In today’s digitally-powered economy, good customer retention software can boost retention rates, cut costs, and more.
Good retention software can even help companies gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace – if it is used properly.
To use retention applications effectively, however, it is first necessary to understand the key factors that fuel user retention.
6 Factors that Contribute to User Retention
User retention refers to how long users stay with a brand, product, or service. This rate is often measured against other user metrics, such as user abandonment or churn.
All of those user metrics are influenced by a number of interrelated factors, such as:
- The user experience. The user experience refers to the interactions users have with a product, service, and brand. That sum total of interactions spans the entire user journey, from the moment they first hear about a company, then throughout the pathway to purchase and the entire customer journey.
- User engagement. Engagement refers to how actively and enthusiastically customers use a product. This user metric plays an important role in retention, since the more engaged a user is, the more likely they are to keep using a product or service. Engagement contributes to retention, but there are a number of other factors that contribute to engagement.
- The adoption process. Product adoption refers to the process of implementing, integrating, and making full use of a product or service. In part, full adoption depends on design factors, such as usability, but it also depends on key stages in the adoption process, such as onboarding and training.
- Usability. Usability is a product’s ease of use. Usable products are easy to learn, remember, and navigate. As a result, users make fewer errors and ultimately find such products more satisfying, which, in turn, boosts engagement and retention.
- Utility. While usability focuses on product design and ease of use, utility refers to the product’s functionality. The products that have greater utility are those with features that are relevant to users’ needs. As one might expect, utility improves engagement and contributes to user retention.
At first glance, many of these elements may seem irrelevant to retention software. Usability, for instance, is a core aspect of a product’s design and software cannot change a product’s fundamental design.
However, as we’ll see below, good retention software can actually affect all of the areas covered above.
How to Choose the Right Retention Software
Retention software, such as digital adoption platforms (DAPs), often aim to improve the user experience by:
- Improving customer service. The impact of good customer service should not be underestimated. According to research by Zendesk, for instance, 24% of customers continue to seek out the same vendors for two or more years after a positive experience. On the other hand, 39% continue to avoid vendors for two or more years after bad experiences. One way retention software solve this is through automation, or self-service solutions.
- Enhancing onboarding. Onboarding, as mentioned, is an important stage in the adoption process. User onboarding, the process of “welcoming” new users on board to a software platform, focuses on providing product tours, answering questions, and providing initial customer service. Platforms such as DAPs automate and personalize much of this process, streamlining the process and adding an extra layer of convenience.
- Shortening learning curves. Many modern software programs, such as enterprise-grade SaaS platforms, take time to learn. To shorten learning curves and improve the user experience, therefore, it is important to provide extra training to users. Effective training with the right retention software can boost user proficiency and productivity, while poor training can have the opposite effect, decreasing productivity and increasing frustration.
- Analyzing user sentiment and data. Users’ feelings about a product can be analyzed through some retention software, as well as user surveys, software usage data, users’ interactions with marketing efforts, and so forth. That information, in turn, can offer important insights into the user experience and the adoption strategy.
- Offering self-support options. Self-support services, as mentioned above, can significantly improve customer care – rather than waiting to speak with customer service representatives, users can quickly consult chatbots or knowledge bases. With the right retention software, though, the same self-support can also apply to software training and technical support, further improving the user experience.
These are just a few of the ways that retention software can improve the user experience, user engagement, and, ultimately, users’ lifetime value.
Retention software, such as DAPs, can deliver significant ROI to the business.
However, to use those software programs effectively, it is important to first understand the key factors that contribute to user retention.
When users are engaged and fully supported, for instance, they will have a much better experience – and, as a result, it will be easier to maintain and manage customer relationships.
In today’s digital era, it is becoming more and more important to craft excellent user experiences, and retention software is one way to do just that.