Best Practices

6 product metrics that should inform your digital transformation initiatives

Published Oct 10, 2023
Digital transformation isn’t a “set it and forget it” deal.

A critical element of any digital transformation project is continuous measurement and optimization. Keeping a steady pulse on how things are going, how customers and employees are perceiving a change in the tools they use, and evaluating what’s working well (and not so well) allows an organization to ensure the right resources are being funneled to the right places—and pivot as needed. 

Product teams, in particular, have an important role to play in measuring the success of any digital transformation initiative. Because the customer experience is the digital experience, any app or product your users engage with shapes how they perceive your brand and the value you offer. 

Here are the metrics your product team should evaluate (and have the ability to influence) throughout your company’s digital transformation efforts—and how to measure them using Pendo.


1. Product Engagement Score (PES)

Get a holistic view of your product’s health

Product Engagement Score (PES) provides product teams and leaders with a single metric to measure how users or customers engage with their products. It’s a composite metric, taking the average of your product’s adoption, stickiness, and growth rates to form a single score that’s easy to benchmark and evaluate over time. PES is a quick, high-level way to understand how your product is performing, and a great metric to incorporate into your overarching digital transformation reporting dashboards.

You can choose to measure your Product Engagement Score based on visitors or accounts. If your product is only used by individuals (and not teams), then you’ll likely only want to measure each PES component at the visitor level. But if your company is focused on new logo acquisition, measuring growth (and overall PES) at the account level will best reflect those efforts. By aligning your PES configuration with your organization’s digital transformation priorities, you’ll be able to tie your product efforts to the things that matter most to the business.

While PES boils your product engagement down to one number, it’s just as useful for helping you identify opportunities for improvement in your product—which can help guide other related transformation initiatives. You can drill down into each of the three factors in PES to identify which metric(s) might be bringing down the average. Paired with other product metrics, this data will help you uncover the “why” behind each area of product performance so you can adjust your strategy moving forward.


2. Product adoption and retention

See how many users engage with your product (and how often)

Understanding which features get the most use—and which keep users coming back—is critical for building better products and driving digital transformation. Adoption measures how many users interact with your product (product adoption) or specific features within it (feature adoption). It’s a great metric to use to determine whether your product is being used as often as intended, and whether it’s delivering on its intended value. Retention, on the other hand, measures the percentage of users or accounts still using your product (or particular features) after they initially install or start using them. 

Both of these metrics are valuable to track throughout your digital transformation initiatives because they offer quick clues into whether particular change management or enablement activities are actually moving the needle. They’re also valuable indicators of whether customers, employees, or other end users are likely to come back to your product or a particular feature—and stay engaged in the long-run. For example, if you notice a decline in adoption from your legacy product to your newly designed offering, you might need to consider doubling down on in-app support and education, or even surveying your customers to find out what the disconnect might be between your old and new experience.

3. The user journey

Use paths and funnels to map out the full user journey

Product analytics tools like Pendo can help you understand exactly how your users get around your app—including where they struggle or get stuck—so you can simplify workflows, beef up training and enablement, or adjust user interface (UI) elements accordingly. In Pendo, you can use paths and funnels to see the full flow of the user experience within your products and mitigate drop-offs before users complete critical steps.

Paths and funnels are a great way to evaluate whether the features you’re investing in (which may be part of your larger transformation initiatives) are helping or hindering your users’ flow through your product. Are users leveraging the features and pages you’d expect, based on your product’s value proposition and digital strategy? You can also use segments to drill into the details even further and identify whether particular groups of users (based on metadata like titles, permissions, etc.) are more successful than others. All together, these insights will help you better map the optimal digital journey for your customers and employees.


4. Time to value

Use Core Events to see how long it takes users to find the most valuable areas of your product

Time to value measures the time from when a customer starts using your product to when they start deriving value from it—also known as the “aha” moment. If you use Pendo, you can measure time to value with Core Events, which are the ten (or fewer) most important features in your product—or the features you want users to engage with to call their experience a success. By looking at the average, minimum, and maximum time it takes new visitors to first interact with a Core Event, you can determine how quickly (or slowly) customers are realizing value from your product—and adjust your strategy as needed to get them there even faster.

Particularly when it comes to digital transformation and change management, accelerating time to value can make or break your product experience. In other words, if your users don’t feel the benefits of your product right away, they likely won’t stick around long enough to experience the improvements you’re working towards. Use time to value as a guide to spot user experience or enablement gaps, and to determine where to prioritize your optimization efforts first, based on what’s most important to your business.

5. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Understand and measure customer sentiment over time

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is one of the most common ways companies gauge customer loyalty. While it’s a simple metric, NPS is used as a standard measure of customer satisfaction across industries, and is easy to track over time. NPS scores vary greatly by industry, so it’s important to benchmark yourself against companies that are most similar to yours. It’s also important to track your own company’s or product’s NPS over time and keep an eye out for any major changes—especially as they coincide with business events like strategy shifts, product updates, or marketing campaigns.

You can use Pendo to field NPS surveys directly inside your product—greatly improving the quality of the qualitative responses you might receive, and greatly increasing the likelihood that users will respond to the survey at all. And while NPS may not seem as actionable as other product metrics like adoption or stickiness, it’s a valuable proxy for customer happiness (and hopefully, growth). When it comes to a digital transformation initiative, NPS can help reassure company leaders and other stakeholders that the strategy is working—or conversely, whether it needs to pivot.


6. Feature requests and feedback

Learn what your customers really think—and what they want to see next

Product discovery has historically been a challenge for product teams to do effectively, at scale. Particularly when you’re being bombarded with customer feedback from multiple sources—and when the data is housed in multiple places—it can be extremely hard to know what to do next and where to prioritize. Bringing all your quantitative product data and qualitative user feedback into a single platform like Pendo allows you to drill down into specific requests, understand how many customers want the same things, and determine whether the features you’re focused on as part of your digital transformation efforts are actually aligned with what your customers want.

Leaning into feedback (and being sure to close the loop with customers and employees) also demonstrates that you value your users’ input, and builds trust and loyalty. Particularly during times of change, reassuring your audience that you’re still listening goes a long way in building buy-in and bringing stakeholders along on the journey.