When it comes to customer success teams, it is important to track usage metrics to understand how their users are engaging with the product. These metrics can provide insight into how well the product is meeting the needs of its users and where improvements can be made. Additionally, companies may also use this to track and project for user retention, this is how well the product is retaining its users over time. Over the longer term it is an important metric for the long term sustainably and trajectory of growth for the company.
Among these metrics, average time spent on the product is a metric is one that is based on actual usage of the product as opposed to sentiment based metrics such as an Net Promoter Score (NPS) or Customer Effort Score (CES) which asks for the user’s impressions of use. It is thus in some ways more objective as a metric for the value your product is bringing to users.
The Benefits of using the average time spent using a product.
Measuring the average time spent using a SaaS product can provide several benefits for understanding adoption:
1. Engagement: Tracking the average time spent using a product can give an indication of how engaged users are with the product. Longer average time spent using a product may indicate that users are finding the product valuable and using it frequently.
2. User needs: Understanding how users are engaging with a product can provide insight into what specific features or functionality users are looking for. This can help inform product development and improve the product's overall value.
3. Retention: Tracking user retention over time can indicate how well the product is retaining users and how effectively it is meeting their needs.
4. User behavior: Average time spent using a product can indicate how users interact with a product, when they use it, how often and how long they use it. Understanding this information can help improve the user experience.
5. ROI: Ultimately, tracking adoption metrics such as average time spent using a product can help determine the return on investment for a SaaS product, by indicating the level of usage and the value the product is providing to customers.
It's important to mention that these metrics should be used in conjunction with other metrics to get a full understanding of user engagement and adoption.
How do we measure average time spent using a product?
The specific metrics and methodologies you use to measure average time spent using a SaaS product will depend on the product and the goals of your analysis, but these following metrics can provide a good starting point for understanding how users are engaging with the product:
1. Session duration: This metric measures the length of time a user spends in a single session on the product. This can be calculated by subtracting the time of the first action in a session from the time of the last action in that session.
2. Time in application: This metric measures the total amount of time a user spends in the product across all sessions. This can be calculated by summing up the duration of all sessions for a user and dividing by the number of users.
3. Active users: The number of users that have taken some action in the product in a given time frame.
4. Retention: The percentage of users that return to the product after their first session.
5. Cohort analysis: This is a more advanced metric that can measure the retention of users over time. By grouping users based on when they first started using the product, it can show how long users continue to use the product and how that usage changes over time.
The right metric and mode of measurement will vary based on what you are seeking to understand. For example in content/media platforms, session duration can be used to measure the average time users spend reading an article or watching a video. This can indicate how engaging the content is and whether users are able to complete the content on time. On the other hand, for a communication tool such as video conferencing or messaging applications, active users can be used to measure the average time users spend using the tool. This can indicate how frequently users are using the tool and how much value they are getting from it.
It also bears note that the correct amount of time spent using a product will differ in every instance depending on the needs of users. Accordingly average time spent using a product is best utilised in terms of understanding relative change over time for a single product and use case rather than having a golden standard to achieve.
How do we improve average time spent using a Saas Product
Improvement of the average time spent using a SaaS product will vary depending on what are your key strategic goals as well as where the main barriers to usage are coming from. In general there a number of ways you can improve the average time spent using a product such as:
1. Improve the user experience: By making the product easy to use and intuitive, users will be more likely to engage with it for longer periods of time. This can be achieved through user research, usability testing, and design iterations.
2. Increase the value of the product: By adding new features or functionality that meets the needs of users, the product will become more valuable to them and they will be more likely to use it for longer periods of time.
3. Personalize the product: By tailoring the product to the specific needs of individual users, they will be more likely to engage with it for longer periods of time. Personalization can be achieved through data-driven methods such as machine learning.
4. Provide training and onboarding: By providing training and onboarding that helps users understand how to use the product effectively, they will be more likely to engage with it for longer periods of time.
5. Gamification: By adding elements of gameplay and rewards to the product, users will be more likely to engage with it for longer periods of time.
6. Create a sense of community: By fostering a sense of community among users, they will be more likely to engage with the product for longer periods of time. This can be achieved through social features, discussion boards, and user groups.
7. Measure and analyze: Regularly measure and analyze the average time spent using the product and user engagement, this will help to identify areas that need improvement and make data-driven decisions to improve the average time spent using the product.
The average time spent using a product is a simple but effective objective measure of the value users device from your product. It informs you of usage patterns and is an effective metric for understanding churn and retention numbers.