Gainsight Glossary

Product Usage

What is product usage?

Product usage data is a subcategory of behavior segmentation that includes metrics about when, for how long and how customers use a product, feature or service. Product usage metrics can also be consolidated at the account level or holistically at the enterprise level, showing trends in when and how a product or service is used.

While in-app surveys and user feedback are valuable, measuring a customer’s experience is complex, even for the most mature B2B SaaS company. This is where the automated, customer-driven product usage data produced from within your application comes into play.

While there are a series of product usage metrics that are collected as a whole, this type of data gives you detailed insights that can supplement customer experience information or highlight product issues.  Once collected, however, product managers can use that data to identify what is working well, what can be improved, and how future enhancements should be prioritized to keep user retention high and brand loyalty growing.

Why is understanding product usage important?

To understand why product usage data is important, it is sometimes helpful to think about what product managers and developers are left with when this type of data is not available. Without product usage data, your team only has high-level anecdotes and survey responses to shape your product roadmaps or guide your product through the upcoming stages of the product lifecycle. 

Therefore, product usage metrics are important because they are an objective, quantifiable — and often real-time — reflection and record of how customers view and use your product or service. As users continue to utilize your product, they generate more data that you, in turn, can use to refine features, identify trends and improve their experience. This cyclical momentum will also demonstrate to your users that you are attuned to their feedback, which should also support continued growth and less churn.

This lifecycle, all driven by product usage data, is key to establish and maintain product-led growth and drive increased user retention.

What tools are available to provide product usage metrics?

Product usage data is not like any other type of data that your business may be used to handling, such as financial or sales information. Similarly, not every piece of data that can be potentially collected is worth analyzing to inform product usage metrics. That is where product experience platforms come in.

These platforms automate the steps to organize, visualize and initially interpret your product usage data using built-in APIs and reporting tools. Armed with this information, product managers and other teams will have unique product insights that are needed to drive decisions, complete with the numbers to back them up.

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