Keeping up with customer expectations and desires is difficult. It’s even more difficult if you don't know how customers are using your product.
Imagine if SpaceX tried to launch a rocket without any idea how various parts of the machine were performing, completely ignorant of errors or failures in the system, and just generally unaware of the speed or direction of the spacecraft.
That mission would fail. Spectacularly.
With the powerful analytics and telemetry tools on the market today, there’s no excuse for your product team to remain ignorant of how your own machine — your app or website — is working for your customers.
Leveraging the right tools will help you make better decisions on where to spend your time and effort, all in the pursuit of keeping customers satisfied and renewing their accounts.
Stay tuned as we review everything you need to know about why analytics tools matter and what you need to consider as you implement yours.
Sorry, Your Own Intuition Is Unreliable. You Need Data to Back It Up.
All humans think that everyone uses stuff (including digital apps and websites) the same way they use stuff. Yep, “everyone” includes you. But it’s not your fault. Our brain chemistry makes us adopt this self-centered view.
The problem? You are only one person. And, in reality, the way one person uses stuff is not the same as the way another person uses stuff. Meaning the way Chris navigates through your app will be different than the way Natalie navigates through your app.
So if you want to make a million dollars a year and you think designing your application for one person — say Natalie — is going to do the trick for you, great. But you better hope Natalie is willing to pay you a million dollars a year for your app. After all, she’ll be your only satisfied customer since you designed it based on her behavior alone.
Alternatively, if you want people to pay one dollar for your app (which is obviously more realistic), you’d better figure out how to satisfy a million people to earn that paycheck.
One way to get out of your own head and do just that is to adopt analytics tools. These tools look at data from a large, diverse group of your users — not just one person or even a small selection.
With the data from analytics tools, you’ll have the proof you need to feel confident in your feature prioritization and roadmapping choices. Bonus: You’ll also have evidence to back up these choices and garner leadership buy-in.
Where to Start with Your New Analytics Tool (Hint: You Need a Plan First)
After that brain chemistry lecture, you’re convinced you need analytics tools. Or maybe you’re suddenly unsure if you’re correctly using what you already have. Or you’re questioning the efficacy of the tools in place.
So where should you start?
First off, there may be push back from your engineering department. They may say it’s too difficult to install a new tool, fear potential security breaches, or (internally) cringe at the thought of their less-than-perfect work being highlighted by the data. But believe it or not, implementing this technology is the easy part. Forge ahead.
Understanding and interpreting the data these tools produce, on the other hand, is not so easy.
To find success, make a plan for what you want to measure, how you will measure it, and what decisions you want to make or goals you want to achieve based on your findings — in advance of actually implementing the tool.
The “in advance” part is key. Why? Because once your tool of choice is in place, the information starts flowing immediately. It can be overwhelming. It’s also easy to become distracted. You run the risk of going down a rabbit hole that won’t create real value for your customers.
Armed with a plan, you can distill and extract the most relevant data to help you reach your pre-planned goal. You can always revisit other information later, but staying focused will ensure your priorities remain intact.
One caveat: If you see a massive red flag your entire team missed (yikes), you can and should address that immediately, even if it doesn’t align with your plan. Just get back on track ASAP.
The Power of Data to Help You Reach These Common Goals
As mentioned, refer to your plan to identify the decisions or goals you want to reach with the data you've gained.
You will glean so many valuable insights from your tool. Possible (and prevalent) goals include:
- Improving onboarding. If a new customer can’t easily use your product, they’re unlikely to stick with it. That’s why improving onboarding is a worthwhile and common goal. Your data might tell you that users are having trouble logging in or creating a password. Address these issues and your customer retention rate just might surge.
- Increasing feature adoption or usage. Your team spent time developing a feature only to have it sit largely unused. Sound familiar? Maybe your data will tell you that 90% of people who use feature B go on to use feature A but, if they don't use feature B first, they rarely find feature A. You can then create some help text to point feature A users to feature B.
- Hunting for “rage clicks.” FullStory coined the clever term ‘rage click’ to describe when users click rapidly on the same thing within an app or site, presumably because they can’t get it to do what they want or expect. A heat map in your analytics tool could reveal rage clicking patterns and help you find the best way to ease the customer’s journey.
- Revealing usage patterns behind customer service issues. Imagine many of your customers are calling customer support because they’re having trouble wiring money to Europe through your banking app. Would you rather pay your customer support department to answer the same question hundreds of times, or pay your dev team to fix it once? Analytics data can reveal where users are getting stuck and you can add some help text.
- Noting variance in usage across customer segments. It’s a good idea to tailor your interface to specific customer segments. Your new analytics data can illuminate usage patterns per customer group. Maybe your high-net-worth customers use a certain feature twice as much as others — elevate that feature to the navigation for those users and instantly improve their UX.
Analytics Tool Options for Your Company
The market for data analytics tools is saturated. You won’t have a hard time finding one. Consider these popular options:
Of course, you’ll need to conduct some of your own research (or ask us!) to decide which tool or tools is right for you. But no matter what you choose, you’ll be on your way to more informed, data-backed decisions guiding your digital product’s future development.
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