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Five Steps to Evaluating your product’s Abandonment Gap

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April 1, 2021
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A few weeks ago, we covered the term ‘Abandonment Gap’ in the context of customer retention. So now that you know what it is, we can cover how to evaluate and address the Abandonment Gap for your product with five targeted steps.

1. Determine metrics and set goals

First things first: you must decide how to track and measure the customer actions that precede abandonment. It’s crucial to recognize different patterns within the users’ behavior and then quantify the effects.

You need to know the numbers, or percentages, of users who fall into the Abandonment Gap according to a particular stage, whether it’s during signup, onboarding, or another point. And of course, there are many different ways to catalog this type of data, so approach it on a case-by-case basis.  

For example, you might notice that a large number of users stop at a signup screen that requires credit card information even though they are signing up for a free trial. So go through the numbers and figure out the percentage of users dropping off at that point.

Maybe a lot of people leave a product tour on the fourth of 15 informational slides. Note that fact and see what other points of the product tour include a high number of dropouts. 

Once you have identified and analyzed relevant user actions according to the specific stage during which they occur, you will set realistic goals for addressing those weak points.

2. Look at how customers are acquired and retained 

It can be beneficial to get an outside perspective on customer acquisition and retention research, so when looking for external help with such activities, here are a few professionals qualified to lend a hand.  

  • Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) experts focus on adjustments made to the user’s experience to boost key performance indicators (KPIs). CROs frequently employ A/B testing to track whether particular changes affect KPIs like conversion rate (how often visitors turn into customers). 
  • Digital Marketing experts contribute copywriting, calls-to-action, and campaigns that generate product interest. These elements are crucial for a business to gain customer trust and earn product buy-in.  
  • UX Designers do a little bit of everything, like influencing the user interface, conducting usability research, testing, and iterative design. These folks can put all the pieces together and coordinate between various teams to meet the user’s needs.

3.  After addressing signup, look at your onboarding

Only after you’ve completed a thorough evaluation of your signup process and you’re sure it’s performing efficiently then begin taking a critical look at onboarding. But again, only move onto your onboarding assessment once visitors are converting into customers at a high rate and other predetermined metrics show improvement as well. 

One user group that requires extra scrutiny is customers who disappear within the first 30 days of signing up for your product. In other words, people who fall victim to the Abandonment Gap early. 

By researching and understanding this group, you can glean valuable information about what drove them away. Retrace their steps throughout the user journey to determine where support or troubleshooting resources were missing. 

Was there anything that might have stopped the customer from completing their desired task and lead to confusion, frustration, cognitive overload, or made them question whether the product was worth their money? 

4. Cater resources to specific user groups

Once a customer is signed up for and using a product, they fit into one of three primary groups according to product familiarity and usage. New users have just signed up for a product and are still trying to understand its value, while power users are very knowledgeable and use the product regularly. Casual users fit between those first two groups as people with some familiarity but infrequent product use.  

The point is that all users should be treated differently. Content should reflect a specific user’s experience. For a power user, content should reflect their high-level expertise and comfort with the product. The same logic applies to a new user, who should only receive essential, introductory resources to build their confidence using the product. 

For example, a power user for a messaging app will not want an email blast explaining how to send their first message. In a similar sense, a new user probably isn’t ready for a tutorial about optimizing and compressing a folder filled with photos to then send through a group chat thread.  

By knowing your customers, sorting them into groups, and keeping an eye on their progress, you are better able to craft and disseminate content for their particular experience level and skillset. 

5. Continually monitor performance and reassess goals

So the groundwork is laid, and your strategy has the intended effect. But the evaluation process doesn’t stop there - it’s iterative. To avoid repeating the past, you must keep up-to-date with tracking your signup and onboarding processes in the context of your goals. It’s the best way to see if your approach needs refinement. You need to be aware of any issues popping up for users, whether they’re related to a recent update or something else entirely.