A product is considered successful if it brings revenue to its owner and delivers a value proposition to its customers. We can measure how much money it yields using versatile metrics including recurring revenue, gross profit, customer acquisition cost, and others. As a rule, these are based on specific formulas and have monetary value. You can read an article about valuable financial data and learn about MRR, CAC, LTV and many others.
The non-financial customer success includes metrics that allow you to measure the product’s lovability, namely to what extent the users like or dislike it. They are essential for business growth and, traditionally, fall into two categories: user engagement and happiness.
This type of metrics helps managers and startup founders understand the user’s attitude towards the service or product. In this context, happiness denotes a level of joy, delight or satisfaction a user obtains. We can measure it by how usable the product is, how fast the features are working, how pleasant the interface looks and so on. Everything that involves emotion-based opinion of a user is referred to happiness metrics. And here are the most crucial ones.
Net promoter score
At the heart of net promoter score (NPS) lies the answer to the question “Will you recommend an X product to others?”. However, the answer range is not limited to Yes or No only. There is an 11-point scale, where each point denotes a particular response grade. For example, zero means that a user will never recommend this product to anyone, and ten points mean that he or she is extremely likely to recommend it. However, to make the NPS calculation, two categories of answers are taken into account. These are detractors (0 to 6) and promoters (9-10). The rest is passives that are vain for calculations.
Net promoter score is the difference between the number of promoters and detractors. As a rule, NPS is displayed in percents. Products with NPS above zero are successful. Well, to become excellent, you need to cross 30%.
Another metric to find out how happy the users are is churn. Though some businesses opt for its opposite, the retention, churn rate is much more actionable as for the impact on happiness and financial health of a product. This metric gives an answer to a general question “Do users love X product?”, but it does not answer to “Why do users leave?” Therefore, if a startup’s churn rate exceeds 5%, it’s high time to improve engagement.
Churn rate formula is kid’s stuff. You need to deduct the number of users that dropped from the total number of users for a particular period (month, quarter, year).
Measuring how much the users are happy with a product is as vital as taking care of how much money it will bring. These data are interdependent. Companies that ignore user happiness metrics are metaphorically asking their customers to find anything better for their jobs to be done. Now, let’s take a look at another crucial growth metrics category.
An engaged user is the user who clearly understands a particular product’s value and can benefit from it. Engagement can be expressed in different ways including the number of app downloads, active users, durations and intervals of sessions, and so on. The corresponding metrics are required to analyze the current retaining capability of a product and make it better. And the following options should be primary for any startup to consider.
Active users and stickiness
This metric is typical for most SaaS products. It displays the number or percentage of users that are deemed active. For different products, “active” is treated differently depending on versatile parameters including session length, the frequency of visits, number of referrals or accounts, etc. As a rule, active users are calculated on a daily and monthly basis. Therefore, we’ve got DAU and MAU rates.
If we divide DAU by MAU and multiply the result by 100%, we’ll get another engagement metric called stickiness. As a rule, the higher the stickiness rate, the better long-term prospects the startup should expect. In a broader sense, a sticky product is a balanced combination of such facets as performance, reliability, attractiveness, emotional and social effect, and others.
Such characteristics of website sessions as total number, frequency, length, interval in-between are also engagement metrics to learn about user’s needs and preferences. For example, if a user is engaged in a product, he or she will be interested in repeating the session as fast as possible. On the other hand, a long interval between sessions is likely due to low engagement capability. Some apps yield money from the time users spend working with them. Hence, time in the app is not only an engagement metric but also a direct money stream, which needs to be nourished.
Metrics of user happiness and engagement play a significant role in business growth. Modern startups and development companies including Railsware draw particular attention to data analytics and most actionable metrics in their products. That’s one of the major prerequisites for business to survive in present-day terms of high competition.