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How churn can be masked during rapid growth and how to identify it

Aazar Shad | Head of Growth at Userpilot

  • | Activation | Customer Success | Engagement | Metrics | Onboarding | Retention | Sales
  • February 2020
  • EP48

The "hidden" churn risk

How churn can be a silent killer during hypergrowth

Today on Churn.fm, we have Aazar Shad, Head of Growth at Userpilot!

In today’s episode, we discussed how Aazar realized Userpilot had a churn issue as they were rapidly growing, the signals he uses to identify churn risk, and how he went about building the customer success team from nothing.

We also dived deep into the power of visualizing progress in the onboarding phase and how transparency can be a tool to keep your customers engaged.

As usual, I’m excited to hear what you think of this episode, and if you have any feedback, I would love to hear from you. You can email me directly on Andrew@churn.fm. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Mentioned Resources

Highlights

Time

What makes User Pilot unique? 00:03:32
What companies usually miss when thinking about onboarding 00:02:56
When did Aazar realize the churn risk of growing too fast 00:10:18
How Aazar started out in building the customer success team 00:17:41
Example of “churn signals” in User Pilot 00:10:40
How to push users to the next step by visualizing their onboarding progress 00:15:03
Guiding users to “aha” moments with interactive walkthrough 00:20:51
The content of User Pilot’s product adoption course 00: 29:40
How Aazar keeps customer engage after the onboarding 00:29:01
What would Aazar do to turn the churn situation around in a company with churn problems 00:36:20

 

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Aazar Shad

Head of Growth at Userpilot

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About the podcast

My name is Andrew Michael and I started CHURN.FM, as I was tired of hearing stories about some magical silver bullet that solved churn for company X.

In the real world tackling churn and increasing retention is one of the hardest problems a subscription business faces.

In this podcast, you will hear from founders and subscription economy pros who are taking a systematic approach to increase retention and engagement within their organizations.

Transcription

Andrew Michael
Hey, welcome to the show.

Aazar Shad
Thank you for having me, Andrew.

Andrew Michael
It’s a pleasure. For the listeners today as as the head of growth of Userpilot and Userpilot helps product and customer success teams increase user adoption through a behavior driven product experience layer, which is code free, prior to us a pilot as I was a founder of E-comply and leave her. So my first question for you as is what makes user pilot unique and what is its big advantage for your customers?

Aazar Shad
So Userpilot is a platform that helps all the product managers and Customer Success managers to do the onboarding at scale. And the reason why we are so unique and different is because we actually focus on context. So imagine if you are using, let’s say, a Gmail. And when you send a company, compose an email, and you send an email, right after the email if Gmail greets you to do and tell you to do something next. So based on the events, what they do inside the application, based on the actions where they do inside the application, we will tell the user to do what to do next. And that something is powerful, because if you know what the user does, and you in the context, you tell them this is the next thing they should be doing is super helpful. And that’s makes us unique. So we are a huge fan of contextual onboarding, where you exactly know who the user is what they are doing and then drive them to do certain thing next, you can think about it somebody if somebody is a power user or a The best thing to drive them toward is to make a reference. So based on the context inside the web app or application, you can drive them to certain action if that that makes sense. And that’s one thing. The second thing is like, what we are doing is we’re making creating the flows the the thing that product managers used to make themselves by giving this opportunity to not code and do it directly in a very easy and simple way simpler than what our competitors are currently doing. And that’s something we really, that’s, that’s something that our customers really like and that it’s very easy to do, and easy to implement it without them and having so much of headache. They’re already playbooks templates there, they can just use it and directly go on the fly and start working and creating their their onboarding clothes, if that makes sense.

Andrew Michael
So essentially, what you’re saying is that your contextual event based onboarding and production experience layer that starts with a product and you allow this and make it easy for whether it be the marketers working on the onboarding, customer success or even product To be able to go in and create their own onboarding experience, and then this experience sits as a layer on top of their product, or service and correct.

Unknown Speaker
Exactly. Exactly. That’s perfectly summarizes

Andrew Michael
cool. And so I think this is definitely like in terms of event based onboarding experience. It’s a critical thing that I think a lot of companies make the mistake with in the beginning is when the thing about Okay, so what do we want to teach our users knowledge and onboarding? And and they’ll go and set up a sequence of events that sort of just Cookie Cat one after the other and show maybe irrelevant messages to users even in the context. So what is your role then? As like its head of growth, but we chat a little bit about and I think your unique position because you’re heading up sales as well as success. So like, what is your function within the company?

Aazar Shad
Yeah. So basically, as a head of growth, usually head of growth is a good position after having a product market fit. I started the company very early and I was one of the first Member of the founding team. So I just picked pick a role that was head of growth. But basically I do everything. I lead teams actually marketing, sales and success. And eventually I find specialists who can later on, take care of this. And that’s my role, my role is to jump into either of the role and fix it and then come back and then make it in a way that everybody can understand and then keep running the playbook. So I would say I was ill, you will have to give me one role. I would say, I am basically taking care of the serious part. And success comes later on because there’s something I just started. Yeah,

Andrew Michael
pretty cool. And so I think like it sounds as well like you’re relatively early stage in the journey when it comes to churn and retention and user pilot specifically, what have you been focusing on have Is it something you’ve even started to look at yet? Or is it really probably like growth is the main focus at this point?

Aazar Shad
Yeah, so I’m actually have to believe that you should have growth as as you want. Rather than super hyper growth, at least initially, because the early growth, whatever it gives you, it gives you a lot of learning and you find out who’s your actual customer who’s your idol profile, who’s actually buying from you. And so my opinion is that we grow very explosively. So we grew like 40% month or month and 2019. And now we’re trying to keep going at least 20% every month. So growth is something that I deeply care about. But it’s okay to be reduced some level of growth to actually optimize the your own journey, optimize them and the different parts of funnel. So for example, so last year, around September, we actually like double down the growth number and then the effect that we saw from there was we unloaded so many people who started paying us but we did not take care of the customer success we did not see that many of these users are actually getting value out of is a pilot and that eventually hit us in the in the month of in 2020. Just like We saw that people who were not able to completely find the value or started turning. And that’s where my, my role came in, I found out that we are pulling a lot of people into funnel and making them subscriber, but we’re not making them successful. So now my role is to actually take care of the success team as well. And so what we found out that in our in user pilot that everybody’s pretty much motivated to use this tool and then get up and running. But not everybody has the knowledge to do it. So not everybody has an education, how to use this tool, and what to exactly measure inside the application. And that’s, that’s where middle compact try to go in there and try to fix the customer education part. So the first way I tried to fix the customer education part was to start having a product adoption school. So we now have a we have a product adoption school where our users directly when they come into the welcome email when they sign up. We give them an opportunity to learn about product adoptions cool and it’s free. They can just learn everything. get five emails. But that’s one way we started doing it. Second thing we started doing to improve the customer education and reviews turn was going ahead and doing free webinars for every you every user and try to reach out to them personally, regardless of where they are in the journey to actually educate them about a free webinar that can tell tell them how to use a platform. And that’s a live webinar. It answers a lot of questions in the webinar as well, that that’s something we started doing it. And the third thing that we use user pilot for user pilot, we went ahead and try to figure out who among those users and who are paid page users are actually not using user pilot enough and this is something we we connected to our customer success, which is feature adoption. And this is something that is a pilot also helps but but some of the users do not log back into that. So what do you do? So what we did was we made it metrics where we found out how many users have actually for example in our application install ation of Java is important. So we found on how many have JavaScript installed, then you try to figure out if they have JavaScript installed, how many of them I have x number of flows or experiences. If they have less than them, then we try to actively reach out. Then we figure out, let’s say, in the metrics, like for example, if they are using checklist feature of user pilot checklist feature is a pilot is like the best feature out of all, because it gets the user activated, and it also increase their the user to become a paid user as well. So we saw how many users are not using checklist so we can educate them on them. So we actually did the reverse engineering of whatever the users are not doing. And that these are the key feature, they should be adopting a time. And what we did was we actively reach out to them and say, Hey, I have a free UX training for you that costs around X amount and be happy to give you for free. There are a couple of suggestions. If you like we can sit down with you and do it and do actually close it and tell you how you can and improve that. So these are the couple of things that I found out and in customer education, because customer would just want to solve their one problem. And they forget about the same tool can help you with three or four other problems as well, which eventually increase whatever the metrics they are trying to optimize for. And that’s where we came in. And we said, Hey, and now what we also do, just to understand in, in the whole flow, my customer success team, and I also as soon as somebody becomes paid customer, we asked them, How does the success look like for them. And that’s very important. You know, you need to know what the user actually want to achieve with they want to increase the time to pay them to reduce support decades, if they want to scale their onboarding, if they want to educate the user contextually whatever the goal is that we try to optimize and tell the customer success team Hey, with our time you need to make sure that these guys are successful us pilot, we try to make sure and with that, you also get more case studies, more reviews with that. So in short, like I told you three initiatives that are actually helping us to reduce churn. We already have a less churn. It’s It’s It’s less than 2%. But we are even trying to reduce it because I think visa pilot is such a sticky tool. Nobody can just stop today and not do it. And it’s part of your actual business application.

Andrew Michael
Yeah. So you mentioned the three things that you’ve done to work on improving churn. I think the one thing I wanted to dive into a little bit deeper on was the concept you mentioned that you are growing month, a month 40%. And then all of a sudden you realize sort of that hyper growth had an impact on churn and you realize that you weren’t doing a good enough job to onboard and educate your users efficiently. Join a walk me through that a little bit further, sort of At what point did you realize Chen was a problem? How did you realize it? I think sort of this It feels like it’s maybe the first time the company realized it was an inflection point. So talk us through like what the discussions were like internally.

Aazar Shad
Yeah. So that’s, that’s very interesting. Actually, I actually realized the fact when we started having backpack road at one point, nobody’s taking so we did not have Customer Success like three months ago. So and then as soon as I saw the hypergolic said, many of the users are using the platform, but not using it enough. And the easiest way to for us to check that is just look at paid users and see their last seen in user pilot. So when we see the last scene, they have never come back. I had this feeling already that we might see turn. And in order to do in order to fix that, we were just like, we still wanted to increase MRR and not bothered about turn and I just delayed the problem as long as we could, but then should hit the fan and then you figure figure out that it’s something that we have to take care of now. And then we started doing these webinars and and then we started doing content.

Andrew Michael
Yeah. And so your product in terms of pricing, is it monthly, yearly? Do you have both?

Aazar Shad
Yeah, we have both actually. We realized that the fact that the good customer to you not everybody’s your ideal customer. That’s one thing. And we found out that a lot of customers were not using it for using the pilot for the right reasons. And so we now focus on customers who are low paying to move them to an annual plan, just because it gives ample time to, to the user to explore it and not give up. And this is something that a lot of users do, like they gave up into halfway without thinking, hey, this didn’t work because the tool is not good enough, or I don’t know about whatever the reason is, and what we saw that the one simple thing that we saw in the pattern that a lot of users who were churning, were actually low paying users who were initial users who did not value the platform as it as it should be. And that’s what we started. Also integrating the value of the platform while doing the demos while doing the onboarding calls while doing the work. Going to keep delivering the value. Although user pilot is pretty easy and self explanatory, but the value comes in when you actually know what you do and how those numbers actually affect your onboarding or revenue numbers. And so we started delivering that as well. But yeah, I only knew this time it’s going to happen. We are having a lot of users without doing some some some time. We didn’t talk to them the other sensor, but slowly, it felt like it’s the right time. I think we still have it under control, the term is under control. The only thing is we have to figure it out. How can we make sure that every user is in our paid subscription utilizing the user pilot DVDs? And so this is right now we’re currently optimizing for?

Andrew Michael
Yeah. And then you offer a free trial. You mentioned digital, what is the period of the free trial?

Aazar Shad
So our period of free trial is 14 days. Okay? And usually, so if you look at our website, it’s a book a demo buttons, get a demo button there. And so whoever goes through the The basic get a demo button, they get a demo. And then we have a 14 day free trial where you intensively work with those users, and then try to make sure that they convert. But now, we since last eight months, we also have free trial button, which is kind of hidden. And we just wanted to still control our pipeline. So we gave two options, whoever figures out on the header, they can get a free trial as well. And in that free trial, we figured out that the future customers are turning more, just because they did not understand the value more. So we going to put completely free trial and remove the CATA demo button. But because we are product lead and we want to be productive, but right now it’s it’s good time to optimize it.

Andrew Michael
Okay, so it feels as well I keep adding a little bit of friction to the signup purposely to make sure that you can get that good use education in before they start using the product or service. Yes, the thing is, well then is like 14 days, I think it sounds like it might not even be enough time. For a solution like yours, in the sense that, like you’re providing this whole user onboarding experience for them. So 14 days almost feels like an unrealistic amount of time for somebody to come in, start using your product, and then be happy to ensure that it’s right for them before having to purchase. Is this something you’ve considered considering? Like? What are you doing about this?

Aazar Shad
Yeah, so whoever comes to the free trial and doesn’t talk to the salesperson, we give them a 14 day free trial. And whoever goes to the salesperson actually gets an extended free trial. So we initially tell them 14 days, but we always tell them in the demo call that they will get an extension if they want. And this is just since like a bootstrap company. We are optimizing for revenue right now. It makes sense for us to have a 20 days of trial, but not not promised for like if we give them 28 days instead of for 30 days, instead of 14 days. The user will be lazy to actually not do it in 30 days. But if the user says hey, I need an extension, we’re happy to give them extension because we know that they have actually So short answer is that it should be 30 days, or it should be even I don’t know, freemium. But what makes sense for us right now is as a company that is self funded, to extend them if they want and always be be helpful to make it make them even for 30 days if they want, and then ask them if they’re happy and ready to become a paid subscriber. That makes sense.

Andrew Michael
Yeah, I think definitely like you say you’re optimizing for revenue as a startup. It helps I think going for freemium too early as well as, but more challenging in that sense, if you’re really optimizing for early stage revenue, and a product like yours, I think definitely what you mentioned, though, in terms of sort of like a value based pricing when it comes to on usage, it could be a good way and good model for for free in the sense that allowing users to be able to create their onboarding experience and then when they actually start getting traction and can afford to pay for your product and That’s when you start charging. And it definitely aligns as well quite nicely with the natural usage and also the expansion because I think looking at your pricing strategy at the moment, it feels like potentially, at some point, you might need to look into other routes for expansion as well. So it’s currently it’s one year and per month billed annually. Yeah, does that change depending on the number of users you have or

Aazar Shad
a change is based on number of monthly active users, we do see that there is. So initially, all the users who come in, they start with the testing server, and then move that they try to expand it. We see that like, I think, five or 4% of the users are actually upgrading later on, because they’re still testing. And then when they go live, then they’re showing it to everybody and then then the customer success comes in and then says the drivers and offer them something much discounted to make them feel much much much important as well, because they were with us and offered them something of value. by upgrading

Andrew Michael
Pusha Alright, so and then talking about customer success. Now you mentioned that, during this phase of growth, realize I can only invest in customer success. What was your strategy going into this, like you mentioned your sort of role as well as to come in figure from credit playbook and then hire the team. What was the playbook that you came up for customer success and user pilot? And how did you go about figuring out what that should look like?

Aazar Shad
Yeah, very interesting question, actually. So we recently issued like, have a complete feature of NPS Net Promoter Score, um, and people can use it as a pilot. So we essentially are an in app experience tool. And so one of the things in app is NPS. And what I started doing was like I put our own NPS and our own tool and I then started collecting the NPS score. And what I started optimizing it for people who are promoters and people who are detractors or people who are not giving it goes to Good current people who are giving us good score. And based on the score, they say above eight out of 10, then I’m trying to reach out to them and try to make the case every out of them. And you ask for a review, tell them by the lovers, that was good part. But people who even more urgent and more, more important was people who are not happy. And just putting that NPS score gave us a bit of idea how people are using user pilot and why they are unhappy. So that’s one thing, we try to fix that by just getting your score and with that score did improve for the user who gave us a score. That’s one thing. So that was the lowest hanging fruit for us. And then once we figured out NPS score feedback, what we did was we again, went ahead and looked at users who are not so one thing it was a bit alarming for me initially, while I was using user pilot in user pilot to figure out that a lot of users so one of the key actions in our application is to install the JavaScript and I saw a lot of users initially Who are paid users but not had they have not installed application. And they’re just paying us every month. And this was a big alarming that like this is a danger zone customer was paying us but have not installed it. So one thing I did was I immediately reached out by offering them a free help say, Hey, I’m happy to help you with installation. If you need this any query from the developers, we’re happy to help you I have a developer development team that can help you out as well, just giving them extend offer, because those users should be doing it or maybe you’re just trying to find out why they have installed it or when they will install it. So these are the initial, I would say the flex reaction to those specific problems. And then if that was fixed, then as I said, I went ahead and made the made the entire chart in user pilot by looking at what events they have done inside the application and what events they have not done. And based on that I just started dividing them and then once I had the list, I knew that Who are the people who were not active data. Even in user pilot success metrics, we have success. But if the flow, the user has clicked on the on the flow of the user has seen, clicked and then completed the flow. And looking at the metrics, if there is a good engagement and good completion gives us the idea that a lot of users inside our application are getting value out of it. And then some of the users immediately just click on the upgrade button by an annual and as soon as they find these metrics are working for them. But some of the users are not. So this is a key success metric for us and our users that we both agree on whether this is something there that’s providing them the value. And that’s what I started optimizing it for. I found out people who are who have low engagement and low completion to improve them into better completion rate and better engagement. And one more thing, since we use also checklist and a lot of users are using checklist. Some of the things are a little bit psychological in there as well. So for example, there’s an effect called zeigarnik effect where you make difference Task dummy. And tell them it’s all done. So user is more motivated to finish the checklist. And the simple the simple effect can increase the conversion of or maybe increase the user activation as well. And I found out that a lot of users were not using that psychological tricks. So I just made a small video and said, Hey, this is a suggestion for you. Perhaps if you put this this dummy psychological q&a application, you will have more more people converting. So that that was one one good response. And the second thing, which we found out was that a lot of users were using like checklists with like 10 task. Whereas I recommend users using checklists for, for example, a checklist feature with instead of doing 10 tasks divided into five and five, so user is much more likely to convert. So I saw that a lot of people were having more completion and more engagement just because they do added the checklist into two different checklists. So one after the other, so the users more likely to finish it. And then also improved. So just looking at their success metrics and which is aligned to our success metric actually improve the user retention from our end as well. It’s a lot of hard work is to go in each account and see, but I think this is the job of customer success guys to, you know, every day look at and make sure it’s working out.

Andrew Michael
Yeah, so you went through quite a lot. I want to just backtrack a little bit to a couple of things. First one, we’ll get started with this point now that you mentioned, because I don’t think we explained it clearly enough earlier as well in terms of checklists, what you mean by that. And so just correct me if I’m wrong, but what you’re saying essentially, is you providing sort of key tasks listed users have an application need to complete or do in their onboarding process and you provide a widget or an embedded allows the end users to see what they still need to do complete in order to complete the onboarding. Is that correct?

Aazar Shad
Yes, exactly. Sorry about that. So checklist is our is our is our key feature. It’s a widget that sits on top of your user interface and tells the user to finish these three to four, five task.

Andrew Michael
Yes, absolutely. And then what you mentioned as well was sort of like giving that psychological trigger or sort of motivation to show that you’ve completed step one or five, or whatever sort of, when you say dummy task, or what was it in your case, like, what was the number one of five or whatever the number was? Which count? I don’t know the exact number. But the first one you said should be a dummy one, one that’s already been completed by the user. What was that in your case?

Aazar Shad
Oh, in our case, his account created. So as soon as they come in, usually, this is for everybody. Whoever is is onboarding new users. They have the dummy task is account created.

Andrew Michael
And this specific sort of insider tip that you give to your users, well, is there any data behind it that you’ve seen, like from all your users? Yeah, yeah, yeah,

Aazar Shad
yeah. Yeah. And what does that exactly so basically one of my user has a very low completion checklist because he’s not attracting the right users right now. But the completion rate is around 3%, which is way below. But then when I recommended him to have at least two different checklists, or and also add this dummy task, the 3% went to 6%. And he almost doubled his completion rate. And that was something that was very interesting for us. So usually, a checklist completion rate for us is around 30%. But that customer was already struggling to come let the user complete 33% of the user. So the one advice helped him to activate more users just by having that one optimization. And that’s something that that’s the role of customer success. And to just go in there and see what the users our users are doing with our application, what flows are creating and what champions are creating. Just go in there and tell them hey, maybe you can optimize this specific thing. checklist was one checklist was one way to do it. But there are other users who are some times inside the application, they have a product tour. And product tour is something that we do not recommend because a product is more educational rather than more interactive. It’s it is man might be interactive, but it’s not making the user to can find the AHA. So you know, every every software has this superpower, and the superpower could be increasing the willingness to pay increase the reduce the time save costs of like that these these are the value metric software does you know, IT Optimize your productivity as well. And those are the features that that are a half features. And with productivity, you can do that with productivity, just educate them about a button with interactive walkthrough when we when we when we suggest them to use interactive walkthrough, it takes them to a how much quicker because they clicked on it. And this something is a very small, it just changes the entire way of making the user a heart consistently. That’s where the retention of the user and the end user retention also increases. And this is something we recommend to our own customers to use it. And if you look at their flaws, and if they’re making this mistake, we go in there. And we do suggest them to how to optimize this, if that makes sense.

Andrew Michael
Yeah, so it just on the productor aspects, like a lot of companies will guide you through step by step of, here’s how you create a tool. Here’s how you viewer report, for example, but what you’re saying is they’re not very actual contextual and switching more towards sort of this educational, contextual based onboarding process where you can actually guide the user to the aha moment, that moment where they experience the first point of value that your product delivers, and then relieve and celebrate that moment with him. So I think obviously, this is something that everybody talks about over and over again, is really trying to get your users at points of value. The reason that they signed up for you to begin with and what you’re saying with contextual sort of onboarding, you can actually God them to that point and then celebrate that point with him. Yes, yes, absolutely. So the question is well as previously I think the in terms of like you making suggestions and giving your customers tips so telling them to start off with an already completed so in your case and user pilot you have account created being the first tip is this sort of any data that you’ve seen now with with your customers with a large number of customers where customers that implement this data, this dummy sort of first checklist item versus those that don’t have that impacted competition overall or to nearly antidotal that you had with this first customer they went from three to 6%.

Aazar Shad
So do you do 6% customer was somebody I was closely looking at. So we are normal checklist competition was around 25%. Without that account created, what we did was we we did not have that accommodated and then we added account created and that improved the 35%. Just like, again, the same same sex Running effect helped us as well. I do not have a specific customer, right in my mind who has suggested and improved it. But I know my numbers I can tell you this actually helped us already.

Andrew Michael
Yeah. Now and I’m asking again, just because it is an interesting concept. It’s something different that comes up in gamification frameworks quite a bit. Yeah. And is that sort of level of completion and feeling of accomplishment and you wanting to sort of guide your users through the process of they feel like they’ve invested time and energy as well into your product or service? So it’s, they’re not starting from scratch? they’ve really done something something Yeah,

Aazar Shad
yeah. And this is not just used by us, like we have not introduced this. For eyes using this. LinkedIn is using it. Everybody’s using this, it just that we as b2b as companies. So our typical customer when they come in, they think that confirming an email is act as at an activation point. And that’s something which is not an activation point. So that’s what we try to optimize it to tell them hey, what is what is an activation and how we can improve activation but different UX and UI patterns.

Andrew Michael
Yeah. And then in the school that you have, like you mentioned activation point now as well, in the product adoption school, what are you guiding through users through? Like, what are you teaching them in this course.

Aazar Shad
So in this course, we have like five lessons. And each lesson is based on the practical examples that we have. But the first thing we actually tell our users to before even using something like user pilot, they should have something analytics already in place, for example, full story or hot jar to actually see where the users are stopping. So that’s lesson number one. Lesson number two, mostly focuses on Okay, all you have gotten understand that okay, right, exactly. The drop off is happening. Go in there and figure out what is your activation metric. And then the activation metric could be something where the users not only get get the AHA what the application does, but the user activation as well and figured out not only what app does, but also how it is helping me right now by just clicking on this button. So you try to optimize them for the activation moment. And once the activation moment is done, we try to teach them how they can think about secondary features. For example, again, if you give Gmail example, you say send a message, it was one feature, but attaching a document is secondary feature. Sending a snooze button is a secondary feature. So like, once you have done the basic onboarding, how you can consistently think about it in the in the user journey, what are the secondary feature they should be exposed to next 30 days. And that’s what we try to educate them and often school. We try to tell them to iterate it because onboarding is not a one time process, but rather keep it reading a B testing it, what’s working and what’s not working. if that helps.

Andrew Michael
Yes, it does. And then in terms of sort of product adoption, I think this is something that’s often a very lost opportunity. In the sense that we see like product announcements and product updates as one software as a binary, so we send out an email, we create an ad campaign. And then it’s totally forgotten about afterwards. And we’re relying on like our users seeing that one email seeing an ad campaign for a new product to feature an existing customers might not even be realizing the changes are happening within the product. So in terms of product adoption, and like you said, it’s a constantly evolving thing that you need to be working on. How are companies what are some smart things you see companies doing when it comes to products that option to one say they’ve got through the activation phase, and they’ve done their onboarding? Like, how are you consistently engaging with users ensuring they’re trying new things in the moving as in these interesting things? You didn’t use a pilot or anything interesting. You’ve seen your customers using the product for

Aazar Shad
Yeah, yeah, very interesting question. So production is something again, you will complete right that when they send an email and they send the ad Ensure that this is the future we have, but they don’t think about the existing customer. The way people use user pilot is three different use cases in terms of adoption. Actually, for the first one, I already explained that you need to consistently onboard them. So you pass a custom feature and wait for let’s say 10 days and say, Hey, now things that has not done this, show them this specific slide out and onboard them into that specific partner. So that’s one one use case which we focus a lot on user pilot to show them something is user is not doing and then tell the waitress or two days once they’re on board, that’s one use case. The other use cases minor release. And this is what we also really focused on so minor, these are something that you keep, keep changing, keep happening, but it’s not big enough to actually go in there and explain the user a lot about it and you don’t want to disrupt that even experience. So there is suggest to use LTE hotspot, the tool to tell them hey, this is a new feature. If you want to play with it, go ahead and play with it. This is the feature that we recently released. That’s one, then there is a map major release, which could be like, you know, when, for example, I remember when drift introduced at Refugio, they had a huge release on their own event, they but I also as a diffuser got a huge pop up on my face saying that he released the feature, would you like to try it and then an attractive feature. And that’s where we suggest to use like some kind of a model, get their attention, make the backdrop lighter. And so make the existing you that adopt certain features, or adopt new features new productive, and by showing these releases to the user and taking them to that specific button or page or wherever they want to be. And we have seen so many users when they figured out these specific new releases, engaging with those features, as well as finding more value out of the software you know, like the more you have The more they are showing the updates, the more that they think at least the end user think that the company is making progress. And that progress increases the retention. Because the user is now using more features and he’s hooked up. So I as me myself, I wasn’t refuser I was just using drif chat, then I started using just bought. And now I started in Refugio, it’s totally hard for me to get out of this, this ecosystem now. So I think this is what we should optimize for as customers as a retention specialist, I would say, to keep adding those releases and keep it in front of our customer. Figure it out. One other thing that other companies do really well is that whenever you have a new feature you put it on your login page so your new users actually see a new your existing users see the new release on your login page. I think that’s smart will do it does it does it which users can already start utilizing it by just get it’s like you know, whenever you come back to the same door, and it’s Hey, we have something new. And I think a lot of you companies as companies do not think in that sense, where we should start optimizing not just thinking in terms of ads or emails, other thinking about when they come inside the door, which is your own application, how you can greet them in a way that they can understand this.

Andrew Michael
Yeah. And I think another very big missed opportunity is always the homepage of most startups, because it’s often like a very, very big place and very big traffic sources, existing users coming to login to the app. So having that as an entry point. And like you said, just like the same way using the login page is actually using the homepage to push sent in front new features or new products user serving a different experience for users that are logged into the Robin the homepage versus just casual visitors to the site. In a good way.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Andrew Michael
A question or to ask as well then ask everybody on the show is let’s imagine you’re joining your company. And Turner, attention is not doing great. You’ve been given three months to turn things around and you’ve been asked to try and like lead initiatives at the company. What would you be doing in those first 90 days to try and get some results for the company?

Aazar Shad
Okay, so first of all, if there is an analytics setup, I will start just diving deep into analytics and seeing what users successful users are doing and what unsuccessful users are doing. That would be my first first go to point, I will see all the user recording if there’s full story or kind of an application there is already installed, especially when the new users are coming and especially when the old users are coming in. So I will spend a lot of time before even going to the user and just looking at the analytics and see where they draw and where their users are not converting into the next step. So that’s the first part. The second part i would i would do is like once I figured out who are unsuccessful users and successfully then try to interview with them board and try to incentivize those interviews as well because a lot of users when they say hey, can you talk to us We’re spending time with them. So maybe I can incentivize passing a $25, Amazon voucher to just talk to us and tell us, I will also look at current users as well. Right. So people who left and why did they leave? And what was a specific reason and try to find a pattern there. And once I figured out that, the reason for that users, unsuccessful users and return users, I will try to optimize for those points where I found out that things are not going good. And I’m pretty sure when you do this three different kinds of users who you look at 100% sure that you will find pattern to optimize churn and reduce it as much as possible.

Andrew Michael
Cool. And then one last question on today’s shoes. Like, what’s one thing one unique approach to tackling Turner attention that you think you’ve learned over the years and you think other companies you should be trying more of?

Unknown Speaker
Very interesting question.

Aazar Shad
Yeah, so I didn’t it’s one it’s just one strategy that thing that always work is that you need to follow a customer and be close to the customer from trial to pay to power user. And I myself I am very close to the customer myself by talking to them every day and listening to their to their to the challenges and problem they are solving what I think is that this is what the other gurus are says also say that whoever wins every anybody was closer to the customer wins. So that would be one thing that I would suggest to keep be close to the customer you making product for them and making them successful, your your sass is actually there to make them successful. So if they are successful, then you’re successful, so just be close to them. And that’s what I keep also trying to optimize for myself as well. I tried to at least have like one interview per week regardless of its paid user or non paid user just talked to them and figured out what what Not working for them, and try to try to understand them. And the more you understand them, the better it gets.

Andrew Michael
Yeah, because you get to the customer is the one that wins. So I think that’s it for today as R is anything you’d like to leave the listeners with, before we go for the day, how can you keep up to speed with what you’re doing and user pilot?

Aazar Shad
Yeah, so we recently launched a report with a very interesting report recently launched. It’s called SAS product onboarding the state of SAS in 2020, the state of SaaS, product onboarding in 2020. And you can just go to user pilot.com slash SAS, SAS dash, product dash onboarding. And this is a report we recently released and we figured out that a lot of companies as companies, we like research talents as companies, we found out that our thousands as companies 40% of them do not even have their welcome screen, which means that they are not creating their users when they come in. We also found out that a lot of companies are can have a lot of friction, so they still ask For email confirmation while doing the sign up. So these are two big mistakes they do. And the third big mistake was that the app was not connected to our app. So for example, the users who were inside the application doing something that didn’t get an email, have something to take them to the next journey. And this is something that I would recommend, I would definitely suggest you to look that report out. It’s currently very much popular right now. Everybody found some mind boggling stats that that that also made the monitor so I’ve just suggested to check that out.

Andrew Michael
Excellent. Well, thanks very much. Wishing our best of luck going forward with the roles and as you start transitioning from different phase to phase now, the best of luck going forward.

Aazar Shad
Thank you so much, Andrew. It was nice having that nice being here.

Andrew Michael
Thank you.