Four engagement features every product manager needs to implement
Product engagement is a measure of the levels of interaction between your users and your product. Understanding how users engage with your product is key to understanding how you can affect their behavior in an effort to maximize the usage and retention rate of your product. This is ultimately every product manager's task at hand.
Product engagement and usage are directly tied together, which in turn leads to retention and revenue impact. As company budgets narrow and customer expectations for a routinely seamless product experience rise, companies are facing pressure to remain competitive in today’s marketplace.
For SaaS products and software companies in general, it’s critical to demonstrate the value of products consistently because every unengaged user, regardless of how long he or she has been using your product, is at risk of churning. To reduce churn, it’s vital to examine and optimize.
With a combination of the right features and constant monitoring and analytics, you can create a sticky product. Engagement really means users taking meaningful actions in your product, again and again. Here are four features that feed this action cycle.
1. In-App Chat
Chances are your end-users are already on Slack or Microsoft Teams so they can collaborate across their team. This is a significant amount of time spent on these apps that is an opportunity cost to you. With in-app chat you can reach your end-users immediately and allow them to do the same directly amongst themselves.
This is a great way for your platform to inherit your users external behavior into your application. If you are a bagel shop and you notice your customers going to get coffee across the street, you might think about selling coffee to your customers as well.
2. Threaded Conversations and Comments
Threaded conversations promote comment system user retention by design. This form of communication makes it likely that someone who has posted a comment will receive a response. Furthermore, this simple feature promotes repeat participation, making it more likely that a user will comment a second time.
This influence is more powerfully shaped by options and possibility. When your system in place makes responding easier, this changes your users attention to social norms of mutualism and courtesy. More subtly, you are hinting to your end-users that your system is meant to be used to respond to others.
Tasks is a simple yet powerful engagement feature that is either overdone or overlooked. It’s one that many have created entire platforms for, yet it's an effective feature to add to any platform, and if it is enabled correctly, can serve as a perpetual reminder for your end-users to return to your platform and get the job done.
The key here is to make the feature collaborative. If you give people the option of assigning others tasks, they just might take it.
4. Document Collaboration
Allowing your end-users to have their content live in your app makes for an engaged and satisfied customer. Statistics show that 39% of business data that is uploaded to the cloud is used for file sharing, and 60% of files uploaded to a file sharing service are instead used as a backup copy. There is an entire cloud vertical, the four main providers being Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive. This is another great opportunity to inherit your users external behavior into your application.
Sometimes your users need an extra push to use your product, giving them features that enable and encourage interaction is a powerful step to take.
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