This lessons learned series is part of our live SaaS resource list we're building while launching a new product.
The stories we tell ourselves in our heads about the market might be totally wrong and so doing customer analysis and monitoring health scores becomes essential.
What one lesson about health scores was the most important and why?
Data changes instincts. It appears that we can have a gut feeling and intuition about a product and how customers use it and be completely wrong. Why? Because our gut feeling is built on how we would use that product, not how other customers would use it in that big wide world out there.
For example, we might use Upscope to take a look at a customer's screen and point out a few things. It turns out that many of our heaviest users are using Upscope to spend 30 minutes onboarding their customers.
Health scores which include usage figures give a data driven perspective on who is using our product, where and (after further analysis) why. Imagine being wrong about your customers and building all your marketing based on those wrong assumptions. Bad idea!
What dumb assumptions did we make about health scores at the very start of our SaaS journey?
We didn't really think they'd tell us anything wildly different from what we already knew. It turns out that our biggest customers didn't use the product for what we imagined and our biggest customers were not who we thought they were (in terms of usage).
What's the one thing we did that made a big difference?
We not only created health scores based on usage but then we looked at each individual Upscope user and looked into their job title and key responsibilities. This analysis showed us that it's not necessarily customer support that uses the product but customer success and sales teams involved in onboarding.
Individual job title analysis followed by interviews with customers opened up a whole new world.
What would we advise someone to do if they were starting from scratch?
Get a health score system like Vitally and plug it into your systems. Do regular analysis of your top users and critically do interviews with those top users. Pay them to talk to you. Give them Amazon vouchers for spending 15 minutes answering your questions. You'll see quickly how the data has improved your understanding but without the interviews you won't see the holes in the data.
If we had a magic wand how would we use it to improve our health scores?
We'd conjure up a mini-profile for every company and individual user using our product. That would include total time used, benefits gained, how they discuss the product internally, how they communicate it to colleagues and friends.
We'd also try and find out what they do 3 minutes before using the product and 3 minutes after so we know the other areas around our product we could help them problem solve.
How will we use our experience for our new product?
We now know that there are a range of use cases for Upscope and the same will be true of the our next Upscope "Flows" product. We've done more market analysis this time and understand how to go about managing feedback and testing assumptions.
We'll launch, monitor usage and feedback and write down case studies for those different uses it has. We'll use those to create example pages of how others can use that flows product. We'll be patient. We'll focus on the core product and making it even simpler.
The health scores will provide us with real data on our top users and that will help us focus on them and expand on those core use cases in the early days.
It's an art and a science. The data is essential but it's an input rather than the sole lead.