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Getting Your Users To Hit The Pavement Through Proactive Engagement

As a business, the importance of identifying speed bumps for your users before they hit them head on cannot be overstated. Because if your users do hit that bump, they might stall and give up on trying to overcome it. You might not get a second chance to win them over, and permanently lose their potential for revenue and engagement as a result. User retention is obviously an absolute priority for any and all businesses, and proactive engagement tools can boost outcomes in this regard.

To continue our previous metaphor of looking at Helpshift as the GPS for your users’ successful navigation of your app, proactive support is stop number one. This is that crucial time when your user has decidedly engaged with your product but needs that extra push to keep moving along.

First off, congratulations are in order. You have a new user and potential customer that has downloaded your app and is interested in your product. But that user’s business came with a price tag, probably a hefty customer acquisition cost (CAC) at that, and it’s important that you now work towards ensuring that ROI.

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Improving ROI Amid Universally Abysmal Retention Rates.

This is massively important, in a world where app user retention is shockingly low. Many companies struggle when looking to maintain a solid user base.

“ Across all industries, 71% of all app users churn within 90 days.

The initial step towards protecting your investment and preventing churn is to pay attention to the user’s onboarding experience. If the user prematurely stops midway through the onboarding process, send help. You can nudge them to continue next steps through a targeted Campaign. For example, if the user registered for your product but left the app once arriving at a certain touchpoint like the payment page, you can send a push notification reminding and incentivizing the user to return and complete the process.

Perhaps you want to push your user past the hesitation associated with entering credit card information by offering a $10 credit. Or maybe there is a technical issue that is preventing the user from continuing. In this case, you could send a notification to the user, with an invitation to speak with an agent or find answers on your FAQ page.

Directing users to your FAQ page is a great way to utilize Campaigns, because it transforms proactive support into self support.

Supplying enough resources to pay special attention to each new user through chat (when the odds of that user being a cash cow are slim), may not make a lot of sense from a cost-benefit stance. That’s the beauty of having a thorough and fully-fleshed out FAQ page.

Identifying as many potential pain points as possible ahead of time and crafting contextual FAQs around them can go a long way in terms of user retention, especially if users never have to leave the app to find effective answers to their questions.

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Don’t Just Talk, Listen. Continuously Pay Attention To User Activity.

Keeping an eye on which FAQ’s are opened and are considered useful (based on optional user feedback) is an important metric that can give you a sense of your users’ overall experience. Paying attention to the questions that users are asking via messaging, and seeing what is going great and what is going wrong is how you can get ahead and diagnose and solve problems before they get too serious (and result in churn).

Use whatever analytics you can muster, and do so frequently. You may catch a bug before 98% of your users do, and if you can fix it in quickly, you can proactively send out a Campaign alerting the remaining 2% that you have fixed it and keep that small, but not insignificant, user group coming back.

The utmost important consideration when it comes to proactive support is customization. Thanks to different devices and other variables, your users will have varying user experiences.

Generic messaging is worse than throwing spaghetti at the wall. It’s like throwing spaghetti that’s mixed in olive oil so that next to nothing will stick. Instead of sending out a “we miss you” message to all dormant users, try isolating those users that left having something unresolved within your app. You can use Helpshift’s Advanced Search feature to narrow down users that had a specific issue, and then send them a Campaign that directly addresses that issue. It’s a way of still addressing a user’s problem while making the user feel like you care (and are on top of your game).

A good note to end on when it comes to proactive support is that this is not just the beginning. Your app experience is not linear. This is something that can be utilized way beyond onboarding, throughout the entire user experience. It’s a way to make all your users feel like VIPs, and your VIPs feel like VVIPs . And that, ultimately, can be the differentiating factor in your customer retention and business development as a whole.

Published February 9, 2017
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