In this article, we share a three-step process to collect the qualitative and quantitative data you need to uncover your product’s Wow moment and some advice and inspiration for creating Wow moments.
What is a Wow moment?
A Wow moment is that instant when a user realizes the unique value your product or service brings to their life. It's the "aha" experience that transforms them from casual users to loyal customers.
Why is the Wow moment so important?
Customer loyalty, customer satisfaction, and free word-of-mouth marketing are just three of the ways you can benefit from a great Wow moment. And ultimately, you don’t want a user’s first time to be their last time.
So to offer a Wow experience, SaaS platforms should focus on delivering Low Effort, High Value (LEHV) interactions that exceed user expectations. These moments often arise not just from the features themselves but from the transformative possibilities those features enable.
How to set the bar for your Wow moment
So what does a WOW moment feel like?
WOW is achieved when a user recognizes, either quite actively or subconsciously, that your product or service is a must have experience that will improve their life.
It’s something powerful enough to make users say, “Wow, this is awesome.” And they’re important: when users churn or never fully adopt the product, it’s likely because they never encountered their WOW moment.
The anatomy of a Wow moment
Some things to keep in mind about Wow factors:
- It’s not just a feature–it's about the transformative experience it enables.
- The Wow moment should offer disproportionate value compared to the effort required to achieve it i.e., Low Effort, High Value, or LEHV.
- Real user interaction trumps any amount of telling or showing through examples.
To identify your WOW moment, you’ll want to combine qualitative and quantitative data. Here are three things you can start doing right now to find your WOW moment:
- Talk to your customers
- Collect data from churned users
- Identify wins and losses in data
These steps can get a little messy if you don’t have the right process, so it’s important to track your results to ensure you come to the right conclusions. Here’s a sample google doc to help you do that. Note: you may want to customize it to be more applicable to your use.
Talk to your customers
The best place to start is with your customers. Talk to them, and find out what they LOVE about your product or service. Keep in mind that that not every customer is the same: older customers may value your product differently than newer customers, just as power users may derive value in an entirely different way than infrequent users.
So it’s important to track your findings separately based on customer type. In the google doc, we separated it out by new customers and well adopted customers, but there may be a better way for your company (for instance if you segment your user base by the different features they use most, or B2B vs. B2C use cases).
Here’s a short email template to kickstart that conversation:
Thanks for being a such a great customer! We’re really happy that you love our product, and we’d like to help other customers get the same awesome experience that you have. Would you be open to setting up a 10 minute call this week to help us?
We’re always trying improve our value to new users, and your feedback would be really helpful to us :)
If the customer responds, set up quick call or Skype session. There are four questions you want them to answer:
- What do you love most about our product?
- What feature(s) do you use most?
- When did you decide you wanted to pay?
- (New customers) Which competitors were you comparing us against?
After having a handful of these conversations, you’ll recognize patterns in their first run experience and usage of your product. Make sure to document what you hear, as you’ll want to compare it against other conversations and actual data later on. When applicable, it’s nice to ask about which competitors they were looking into as it can be particularly telling about their original motivation for signing up.
Collect feedback from users who churn or never fully adopt
Getting similar feedback from users who never became customers is equally (if not more) important. Did they not convert because your pricing is too high, or your product doesn’t have the functionality they were looking for? Or Perhaps there was too much friction in their first experience, or they were confused on how they could benefit from your product.
Another email template:
I saw that you signed up for an Appcues free trial last month but never had a chance to publish your first user onboarding flow. It’s cool - I sign up for products all the time that I don’t end up using.
We’re always trying to improve our value to new users. One of the best ways is to get feedback from customers who never fully adopt like you. Would you be open to setting up a 10 minute call this week to help us?
I promise I won’t try to sell you anything! In fact, I’d be happy to recommend another product or service that will better suit your needs if you’re still looking for the right solution.
These emails will likely have a low response rate, so you’ll want to use your favorite marketing automation software to automatically send emails to the right people. When you do have conversations with churned customers, there are three things you want to ask:
- What were you looking for when signing up for our product?
- Why was our product not the right solution?
- What could we have done different to keep you around?
With these conversations, you want to know whether the customer ever could have discovered value in your product. Many times, the answer is no; the user was simply looking for something different or a use case you do not yet support (this is a good exercise for prioritizing product development needs as well). When the answer is yes, you goal is to determine what prevented that user from seeing the light.
Identify wins and losses in data
Information from your customers is insightful, but it only paints half the picture. We need to paint the other half ourselves by using real customer data. Every time you speak to a customer (no matter their status), you want to validate what you hear against the user’s data history.
Use an event tracking platform like KISSmetrics or Mixpanel (above) to look into usage patterns for each customer and fill in the rest of the Google doc. On the highest level, you want to answer these questions:
- How does each customer’s data differ from what they said in their interview?
- Which onboarding steps do my well adopted users share?
- Is there just one path to becoming a well adopted user or are there several?
- Which onboarding steps are my churned customers not reaching?
With the right data, you should be able to compare the experiences of your well adopted customers with those of your churned customers to identify your assumed WOW moment(s). What are the major differences in usage? Do successful customers activate a specific feature in their initial experience that churned customers do not? How often did they interact with support?
Analyzing the results
Remember that all the analysis you’ve done thus far is on a small subset of your total user base. The final step is to take your assumed aha moment and look beyond only the customers with whom you spoke.
For every user that has ever tried your product, how was your WOW moment experienced (or not experienced, for that matter)? On an aggregate level, how does user behavior change after this activity? What percentage of users get there and how long does it take them? And what is the upgrade rate (or other key metric) for users that do and do not reach this WOW moment?
If all of your qualitative and quantitative data is pointing in the same direction, you have found your WOW moment. Now what you have to do is analyze the steps users go through to reach this WOW moment, and figure out how to get them there quicker. We’ll cover much more on that in future Academy lessons.
But don’t worry if you haven’t found anything conclusive just yet—there are no silver bullets in user onboarding. Customers might say they love something without fully understanding why they love it. Look at this as an ongoing experiment to continuously improve the the way users discover and derive benefit from your product. If there’s no clear story in your data, make note of the themes among the feedback and data that you can refine over time with more analysis and testing.
How to decrease time to the Wow moment
Reducing the time it takes for users to experience their Wow moment is crucial for increasing user engagement and retention. Here are some strategies to accelerate this process:
- Streamlined onboarding: Simplify the onboarding process to guide users directly to the core features that most often lead to Wow moments.
- Data-driven personalization: Use analytics to segment your users. Offer a tailored experience that speaks to their unique needs, making the Wow moment more relevant and impactful.
- In-app guidance: Employ contextual tooltips or interactive guides that appear when and where users need them most. This minimizes confusion and fast-tracks them to that Wow moment.
- Quick wins: Offer low-effort, high-reward actions early on. This could be as simple as one-click milestones that deliver immediate value, setting the stage for deeper engagement.
- Feedback loops: Use dynamic progress indicators or real-time notifications to show users the tangible benefits they're gaining, nudging them closer to that Wow moment.
- Make customer support easily accessible: Embed a chat feature or offer quick-access FAQs where users are most likely to hit roadblocks. Solving a problem in real time can transform a frustrating moment into a Wow one.
With these strategies, you not only decrease the time to the Wow moment but also increase the likelihood of it occurring, boosting user satisfaction and long-term engagement.
3 examples of guiding users to Wow moments
So how can you incorporate a Wow moment into your onboarding process? Every product is different, but here are three examples of how different platforms have implemented tactics to get their users to their Wow moment faster.
Thinkific’s gamified checklist
Thinkific, an online course creation platform, delivers its Wow moment through a dynamic, gamified checklist that appears as soon as new users log in. This isn't just any checklist – it's a personalized roadmap that guides users through the essential steps to launch their online course or community.
- Why it's a Wow moment: The checklist comes with progress bars, allowing users to visually track milestones. It's flexible, letting users jump in and out of tasks, and even offers a freemium option to create a course without any financial commitment. This checklist is an educational guide that helps users avoid common mistakes, like focusing solely on content creation without validating their course idea.
- Why this approach works: It's visually appealing, easy to navigate, and even includes educational videos for added context. Whether you're a novice or an experienced course creator, this checklist is designed to guide you from idea validation to course launch, making you say, "Wow, Thinkific really simplifies this complex process."
The takeaway from Thinkific's Wow moment is to go beyond. The platform’s checklist is more than task management – it acts as a personalized mentor that adapts to your level of expertise, ensuring customer success. In doing so, it transforms the often daunting task of launching an online course into an achievable, step-by-step process, making you realize the unique value Thinkific brings to the table.
Lucidchart’s non-intrusive approach to onboarding
Lucidchart once used a 10-step onboarding process. However, this hyper-involved and lengthy product tour didn’t sit well with most users. After collecting user feedback, the platform modified its onboarding process.
Now, Lucidchart delivers its Wow moment through a cleverly designed "Helpful Tips" modal that's both non-intrusive and educational. This modal window sits discreetly at the side of the workspace, allowing users to dive into the software while having access to feature explanations at their own pace.
- Why it's a Wow moment: The genius lies in its subtlety. Users aren't bombarded with information; instead, they can choose when to engage with these tips. Premium users get an extra layer of personalization with options to start with a template, create from scratch, or watch a quick overview, making them immediately see the value of their subscription.
- Why this approach works: Lucidchart's "tips-as-you-need-them" approach ensures that users can start using the software's key features without feeling overwhelmed. The modals are always there but never in the way, aligning perfectly with Lucidchart's promise of a seamless, efficient diagramming experience.
Lucidchart's Wow moment is a masterclass in user autonomy, offering guidance that's there when you need it and invisible when you don't. This "tips-as-you-need-them" approach not only respects the user's workspace but also amplifies the value of premium subscriptions, making it clear that Lucidchart understands the diverse needs of its user base.
Navattic’s unique, interactive approach to product demos
Navattic is a platform that allows users to create interactive product demos without coding. The company faced a unique challenge: how do you demo a product that's designed to create demos? They solved this by using Google Analytics as a familiar example.
The Wow moment comes when users realize they can blur out specific details in the demo, offering a level of customization that goes beyond standard, pre-recorded demos. This feature allows users to protect sensitive information while still showing real data.
- Why it’s a Wow moment: The Wow moment is the realization that you can customize the demo in real time without any coding or design skills. This is a game-changer for marketers who want to show off a product without revealing sensitive information.
- Why this approach works: Navattic's demo ends with a "Share" step, emphasizing its utility as a tool for creating shareable, out-of-app product experiences. This clears up any confusion about the product's capabilities and sets the stage for a personalized follow-up with the Navattic team.
Navattic's Wow moment elevates the customer experience and empowers users to control the narrative of their own demos down to the smallest detail. This level of customization, especially the ability to blur sensitive information, makes Navattic an indispensable tool for marketers who need to balance transparency with confidentiality.
The Wow moment is your competitive edge
Identifying and optimizing for your product's first Wow moment is a game-changer in the user onboarding journey.
It's not just about feature sets or sleek design; it's about delivering an experience so impactful that it turns users into advocates. By focusing on qualitative and quantitative data, you can pinpoint what makes your product indispensable to users.
Strategies like streamlined onboarding, personalized user journeys, and real-time feedback loops are not just best practices—they are essential tools to decrease the time to that pivotal Wow moment. Remember, the quicker you can guide users to this transformative experience, the higher your chances of retaining them in the long run.
For those looking to delve deeper into the intricacies of user onboarding, our Value-First Onboarding course will help you boost your product adoption and user retention with the proven 6-step “value-first” onboarding framework.