Your customer's goal is to get the best value from your product in less time. This means that it's unlikely that a customer will spend long hours trying to understand your product usage if there's an alternative that offers the same value in the shortest time possible.
This is why it is important to help customers derive value from your product or service as quickly as possible.
This is where customer time to value comes in.
In this article, we'll share 10 strategies to improve your customer time to value, so you reduce churn and increase retention.
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What is Customer Time To value?
Time to value is the duration of time it takes your customers to derive value from your product or service.
Ideally, your business goal is to lower your time to value as much as possible. This way, your customers can enjoy your product value in less time.
So, how can you make this possible? In the next section, we'll share 10 ways that you can improve your customer time to value.
10 ways to improve your customer time to value
Here are 10 ways to improve your customer time to value:
- Provide a comprehensive onboarding program: The onboarding process is the first interaction customers have with your business, providing an opportunity to make a great first impression and introduce the value of your product or service.
This is the time when you have the biggest opportunity to reduce customer time to value. For instance, a software company may use the onboarding process to help customers get up and running with the product as quickly as possible.
Or a gym may use the onboarding process to get customers signed up for a membership and into an exercise routine as quickly as possible, reducing the time between their first visit and the start of noticeable results.
The goal is to offer a seamless experience, with no unexpected delays. By investing in a comprehensive onboarding program, businesses can ensure that customers get the value they expect from the very start.
- Utilize personalized experiences: Customers are increasingly expecting personalized experiences. This is especially true in B2B industries where the personalization of marketing communications has skyrocketed.
A great way to reduce customer time to value is to provide personalized experiences. For example, at the end of a purchase or onboarding process, customers should be able to choose their preferred method of receiving communications from you.
This can include email, text, or social media. Customers should also be able to select their preferred language and any other details that can help them feel more connected to your brand.
Other ways to provide personalized experiences include:
- Personalizing website content: For example, if a customer is visiting your website from California, don’t show them content related to the weather in Boston.
- Personalizing product recommendations: This is especially important in e-commerce where customers will likely be purchasing more than one item.
- Make customer support available and easy to access: Although customer support is not directly connected to reducing customer time to value, it is essential to any customer’s experience.
If a customer is having issues with your product or needs assistance with your onboarding program, they will likely reach out to your customer support team.
If you make customer support difficult to access, it could increase the amount of time it takes for customers to receive assistance and increase their frustration levels.
The best way to make customer support easy for customers to access is by providing support via phone, live chat, and email. You may also want to consider opening support hours that are convenient for customers in your time zone.
For example, if your business is based in Los Angeles and most of your customers are on the East Coast, you should consider opening support during normal Eastern time zone hours. This will make your support hours convenient for your customers and could help reduce wait times.
- Encourage customers to utilize all features of the product or service: If your product offers features such as a mobile app or video training, you want to make sure customers use them. After all, these features likely exist to help customers make the most of your product.
So, by making them available, but not forcing customers to use them, you risk slowing down their time to value. For example, if your product offers videos but customers only use the written content, you’re leaving value on the table.
That’s why it’s essential to encourage customers to use all features of the product or service. Doing so can help customers get the most out of their purchase and reduce their time to value.
- Make customer feedback a priority: In addition to encouraging customers to provide feedback, you should make it a priority as well.
This can include holding a customer feedback survey during onboarding, regularly sending out a poll, or encouraging customers to submit a support ticket that includes feedback.
This feedback can be used to make your product or service better, identify areas of improvement, and provide insights into how customers are using the product.
It can also be used to help you identify the areas where you can improve your onboarding process to reduce customer time to value.
- Implement gamification and rewards programs: Another way to reduce customer time to value is to implement gamification and rewards programs. This can include launching social engagement campaigns, offering points or virtual rewards to customers for taking certain actions or launching a leaderboard or prize challenge.
This can help you improve the experience for your customers and provide them with incentives for participating in your programs. It can also be a great way to reduce customer time to value by engaging customers quickly and encouraging them to use your product or service often.
- Leverage customer success managers: If you have a subscription-based business, you may want to consider leveraging customer success managers. This is a relatively new trend in the B2B space, but it has the potential to do wonders for improving customer retention.
Customer success managers are full-time employees whose sole responsibility is to ensure your customers remain satisfied with your product and are achieving value from it.
For example, a CSM could proactively reach out to customers and ask them how their experience is going. They could also ask if there is anything they can do to help.
This can include assisting customers with problem-solving and helping them achieve more value from your product. CSMs can also be useful for helping you identify ways you can improve your productivity and reduce customer time to value.
- Utilize the power of in-app messaging: The first time customers log into your product or service, they will likely be presented with a welcome video or in-app message.
This can be an excellent opportunity to communicate your value proposition and reduce customer time to value.
For example, you can use in-app video tutorials to help customers understand how your product or service works and the value it provides. You can even take this one step further by using the video to walk customers through your product and/or service.
This can help ensure they are able to successfully navigate your product and reduce customer time to value.
- Offer free trials and free products: Offering free trials and free products is another strategy you can use to reduce customer time to value.
This can help customers experience the value of your product or service without any financial commitment on their part.
Apart from that, it can help you acquire more trial customers and reduce customer time to value. When it comes to free trials, make sure they are actually free. This means you should be providing your product or service without any limitations or restrictions.
For example, if you are providing a free trial of your product, don’t make customers sign up for a subscription-based payment plan unless they want to do so.
With free products, make sure you are offering something that can be used without restrictions. This may include providing customers with a free product sample or free access to content.
- Invest in customer success software: Lastly, you can reduce customer time to value by investing in customer success software.
This software can help you improve your customer onboarding process and the overall customer experience. Not only does this have the potential to reduce customer time to value, but it can also allow you to scale your business more easily.
This is especially true in SaaS businesses where customer onboarding is often the determining factor in whether customers remain customers for long or not.
Investing in customer success software can help you improve your customer onboarding process and scale your business.
Identifying the stages where your user's experience value can make a major difference in the entire user journey. It can help you identify issues, improve the onboarding experience, increase retention, and lower costs.
Use the tips explained above to guide you as you improve your customer time to value. Remember to always consider your customer's perspective as you put systems in place for improving time to value.
With Engage, you can use our customer experience platform to help your customers gain better value from your app via in-app messaging, push notifications, and more.