What does user engagement mean for your product?
I mean, there are products that require some daily activity from a customer. On the other hand, there are products that you only login into once a week, but that’s enough your customers’ needs.
So let me ask again. What does user engagement mean for your product?
For better or for worse, this part is completely on you and only you as a product owner can figure it out. It’s always a good idea to start with your ideal customer profile, find out their goals and pain points. That will give you some food for thought.
But don’t you worry, this article isn’t going to be one of those “you just go figure it out yourself” pieces. There are some universal practices that will help you drive your user engagement, and I will talk about them in detail here.
But first, let’s clarify how exactly you can track your user engagement
In 2018, there are tools for everything, and I’m pretty sure you’re using, like, 20 of different tools right now. So naturally, there are tools for tracking your customers’ interaction with your website or product as well.
They are smart customer communication platforms. You may have heard of Intercom, right? So that’s like that most known example of such tools. And the most expensive, probably. But there are lots of more accessible Intercom alternatives like HelpCrunch (yours truly) or Drift.
These tools collects your user personal and behavioral data – like recent activity, pages they visit, time spent on a page, etc. You can then access this data and get a clear understanding of users’ behavior in your product. That’s the very basis of every customer engagement strategy.
Now, to the specifics…
1. Make it easy for your users to contact you
One of the most important aspects of user engagement is communication.
Basically, if you can’t ask your customers about how they feel about your product and what else they would need to be more engaged, then it’s a waste of time. Just remember there’s a huge difference between being an easy going people’s company and being pushy. You definitely don’t want to come across as being too pushy.
And it works in both direction, too. If a customer face some kind of an issue and don’t have an easy way to ask for your help, then they’ll just leave. I mean, what else could they do?
So, give your users an easy way to get in touch with you whenever they want to. Leaving your email on the ‘Contact us’ page is the least you can do. Also, get your social media accounts in order and don’t forget to check your inboxes there as well.
There are also other channels, which you can’t ignore in 2018. According to ICMI, 42% of customers prefer to communicate with companies via live chat compared to 23% preferring email and 16% preferring social media.
So, getting live chat for your website can also be a great idea that, not for nothing, can boost your customer satisfaction dramatically.
2. Make your communication with customers real-time
There’s a reason why customers prefer getting in touch with companies via live chat. And this reason’s called ‘immediacy’. Customers love live chats because it allows real-time communication.
Imagine that a customer’s almost ready to take a decision and subscribe to your product, so they’re on your pricing page. This means, you must be there in case they have any questions about your subscription plans. Live chat can help you do just that.
Not only can they get in touch with you right away while staying on the pricing page, but you should encourage them to do that. You should try and engage them by sending a proactive chat message. Something like this:
3. Welcome and onboard new customers
When a customer signs up for your product, it’s like they’ve just arrived at the Land of Oz – everything is unknown, strange and, to be completely honest, pretty scary. Your task here is to bring them to the Emerald City – to the place where they can reach their goals and objectives by using your product.
A proper onboarding campaign should be the first step on this journey. Start with a very basic action your new users should take in order to really start using your product.
Let’s talk about examples. In HelpCrunch, if you don’t install a live chat widget into your website, you can’t really proceed further. That’s, like, step 0 before you can do anything else with our tool.
So, we’ve set up an automated chat message offering help with completing live chat installation. It is triggered by a couple of simple rules:
- Current page – our installation wizard
- Time spent on page – more than 10 minutes
This way whenever someone’s failed to finish setting up a live chat widget at their website, we’re there to motivate them further.
So basically, your onboarding campaign should do just that – to motivate customers to use your product to its fullest. Here’s what you need to do it:
- Decide which actions are the most important in the process of your product adoption
- Figure out which triggers you can use for motivating your customers to take these action
- Set up an onboarding email campaign backed by educational content, video guides, etc.
4. Unfold your product gradually
Remember that you can’t overload your onboarding campaign with too complicated features. Just show people around.
And when you’re done with basic stuff and successfully onboarded a new sign-up, it’s time to show your product’s full potential.
At this point, customers have been using your product for some time. Did they try ALL of its features? Of course not. So when the time passes, you can nudge them a little bit.
More specifically, you need to figure out which of your product’s important features are often undervalued and skipped. When done, you can create a message scheduled to promote them meanwhile they’re needed the most. BTW, when I say message, I don’t only mean emails as you also can use push notifications and auto messages.
Just remember that you can’t just annoy your customers with every little feature you consider important. It’s important to prioritize, too.
5. Use in-app notifications for announcing new features
So, you’ve told your customers about basic features of your product while onboarding them. Then you’ve educated them on the more advanced but still vital features. But what should you do when you’re adding a bunch of new stuff to the product? How should you announce the company’s news and updates?
The options are endless. Most companies publish a blog post, then email users about it. It can work just fine, but there’s also another option product owners often forget about.
You can announce new features via in-app notifications.
It makes a whole lot of sense, just think. Who would care about your product’s new features more than people who are already using it? So you just need to create a short and sweet message where you’ll notify customers about an update.
(And if you throw in a video or two in there, that will be even better.)
Summing things up, every user engagement tip includes two basic components:
- You should be able to understand how people behave within your product.
- You should be able to communicate with your customers freely.
Most importantly, you should know what your customers want to achieve with your product and help them do just that.