User Onboarding Metrics
Every customer touchpoint provides you with insights about your product. By collecting user onboarding metrics, companies can develop actionable insights for leveraging the onboarding process in ways that improve the chances of successful product adoption.
What is User Onboarding
Before discussing the metrics, let’s define onboarding.
Onboarding is the transition period between when a new customer signs up and product adoption. The purpose of a user onboarding process is to help customers get to know the product and learn how to use it. By the end of their onboarding experience, customers will decide if the product adds value to their goals, and how much value it adds.
When you invest in the customer’s ability to operate and function on your platform, you increase the value of the product. “If your customers paid for your products and are not adopting them well into their business processes,” say Totango, the customer success software developer, “churn rates will increase.” Ultimately, the goal of tracking these metrics is so your company can create user onboarding best practices, which starts with using data to develop actionable insights for reducing friction, guiding customers, and troubleshooting issues in the onboarding funnel.
Which User Onboarding Metrics to Track
Determining which interactions to track means looking at your entire onboarding process and outlining every step customers take to advance from new user to product adoption.
Here are some metrics that many types of companies can track in their onboarding funnel.
- How much times does it take for users to complete onboarding
- How much time does it take for users to complete stages of the onboarding funnel
- How are customers responding to the onboarding process
- What is the response time between a customer query or complaint and resolution
- What is your product adoption success rate
Tracking how long it takes to complete the onboarding process is also called “time to value.” Every company’s goal is to help users advance through the onboarding process quickly, but not hastily. That’s because this is the transition period during which customers will get familiar with the product and, specifically, the features that increase the value of the platform for them.
There’s no one onboarding-completion goal that every company is aiming to hit. And for start-ups, chances are the product team will have to iterate the funnel a few times before landing on a formula that works.
After making improvements to the onboarding funnel, companies can then compare their before and after onboarding completion metrics.
Progress Through the Funnel
Measuring users progress through the onboarding process looks at each onboarding stage at a time. What a company can glean from these metrics include whether certain steps should provide toolips or maybe there should be a different funnel for certain customers. For example, Customer Cohort A breeze through setting up their account versus Customer Cohort B, who get stuck setting up their account. Down the line, after collecting enough onboarding metrics, project managers could test creating a separate funnel for Cohort B customers.
Trends like these will start emerging after collecting user onboarding metrics.
Customer experience ranks as one of the most crucial measurements to track. That’s because customer experience is the ultimate deciding factor for most users. According to PWC.com, users won’t tolerate a negative encounter with a product. In 2018, the company published a report saying, “One in three consumers (32%) say they will walk away from a brand they love after just one bad experience.”
So it’s important to provide users plenty of ways to get help—and especially in ways that appeal to different types of users. Some consumers prefer a DIY approach and are satisfied using FAQs, wikis, and an automated resolution bot. Some customers need a lot more hand-holding, like live chats and customer service calls.
There’s no splitting hairs about this point. Customers simply won’t stick around if they get stuck and can’t figure out how to fix the problem quickly. Like speed-of-light fast. When customers’ complaints are resolved in under five minutes, they’re more likely to stick around, according to Harvard Business Review. And once that happens, they’ll pay even more than they had originally planned.
So tracking response time is important because once a user hits a roadblock and is delayed for five minutes, the risk of losing that customer skyrockets by the second.
Finishing the onboarding journey isn’t a guarantee that users will adopt the product. In fact, most apps only retain about 20% of new customers, according to Andrew Chen, user growth expert and VC. “The average app, says Chen, “mostly loses its entire user base within a few months.”
These numbers aren’t very promising, but it gives company’s something specific to aim for. But no matter the actual product adoption rate, product managers should always work toward minimizing stickiness in the onboarding funnel. Companies can do this using their user onboarding metrics to identify actionable insights that improve the customer experience.