What It Time-to-Value? +How to Decrease TTV (2023)
When a user signs up for a product, they want to see a return on their investment as quickly as possible.
In fact, there’s a direct connection between customer satisfaction levels and the time it takes for customers to see value in a product or service. For example, McKinsey found that banks reducing the time to value (TTV) for opening an account saw customer satisfaction rise between 10 and 30%.
This connection affects your business. If customers can’t see how your product benefits them quickly, it’s unlikely they’ll keep using it. The best time to prove your value is the beginning, during the customer onboarding process.
We’ll show you how to use user onboarding flows to decrease time to value for your customers, increase customer satisfaction and retention, and help your customers find their “aha!” moment.
What is Time to Value (TTV)?
Time to value (TTV) is a customer success metric that measures the time it takes for customers to see positive results from using your product and justify their investment.
The exact time to value will differ depending on your app, product, or service. HubSpot’s Website Grader offers immediate TTV because you input your website URL and instantly get what you want from the software – a grade.
On the other hand, it will take longer to realize the value from chatbot software. The chatbot must be running for a while before you can gather customer feedback or calculate labor cost savings to figure out your ROI.
TTV vs. “aha” moment
Time to value measures how quickly a customer realizes the benefits of a product or service. It’s the actual time from when a customer starts using the product or service to when they begin seeing measurable results and value.
The “aha” moment, on the other hand, is the exact moment when a customer has a sudden understanding of a product or service and realizes its potential. It’s a key point in the customer’s journey because it marks the point when they become a committed user or customer.
How to Measure TTV
There are several strategies you can use to measure time to value. The most effective ones for your business will depend on the software you’re offering, your customer’s needs, and your specific business model.
1. Time to upgrade from free to paid
Measuring the time it takes for customers to upgrade from the free version of your software to the paid version will indicate when customers believe your product has value and are willing to pay for additional features.
Measuring time to feature upgrade can be used as an indicator of how quickly a company is able to release new updates or improvements to existing features, which can impact the value that users or customers derive from the product. A shorter time to feature upgrade can indicate that the company is able to quickly respond to user feedback and deliver improvements, which can increase the value of the product to users. Additionally, a shorter time to feature upgrade can also indicate that the company has a streamlined development process, which can allow them to release new updates more frequently.
Measuring time to feature upgrade can also be used to evaluate how well a company is able to adapt to changing user needs, as well as how well the company is able to anticipate the needs of the customer. This could be important for company to ensure customer satisfaction and retain customer loyalty.
2. Customer onboarding time
A lengthy onboarding process could mean your processes are too complicated, which can deter users from choosing your platform because of delays and downtime. A swift onboarding process, enabling customers to use your software faster, can be an incentive for them to choose your solution.
A shorter onboarding time suggests that a customer is able to quickly and easily start using and benefiting from the product, while a longer onboarding time may indicate that there are obstacles or difficulties in the process that are delaying the realization of value. This measurement can be used to identify and address any issues that may be preventing customers from quickly realizing the value of a product or service, and to improve the overall customer experience.
3. Time of adoption for new features
Measure the time it takes for customers to adopt new features after they are released. A slow adoption rate may indicate that the features are not useful or that there are barriers preventing their usage.
Measuring feature adoption time can be used as an indicator of the time it takes for a new feature to provide value to users or customers. The shorter the adoption time, the quicker the feature is providing value. This can be important for businesses, as it allows them to determine how quickly new features are being utilized and if they are achieving their desired impact. Additionally, measuring feature adoption time can help identify any issues or barriers that may be preventing users from quickly adopting new features, allowing the company to address them in a timely manner.
5 Benefits of Reducing Time to Value
Customers need to know that your product will solve their contextual problems and be worth the investment. If your customer is another business, the purchaser has to justify paying for your product to their superiors. If it takes months to see any benefit to their company, they may decide to look elsewhere.
1. Increased revenue
Reducing time to value can lead to increased revenue in several ways. By getting products or services to market more quickly, your company can gain a competitive advantage and capture market share. Doing so can also start generating revenue sooner, which can help fund further development and growth.
2. Competitive advantage
Being the first to market with a new app, product, or service can give your company a competitive edge over your rivals. By getting products or services to market more quickly than competitors and demonstrating the value of said products, your company can establish itself as a leader in your industry and gain a first-mover advantage. This can empower you to build brand recognition before competitors have a chance to enter the market.
3. Better alignment with customer needs
Aligning with customer needs helps ensure that the feature being developed or service being provided is meeting your customer’s needs. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as potentially generating repeat business.
Reducing the time it takes to realize the benefits of your product can also empower your support and customer success reps to respond more quickly to changing customer needs. As a result, aligning with customer needs can help your organization build strong, long-term relationships with your customers and drive business growth.
4. Efficient use of resources
Reducing the time it takes for customers to see a return on investment can empower your company to make better use of its resources – think money, time, materials and personnel.
This can help you save money, increase productivity, and improve overall profitability. When resources are used efficiently, it also allows your organization to prioritize resources on other initiatives that can help drive business growth.
5. More flexibility
The ability to quickly adapt to changes in the market or customer needs is key to business success. Flexibility allows your company to pivot quickly in response to changing customer needs, market conditions, or other factors that can impact your business.
When you’re able to reduce the time it takes for a customer to gain value for your product or service, you can adapt to changes in the business environment more efficiently. For example, if a customer’s needs do change, your company will be able to meet those new requirements more easily by being flexible than one that takes a longer time to react.
Companies that can deliver solutions quickly can also take advantage of new opportunities that arise in the market, such as a new product or service launch.
Types of Time to Value Metrics
Time to value (TTV) highly depends on the type of product or service you offer.
With that in mind, here are the five most common types of TTV metrics that companies track:
1. Time to basic value
This is the most obvious time-to-value metric and is defined as the moment a customer realizes they made the correct choice in your product or service and begins to see real ROI and value from your offering.
2. Time to exceed value
This TTV metric measures the time until a customer realizes the value of your product and your offering has exceeded their expectations. This often leads to contract renewals, upsells, and customer advocates that stick with your brand for life.
3. Long time to value
This TTV metric is for products that may need to be implemented and learned over time, meaning it will take quite a long time for actual ROI. Think of a large enterprise software tool.
This requires customer success managers to spend more time with their accounts and ensure they’re reaching your offering’s full potential. CSMs should openly communicate with their customers about exactly why they’re using your product and highlight its key features and solutions.
4. Short time to value
This is perhaps the easiest to understand of the TTV metrics. Short time to value is for products or services that instantly solve a problem for the customer. Examples of this include moving companies, carpet cleaners, and many other consumer-based products.
5. Immediate time to value
Immediate time to value is a metric for services that provide instant gratification and solutions to problems. An example of this would be a website speed test that provides instant feedback.
7 Tips to Reduce Your Time to Value
Your onboarding process is the first thing your customers experience after they decide to try your product. This makes onboarding the perfect opportunity to show value immediately and convince customers they made the right decision.
These strategies will help create a friction-free onboarding experience that clearly illustrates your company’s value.
1. Define clear goals and objectives
Defining clear goals and objectives helps reduce time to value by providing a clear roadmap for the project or initiative, helping to ensure that all stakeholders are working towards the same end goal.
When the goals and objectives of a project are clearly defined, it allows your project team to focus on the most important tasks and prioritize their efforts accordingly. This can help minimize the amount of time and resources that are required and also ensure that the final product meets the specific needs of your customer.
Clear goals and objectives also help to ensure that your project team is aligned and working together in the same direction, which can reduce delays and increase productivity. Establishing specific milestones and deadlines empowers your team to track progress and make adjustments as needed.
Having clear goals and objectives also allows for better communication with the stakeholders and customers, which can help to prevent misunderstandings and keep everyone on the same page.
2. Create an email drip campaign during customer onboarding
Engage users immediately with a series of emails that begins when they sign up for your service. The first email welcomes the customer and offers the information they need to get started. Then, send follow-up emails weekly to keep your product fresh in the customer’s mind and give them tips about using different features. Save time and effort by using a third-party email scheduler like Autopilot to automate the email onboarding series.
Onboarding emails are an excellent opportunity to highlight parts of the product the customer would find valuable. Even if the reader never clicks through, they still see features they might never have discovered otherwise. This will help them see the benefit of your product without going through every section themselves.
Onboarding emails help customers learn about and engage with your product. One study found that people who receive welcome emails are engaged for 33% longer. This is why even industry giants like Google set up welcome emails for their products:
Google uses its welcome email to inform users of the next step and offer resources, like a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page.
3. Invest in a digital adoption platform (DAP)
One of the reasons customers abandon a product is because they don’t know how to use it.
One survey found that 80% of respondents have deleted an app because they found it difficult or confusing to use. Digital adoption platforms (DAPs) help prevent user frustration and show them how to use each feature.
DAPs have multiple features that allow product managers and customer success teams to create in-app guided content for better user onboarding UX, on-demand support, and reinforcement training, including:
With a DAP, your customer can learn to use every aspect of your product, making it more likely that they will recognize its value quickly.
The self-guided nature of DAPs also means customers use self-service training and support content and resources to find answers to many of their questions without submitting a support ticket and waiting for a response.
DAPs help your team as well. Customer success teams spend 60% of their time ensuring a smooth onboarding process, facilitating end-user adoption, and reducing churn. A digital adoption platform reduces the support tickets they have to deal with so they can focus on more proactive customer service efforts to increase satisfaction and retention.
Whatfix decreases time to value by walking users through the different features of your product so they can see the benefits for themselves. This decreased TTV leads to higher customer satisfaction and end-user adoption rates. When Dimensions UK implemented Whatfix, they increased their user satisfaction score to 5/5 and raised their three-month user adoption rates from 10% to 50%.
4. Assign each customer a dedicated customer success manager
Another way to decrease time to value for your customers is to have a dedicated employee who is responsible for pointing out features the consumer might find helpful.
A customer success manager (CSM) acts as a point of contact for your customer. They answer questions and make the onboarding process as smooth as possible.
CSMs personalize the onboarding process by greeting customers by name in a welcome email and offering tailored recommendations and advice. Because answers and suggestions are personalized for the customer’s experience, they can clearly see the benefits of using your product. And the reduced time to value has a significant impact—almost one-third of surveyed companies said having dedicated customer success efforts resulted in a 20% or more rise in annual recurring revenue.
Proposify, a business proposal software, has a dedicated customer success team. Their CSMs act as inside advisers to their customers, showing them how Proposify’s software can solve their business problems. Managers even consult with the product team about what new features to add. They can then go back to the customer and show them a new feature added specifically to take care of a customer’s problem.
5. Use behavior analytics and product data to make data-driven decisions
The best way to provide frictionless onboarding is to identify where customers struggle in the process via product usage data. Track how customers use your product and see whether there are certain features or parts of the onboarding process where they get stuck.
If you find a particular point in the onboarding flow that multiple users have trouble with, you can address the issue and prevent future customers from experiencing it. Track search queries in the knowledge base to see if many people are asking the same questions. Then, you can fix the root cause of user concerns instead of just addressing support tickets one by one.
Look at feature usage data as well. Are there features that only some people are using? If so, consider redesigning them to make their value more obvious or changing their location within your product if they’re being overlooked.
Patreon, a platform where fans can pay creators for content, uses Amplitude to track and analyze subscriber behavior. They watched how potential subscribers moved through the sales funnel and identified several features that increased conversion rates. By implementing these, such as making checkout more secure, Patreon doubled its subscriber conversion rate.
With a digital adoption platform like Whatfix, product managers and customer-facing teams can capture, monitor, and track how users use a product, what friction points they’re encountering, and what’s causing users to experience a longer time to value – all with behavior analytics and product feedback.
With this data, customer success managers can work with product teams to publish, test, and improve in-app onboarding, messaging, and flows to create an effective, streamlined product experience that showcases value fast – and capture and analyze critical product analytics.
You can learn more about Whatfix’s product analytics platform here.
6. Shorten your free trial period
It may seem counterintuitive, but a longer free trial doesn’t necessarily lead to a higher conversion rate. Users with less time to play around with the product work faster to try out all the different features. As a result, they shorten their time to value.
With a shorter free trial, there is less time for your welcome emails and support information to get lost in the customer’s inbox. This is especially important if you offer free trials without a credit card. There is no penalty if the customer simply forgets they signed up. A short free trial will encourage them to start using the product right away, which will help them discover how it can benefit them.
Product management software ProdPad cut their free trial from 30 days to 14. They based their decision on the fact that they could usually predict by day nine if the customer would stay. The strategy paid off: the company saw its conversion rates double.
These strategies serve to show the customer how to use your product and how it can solve their business concerns.
7. Automate repetitive tasks and processes
Automating repetitive tasks and processes can improve efficiency and minimize the need for human intervention, which can often cause delays. By automating tedious, repetitive tasks, your company can reduce the time and resources needed to complete said tasks – which can help to increase productivity and improve overall performance.
Automation can also help to reduce errors and increase accuracy, which can improve the quality and consistency of the results provided to customer. Overall, automation can help organizations to achieve their goals more effectively and can help them to realize value more impactfully.
You know the benefits of your product and the problems it solves better than anyone. But you have to convince your potential customers of this. If they have a rough onboarding experience, learning to use the product and see everything it offers is harder.
Adopting customer onboarding technology, like digital adoption platforms, helps make the onboarding process as smooth as possible. This tech helps your customers quickly learn the different features of your product and see the specific value it holds for them. The faster they can learn to use your product effectively, the shorter their time to value.
Maximize your customers’ value by implementing Whatfix’s onboarding and support experiences today.
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