Product Teams

5 product metrics and KPIs that matter for product and customer success teams

Published Nov 10, 2017

Are your customers getting ongoing value from your product? You may think that you know the answer, but without clear metrics to understand and optimize the product experience, you’re only making an educated guess (at best).

Customer success (CS) and product organizations both measure user engagement patterns and share some key metrics to quantify success. Once both teams understand which metrics are unique and which are shared, the two can become more effective and collaborative as one cohesive team.

In a recent webinar, we sat down with Dave Blake, CEO of ClientSuccess, to discuss how product and CS organizations can better align on a shared view of success. Below, we share five key metrics product and customer success teams can use to reach their common goal of improving the customer experience.

Metric #1: Product breadth

This is the first of a three-part metric called BDF (Breadth, Depth, and Frequency) that is used to measure product and customer health. It’s a measure of how many total users you have, and more importantly, how many users you have per account. Product breadth is a great indicator of how sticky your product is, and also allows you to monitor and minimize churn risk.

A larger product breadth gives you the ability to absorb turnover within your customer base and ensure you aren’t incurring additional churn risk. If you only have one or two users from an organization and lose a single user at that company,  you’re looking at a 50% turnover of your user base, which can feel like a serious hit. Alternatively, if you can get 10, 20, or 30 users at that same organization to use your product, losing one makes it much easier to recover and gives you ample time to rebuild the relationship.

Metric #2: Product depth

Product depth is about leveraging your product to the fullest and speaks to how much of the product your customers are using–specifically how many core features or areas of the product they’re utilizing.

Sometimes customers only use a product at a surface level. Product depth looks at how sophisticated your customers are at using all parts of your product. Are they using it to its fullest potential or are they using a limited portion of the overall application? Ideally, you want balanced product usage, which signals that customers are leveraging the product’s value to the fullest. If there are parts of your product that are rarely or never used, you may want to consider if the feature should be removed altogether.

Metric #3: Frequency

Frequency measures how often users (or users from a specific account) log-in to your product in a given time frame. A useful way to look at frequency is to examine whether users tend to access the product on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Every software provider wants to be the product that customers can’t live without–your goal is to establish your product as vital to performing the requirements of their job. By measuring frequency, you can see how many days per month users access the product, how much time users spend within the product, and how many components of it they explore. This will uncover if they are finding sustained value in the product over time.

These core metrics are great quantitative measures of the overall product experience, but quantitative measurement is only part of the story. To gain a true understanding of customer and product health, it is paramount to combine quantitative metrics with qualitative user feedback. The next two metrics will help you do just that.

Metric #4: Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net Promoter Score (NPS) provides a clear measurement of customer loyalty that can be tracked over time. Many companies use it to measure track delight and benchmark against their industry, their competitors, and themselves.

NPS is only one indicator of customer health, but it is very popular among SaaS companies specifically. You can send NPS surveys to users (ideally, in-app) and ask how likely they are to recommend the product to other users to gauge overall satisfaction and sentiment. Remember to think of NPS as a direction as opposed to a single data point, since you should always be striving to improve your NPS over time.

It’s also important to keep in mind that NPS is a company-wide metric and requires collaboration across the entire organization. NPS is traditionally ingrained in customer success, but product teams should be equally invested to ensure the product is generating positive NPS scores from users. Similarly, having cross-functional plans to address customer feedback is essential as well.

Metric #5: Time to value

Time to value looks at key value drivers within your product and examines how long it takes for a user to gain enough proficiency to actively realize value from the product.

Time to value is impacted by a number of departments (including marketing and sales), so in order to accurately observe this metric, you should only change one variable at a time to ensure you’re controlling the environment. Explore the time to value indicators for your specific product–which should be data-driven but also subjective. Are users achieving the desired outcomes in your product? Have CSMs captured any common blockers? How quickly can you address those? These can be measured using a variety of tools and every company has slightly different value indicators.

Want to learn more about how CS and product teams use these core metrics to drive customer success? Watch the webinar here.