Product experience is a vital part of product design and development. Your product should be able to make customers measurably better at specific job tasks that are critical to their success, for sure, but does it do so easily and efficiently, and even more importantly, do those customers actually enjoy using it?
Product experience takes into account how your product delivers ideal customer outcomes and the manner in which it eliminates obstacles. Ease of use and good design are just some of the elements that create a great product experience. If you have a great product experience, you’ll see increased usage, reduced churn, and greater customer loyalty. Read on to learn more about product experience and how to improve it for your customers.
What is Product Experience?
Product experience (PX) is distinctly different from the customer life cycle in that it specifically refers to the experience users have within the application, from the first moment they begin using the application to the final time they close it. Product design, individual features, and user support are some of the biggest influences on product experience.
In a user-centric product development framework, PX is crucial. In the eyes of the customer, the product experience becomes the product itself–and if they don’t like the experience, they won’t like your product.
Why Does Product Experience Matter?
Good product experience increases both adoption and usage, improves net promoter scores (NPS), and increases customer retention and loyalty. Product experience is especially important with subscription-based models because companies must continue to deliver quantifiable value to the customer organization while also keeping users engaged and reducing churn as much as possible. If a user isn’t happy with their PX, adoption slows, and usage goes down to a bare minimum. Users will only use it because they have to and will drop it quickly if a better option presents itself.
Who Owns Product Experience?
It’s simple to say that product managers, product owners, and user experience (UX) designers are responsible for product experience, but it’s actually a bit more complicated than that. Product experience goes hand-in-hand with delivering customer business outcomes beyond users, so improving product experience requires feedback from all customer-facing functions.
Your sales, customer success, and support teams are both integral in the product experience journey. Sales teams and customer success managers provide a deeper insight into the customer psyche than a survey can. The feedback garnered from these teams is invaluable to creating and improving PX. The technical support team, too, has a unique perspective on the customer. They see the most common pain points and obstacles users have within the product. The technical support team can identify weak spots within the PX and strengthen them.
How to Create a Great Product Experience
Want to improve your product experience to increase retention and reduce churn? Follow these tips to create a solid product experience.
Have a Great Onboarding Process
Don’t just drop users into the application expecting them to sink or swim. A great product demo during the sales process goes a long way, but don’t stop there. Personalized implementation sessions work well, but using built-in tutorials that are triggered during a user’s first session further enhances the experience. Remember, simplicity is key: don’t bombard new users with every feature your product has. Keep the tutorials high-level and give users the option to dig deeper when they need to.
Provide Continued User Support
Ongoing in-app support, guidance, and tutorials contribute to product experience–but they need to come at the right time without distracting the user or disrupting their workflow. Tutorials and tips that occur too frequently or take the user out of their workflow can cause a negative product experience, so tread lightly.
You should develop a library of guides, resources, and FAQs that anticipate user questions and needs. Make these resources easily accessible within the application itself so users can access the information on their own time. Keep a team ready to troubleshoot any issues that arise–live with the customer if possible, either via chat or call. In an ideal world, your product is perfect and free of bugs, but good product managers know this will never be reality, so they prepare for any situation.
Collect and Leverage User Feedback
There are a host of tools on the market that track how your users are using your product and the ease with which they can use it to do their job. Keep a finger on the pulse of how your current users feel about using your product and then take appropriate action. Make updates and constantly focus on improving the experience by making your product work more for users than they have to work for your product.
Learn more: 5 Most Effective Techniques for Gathering Voice of Customer (VoC) Data in B2B
Stay Focused on User Outcomes
Don’t lose sight of the ultimate goal: quantifiable customer outcomes. In B2B, usability improvements to a product are always welcome, but there are two things to always keep in mind:
- Don’t over-feature your product as it can take away from the product experience.
- Don’t get too consumed with usability enhancements only. In B2B, your product has to continuously deliver value to the influencers and decision-makers.
Bells and whistles are pointless if they don’t actually help users provide quantifiable results to their departments and leaders. If stakeholders realize your product isn’t actually helping them achieve their goals, they’ll start shopping for a better solution.
Want to Learn More?
Improving product experience goes a long way toward the ultimate success of your product. You can’t afford to ignore PX if you’ve adopted a user-centric, outcomes-based approach to product development.
If you want a more in-depth look into building a great product experience for your users, check out our online Product Management course. You’ll not only learn about developing great PX but also how to build outcome-based products that blow your competitors out of the water.
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by John Mansour on December 13, 2022.