to bring in more customers.
- Rerun CSAT surveys after you have released a new product update or feature to see how happy customers are with the changes.
3. Product/Feature Adoption Rate
Product adoption rate is the percentage of people who successfully start using the product and become regular users compared to the total number of signups during a period.
It’s an important metric that tells you how easy it is to use the product. You can also gauge users’ needs and expectations with this metric.
Here’s how to use product adoption rate to gauge and improve product experience:
- Measure how many people successfully adopted your product after completing the onboarding tour.
- If you see a low adoption rate, you can add more support options for the users.
- You can also run surveys to find where new users face problems and resolve them to improve the overall adoption rate.
4. Churn Rate
The customer churn rate is defined as the total number of people who stopped using your products and services during a specific period.
It is calculated by dividing the number of users who unsubscribed or stopped using the product during a period by the total number of users at the beginning of that period.
Customer/User churn is probably among the top three product experience metrics. It directly affects customer lifetime value, retention rate, average order value, and other KPIs.
If you experience a high churn rate, it can indicate a product-breaking bug or issue that may lead customers to churn.
You can contact the churned customers to address their issues and convince them to return.
5. Average Customer Lifetime (ACL)
Average lifetime is the length of time for which people use your product. It goes without saying that the higher the average customer lifetime, the better.
But this product experience metric also impacts another important business KPI, i.e., customer lifetime value (CLV), which is the total revenue you expect to generate from a customer/user.
If you can increase (ACL), you can generate more revenue/profit from new users. It also indicates that people are satisfied with your products and services to continue to do business with you.
5 Ways to Build an Immersive Product Experience
1. Build a Unique Onboarding Experience
Building an onboarding experience starts by understanding how your product offerings fit into the customers’ needs. You need a clear picture of how they plan to use the product and what features are essential to them.
There are two approaches to designing an onboarding product experience. The first is to build a common tour for everyone, like Duolingo, Salesforce, etc.
Here’s how you can design an immersive onboarding experience:
- Dig into the customer data to find details about product usage and the most searched features.
- Collect feedback from prospects using targeted surveys to inquire how they plan to use the product.
- Test the length of your onboarding tour. You can also experiment with the position of the signup form.
- Engage the users by assigning them tasks to complete instead of just educating them about the features.
You can also create personalized onboarding experiences as we do at Qualaroo. This type of tour is tailored for each customer to get them up and running with the product.
Our sales team contacts every new customer and asks them questions about the product’s ideal use cases for their business. It helps us decide which settings and features suit customers best.
Once done, we give them a tailored tour of Qualaroo for improved adoption. You can do the same with your high-value customers.
2. Use Nuanced Product Adoption Techniques
Once they are past the onboarding stage, users are practically on their own to explore the product. It’s time to monitor product engagement and usage to ensure a smooth product experience.
There are a few factors that influence how easily users can transition from adopters to regular product users:
- How easy is it to use the product?
- Does that product have more beneficial features beyond solving their problems?
- Is the perceived value more than that of competitors’ products?
So it’s necessary to engage users during the adoption stage and provide a seamless product experience:
- Use in-product nudges and walkthroughs to educate users about additional features.
- Add tooltips next to important product settings so users can learn about them easily.
- Promote omnichannel access to the product. For example, if you host a SaaS product, you can make it available on different platforms for improved accessibility and product experience.
- Monitor product analytics to track engagement metrics like time in product, feature usage, churn, etc., to pinpoint drop-off points along the user journey.
Another important step to improve adoption is to monitor weekly usage statistics. Compare the weekly engagement reports to see how customers are using the product and spot any red flags.
3. Create a Feedback Loop
It all comes down to customer insights because building a product experience management system requires a working customer feedback loop.
If you want to build a product that offers value to customers, you have to know what they want.
Customer tickets and support transcripts are great sources of unsolicited feedback. But you need something more potent, such as a feedback tool, to extract targeted insights from users.
Collecting solicited customer feedback does two things:
- Establishes a communication channel between users and your teams.
- Gives you more refined data sets about their product experience.
Here’s how you can create a customer feedback loop for your product optimization:
- Add surveys at different points along the product, like the pricing page, my account page, settings page, etc.
- Use a dedicated tool like Qualaroo to collect multi-channel feedback. You can send surveys to users over mail to gauge their product experience. It also lets you target churned users for insights.
- Once you have the data, categorize it based on user type, purchase value, and other factors to set priorities.
- Then, send it to different teams so they can work on improving the product and customer satisfaction.
One of the biggest advantages of using an advanced feedback tool is leveraging built-in reporting capabilities and AI-based techniques to extract insights quickly.
If you have large data sets, you can employ AI-based techniques like sentiment analysis to categorize the feedback in real-time.
4. Map User Flows and Product Journey
Some of the important questions that need to be answered to improve the overall user and product experience are:
- How easy is it to complete the goals within the product?
- Are there any redundant steps that can be eliminated to improve the processes?
- Is there a need to add a step to simplify product functionality?
Analyzing user flows can help you get the answers. It accesses the steps users take to complete a task within the product.
From there, you can use the insights to improve the workflows.
Here’s how you can map user flows to optimize the product experience:
- Use behavioral tools like heatmaps and session replays to examine user sessions to find the points where users get stuck or face difficulties.
- Add surveys to key points within the product, like the subscription page or reporting dashboard, to collect user feedback.
- Run usability tests to refine the architectural hierarchy of different categories and groups.
Use the data from these sources to revamp the processes and user flows to improve the product experience.
Here’s a great trick. Instead of deploying the changes across the entire user base, you can run A/B testing for select target users to see whether the changes are working. Once satisfied with the results, you can release the update across the platform.
5. Keep Your Knowledge Base Updated
Even if you have a perfect onboarding and product adoption stage, users may still be confused with a lot of product functionality.
And if they don’t find the relevant information in time, they will likely get frustrated, leading to a
poor product experience.
It would also lead to an increase in the number of support tickets, calls, and chats.
So, how would you ensure users have all the essential information handy?
Using A full-fledged knowledge base!
A knowledge base acts as a product guide to help users learn about the product.
Here are a few ways to use the knowledge base to promote an excellent product experience:
- Use a dedicated Knowledge base like ProProfs KB to create a repository of your product features and workflows.
- Create and integrate help articles, guides, and FAQs into your KB for quick access.
- Define proper architectural hierarchy for the knowledge base to help users find the information easily.
- Keep it up to date. Release the guide as soon as you add a new feature to the product.
The next step is to optimize it for the best experience. You can use embedded surveys or pop-ups to evaluate the content and accessibility of your knowledge library.
- Did you find the content helpful?
- Are the steps in the guide easy to understand?
- How can we improve our help articles?
- Did you find it easy to navigate to the relevant help article/FAQ/guide?
Use the insights to make the knowledge base better.
25+ Product Experience Survey Questions
Here are a few questions to design targeted surveys for collecting user feedback and designing a solid product experience strategy:
1. Onboarding Experience Survey
- How did you hear about the product?
- Do you plan to use the product alone or with a team?
- What made you choose our product over other similar options?
- On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with the onboarding process?
- Which product features showcased in the onboarding tour matter the most to you?
- How do you plan to use the product?
- What problem do you wish to solve with our product?
- How would you rate our signup process?
- How can we improve our onboarding process?
2. Product Adoption Survey Questions
- Did you experience any issues/problems when getting started with the product?
- What do you like the most about our product?
- Was our product easy to use?
- Please rate the following product features based on their usefulness to you.
- What do you dislike the most about our product?
- What feature did you expect but did not find in the product?
3. Questions to Gauge Overall Product Experience
- On a scale of 0-10, please rate your overall product experience.
- Which three features are the most valuable to you?
- How can we improve our product further?
- How satisfied are you with our product?
- Based on your overall product experience, please rate the following aspects.
- Name three things that you would improve in the product.
4. Churn-related Product Experience Questions
- What is the main reason for leaving?
- Please rate your overall product experience.
- How likely are you to recommend the product to a friend, family or colleague?
- Which three product features do you like the most?
- Which features did you dislike the most?
- Is there anything we can do to convince you to come back?
Read More: 100+ Product Feedback Survey Questions
Design a Stellar Product Experience to Unlock the Path to Growth
In the end, it all starts and ends with customers. That’s why they must be at the center of your product strategy. By effectively measuring and improving product experience, you can foster customer loyalty, increase user satisfaction, and drive business growth.
Remember to integrate customer feedback, product analytics, and CRM data to get a 360-degree view of customer needs and issues.
Start by looking into your analytics data to track key performance metrics for different product stages. It would let you prioritize the one with the lowest engagement or the highest drop-offs.
Then, you can use a targeted product feedback tool like Qualaroo to listen to the voice of customers and find product issues.
Once done, rework your surveys to collect customer experience scores to evaluate your efforts. Then, rinse & Repeat.
So, use the steps outlined in the blog to deliver an exceptional product experience that resonates with your target audience and sets your brand apart from the competition. Keep refining your approach to align the product with user needs for growth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Collecting targeted user feedback is one of the most effective ways to improve the product experience. It helps to pinpoint issues and gauge customers' expectations to deliver optimized product solutions.
A good product experience aims to deliver a consistent experience across all product stages. It comprises easy-to-use product UI and UX, seamless support services, value for money, and innovation.
Product experience is the subset of user experience. User experiences maps customers' journey across the conversion funnel, while product experience gauges the users' journey within the product.
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