March 9, 2022

Product management: How to increase product engagement

Every day we work with top Product Managers at Rightmove, JobAdder, GoDaddy, and Infor, who use our APIs to add scheduling to their platforms. They want to improve their products and hit their goals. We've gathered the best ways to measure and increase user engagement in your SaaS product.
11 min read
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Amy Gallagher
Content Marketer
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The world of SaaS products is fiercely competitive. At the end of 2021, the entire industry was valued at $145 billion, with more products being released all the time to address any business need. Whether it’s a CRM for a Sales team, an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) for a HR or Recruitment team, or a financial automation platform for a Finance team, these products embed themselves into the running of a business and make the lives of the people working within a department easier.

The role of the Product Manager is complex and crucial to the success of a product. In such a competitive environment, you need to be data-driven, knowledgeable, and intuitive to stay ahead. According to a 280 group survey, one out of five products fail to meet the customer needs, which puts the pressure on any SaaS business to have a well-performing Product Manager who can pinpoint these gaps and make improvements.

Product engagement is generally at the top of a Product Managers list of KPIs. This can help to answer critical questions – is your product delivering what your users want? Where are they getting stuck? Which features provide the most value? Engagement needs to be consistently tracked in order to effectively gauge the performance of a product and make improvements.

How is product engagement measured?

Different Product Managers have different ways of measuring product engagement, but one of the most popular methods is through calculating Product Engagement Score (PES). This is calculated using three different factors: adoption, stickiness, and growth. Adoption refers to how much of the product is used, stickiness relates to how often users are in a product, and growth is the sum of new and recovered accounts or visitors divided by dropped accounts or visitors. Once you know these totals, you can calculate your PES by adding them together and dividing by three. The higher the score for all of these factors, the more valuable the product is to the user, and has become something they can’t do their jobs efficiently or effectively without. Product Managers who do this successfully achieve 63% lower customer churn rate, as well as 50% higher productivity.

How do I increase product engagement?

So you know your tool is being used by your business customers, but could you increase the amount of time they spend on your platform? Do you have all the features your user needs to keep them engaged and make their lives easier? We’ll take you through the experts top tactics to increase product engagement, from flow to features.

  • Give them no reason to leave
  • Automated scheduling
  • Ease of use
  • Integrations with other market-leading tools
  • Let your users guide your roadmap

Give them no reason to leave

As a Product Manager, you'll look to ensure your product meets all of a business user’s needs and keeps them within the platform for a smooth, seamless experience that improves their working days. If there are any features missing, this can create a frustrating user experience as they will have to leave the product and find what they need elsewhere, and ultimately could be the catalyst for a business finding another solution. In terms of profit, the importance of customer retention cannot be understated; according to research from Bain & Company, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by 25% to 95%.

A way to avoid churn and keep your customers in your product for longer or improve “stickiness” is to anticipate their needs, and create features to satisfy those needs. It’s important to think about your target audience and their roles – what features would make their lives easier? What are their daily frustrations, how can you solve their problems? Giving your user no reason to leave your platform and meeting all of their needs also increases loyalty, making it more likely to be used by more members of the company and be ingrained into the business operations.

Automated scheduling

Many SaaS products such as a CRM or ATS concern the relationship between a business and an external client or candidate. An important contributing factor towards strengthening these relationships is having an effective flow of communication. Scheduling – whether it’s meetings, calls, or interviews – is an intrinsic part of their journey, which makes it bizarre that users generally have to leave a platform and schedule through a frustrating back-and-forth exchange of emails. Being able to schedule within a product improves everyone’s experience – it saves time for the user of the product and makes a positive impression on the external party. For example, a Manager using automated scheduling to arrange a meeting speeds up scheduling time by 95%, saving them hundreds of hours per year.

However it’s important to keep in mind that while automated scheduling is a highly valuable product feature, it’s very complex and time-consuming to build. For an already stretched product development team, building scheduling automation in-house is out of the question. In this case, APIs are a viable option to broaden the scope of your product.

Ease of use

Ease of use is a central pillar of product usability. Usability comprises all user experience (UX) elements relating to the ease with which users can learn, discover content and do more with a design/product. As a Product Manager, you’ll want your user to enjoy using your product and be able to perform the tasks they need to with ease, even if they’re using it for the first time. Consistently testing using common usability metrics like Time to Complete task, Completion Rate, Error Free Rate, and Expectation Rate will ensure your product is easy to use.

UX writing and design helps your user navigate and flow through your product, making it critical for product engagement and retention. A key example of engagement through UX writing comes from Senior UX writer at Google, Maggie Stanphil; at a recent event she mentioned that they had changed “Book a room” to “Check availability” for hotel booking on Google, and the engagement rate increased by 17%. UX writing is all about speaking in a human, clear way and avoiding any jargon that could alienate your users. Effective microcopy, descriptions, CTA buttons etc all make the product easier to understand and lead users to an action.

Integrations with other market-leading tools

In today’s digital world, a business will use many different products for each function. According to a BetterCloud report, organizations worldwide use an average of 80 SaaS applications. Integrations with third-party products embed your product more naturally in a department’s workflow, making it more necessary to their process and reducing churn rate. They help your product to constantly show its value in many different ways.

Your product aims to improve a specific business process, but ultimately it's part of a bigger picture. When you integrate with other apps, you show how your product fits into the big picture of accomplishing tasks and solving problems. This increased productivity contributes to a stickier user experience that discourages customer churn. For example, Zapier found that Typeform users who integrated with Zapier to push Typeform data to their other services showed about 40% less churn than users who used Typeform on its own.

Let users guide your roadmap

User feedback is the most valuable source of information toward improving and adding new features to your product. What better way to guide your product roadmap than by the businesses who use it everyday? Making these improvements keep your users happy and loyal to your product, as they feel they have a direct impact on your product management, having their opinions heard and actioned. Being transparent and keeping users in the loop about the changes being made makes the user feel valued. In one survey on the ROI of transparency, 94% of respondents said they are likely to be loyal to a brand that is transparent, and 73% said they’d be willing to pay more to do business with a more transparent company. If you build the features that your users ask for and hold value to them, this will naturally keep them engaged with your product.

Having a way for users to make suggestions or pinpoint issues within the product will likely inspire the most feedback. For example, Google’s “People also search for” feature comes with the option to provide feedback on the results and improve their search engine.

Product engagement is a continuous process

Improving product engagement is a case of asking yourself, what features will improve our users’ day and make their role easier? The best thing about the process is that there are so many ways to improve and increase product engagement. Whether it’s integrations, new features, or ease of use, every change you make can improve the user experience and boost engagement with your product.

Are you looking to improve product engagement with automated scheduling? Take a look at our Scheduling APIs – they integrate seamlessly with your existing product, so your customers don’t need to go anywhere else. They can even be white-labeled and updated with your branding!