What exactly your user engagement looks like will depend on the product. A travel app is not likely to be used as often as a shopping account. As such, there’s no one single engagement metric that we take to be the golden standard for all products.
However, engagement is nothing more than a user who is engaging with your product repeatedly. It’s what all businesses want. The more engaged a customer is, the more satisfied they are with what you’ve got to offer.
But while stats have shown that quality and price all drive retention, customer experience will overtake product and price as the fundamental brand differentiator by 2020. In other words, your user journey is going to matter a lot, and it will become key to user engagement and retention.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at how to increase user engagement and retention via the user journey.
How to Increase User Engagement and Onboarding
We’ve always seen user onboarding as critical to adoption, but its ripple effects can be felt throughout the whole user journey. From now on, it’s time to see it as the key to long-term, lasting engagement.
Think of it like this: When a user first tries your product, their motivation is often sky-high. As such, onboarding gives you the chance to get your customers to complete a meaningful action straight away.
Basically, this means giving them a meaningful mission right from the get-go. If you don’t, your users won’t have the chance to achieve an early success that creates a sense of achievement, and which encourages them to keep engaging.
Set the tone straight away with a meaningful task for users to complete, and then keep the tasks coming.
Offer Contextual Assistance As Users Go Deeper
1 in 4 of us stop using an app after just one use. That’s an incredible statistic, and while the reasons for abandoning an app are many and varied, one of them is that some apps and products are just too complicated.
Wouldn’t life be so much easier if an app provided contextual assistance as we explored the app further and further?
The easiest way to resolve the “it’s too complicated” issue is to introduce your features one by one, and slowly. If your overload users with too much too soon, engagement and retention can quickly go down.
Canva knows this. They reveal features slowly, and they also show the user why the feature is so useful and how to use it.
If a user is facing everything all at once – and all right from the start – it’s going to cause overwhelm.
A user needs to know that your app is useful and valuable to them, but it’s important that you time the introduction of your advanced features just right.
Highlight Frequent Updates
Facebook and Twitter can be really noisy places, especially Twitter. But if either social media platform has an update that it wants its users to be aware of, it makes sure that its own notifications are at the top.
LinkedIn is the same, and these updates help to boost user activity and thus retention.
It’s a good idea to keep your users in the loop with what’s going on with your app or product. When you’ve got a new feature or a new activity that you want users to be aware of, find a way of making sure they don’t miss it.
Slack has a simple way of doing this. It uses a transparent bell icon in the top left corner that updates its users with any new features or activity. This helps to keep people engaged and users can also toggle their notification preferences.
Ask for Feedback
No one knows your product as well as your customers themselves. They know exactly what they like about it, what they don’t like about, as well as why they signed up to it in the first place.
If you don’t cultivate feedback from your customers, you’re missing a massive trick. Users can provide golden information that empowers you, allowing you to improve the customer experience and user journey, giving them more of what they want so that engagement and retention both goes up.
It’s all about learning more about your products real-life application. When you know why users signed up to your product, for example, you can start to double down on a specific tactic to encourage even more sign-ups.
Of course, not everyone is going to want to give feedback, but if you ask for it in a non-invasive way, you might have more luck. Rather than going with a phone call, reach out via email.
Make It Convenient
Earlier, I pointed out that convenience was one of the reasons for engagement and retention. In 2018, your customers have grown used to convenience and want it more and more.
Convenience is a matter of a few things – ease-of-use, multiple payment options, a seamless omnichannel experience, and so on.
To this end, it’s a good idea to give your customers more of what they want, such as a point of sale card reader. This card reader allows for wireless payments to be taken anywhere at any time, and they protect both you and your customers.
Moreover, it allows you to collect data from your customers so that you’re able to learn more about their buying habits. The more you know about each customer, the more you are able to personalize their future shopping experiences to that you give them more of what they want, and less of what they don’t want.
This is essentially a form of behavioural segmentation that allows you to segment customers not by region or product type as you may have done in the past, but by the way they respond to certain products and apps.
Find Retention Opportunities With Artificial Intelligence
Lastly, when all else fails it’s time to get the robots involved.
While you might have made a decent fist of mining insights from literally billions of customer journeys via your old and trusted analytics tools and methods, you’ll know that the process is slow and laborious.
AI makes mining journey analytics so much easier and allows you to dive into bigger and more complicated data spaces so that you find new and previously undiscovered opportunities to boost customer retention in unexpected places.
Netflix is one company that is already doing this, and they use an Artificial Intelligence model to personalize recommendations to users.
Artificial Intelligence customer journey analytics asses all relationships in your data. AI can accurately forecast future behavior while also discovering the inhibitors and drivers of customer retention.
These are ways to increase user engagement and retention via the user journey. It’s all about giving the customers more of what they want, which you can do by learning more about them from your data, as well as ensuring that you’re making the most of contextual assistance and onboarding.
Michelle Deery writes and edits content for Heroic Search, an SEO agency based in Tulsa. Her work has been seen in publications such as Entrepreneur Magazine. She specializes in writing content about eCommerce and helps businesses increase their conversion rates.