For many SaaS companies, defining your customer’s “Aha” moment is the single most important step in succeeding as a company. It’s often not that easy - and in many cases, it’s not the same moment for every customer type. But companies that discover it - and focus on building a customer activation journey that takes them to that “Aha” moment fast is where you see the most successful SaaS growth stories.
So I’m going to talk a little bit about that today.
What is an Aha Moment?
The Aha Moment is the exact point in time when a user understands the value proposition of a product or service. When users come to understand something they previously didn't recognise or know, they have a moment of epiphany, referred to interchangeably as the aha moment or eureka effect.
The Uber Aha
Let’s take Uber as a great example of a product that really hit the customer "Aha" moment. For many of us, myself included, walking home after a night out in the vein hope that a taxi would pass you by that you could flag down was just the reality of going out at the weekend. That, or stand in line at a taxi rank - often in the rain. The idea of being able to harness technology to hail a cab that could be nearby but not on your route home literally didn’t occur to us. Until Uber. It was that whack-you-in-the-face “why didn’t anyone think of this before?” moment. It was obviously going to make our lives better. And in droves, we signed up to use it.
Discovering your Aha Moment
I highly recommend getting someone external in to work with your in-house teams on this for a fresh perspective, and an unbiased ability to undertake customer and user research. At Stratagem, we use a growth hacking and co-design process to work with your team of in-house experts to do this - book a 30 minute discovery call (free of charge) on this site if you want to discuss.
If you need to go it alone, then essentially there are 3 steps that you need to follow - and you absolutely need to get it right for results. I’m going to lay them out for you now.
Step 1: Map your Customer Activation Journey
List the key steps your customer will take in their customer journey. Once you have identified these key steps, get into the metrics and calculate your conversion rates for each step. Use this to create a simple funnel report like the one below:
These metrics can help you identify key sticking points, and areas that deliver value in your customer journey. I like to visualise this with stickers because you can start to see where there are accumulation points of good and bad moments in the journey.
Step 2: Undertake Real Customer Interviews
There is no point in second guessing all the way, but surprisingly, this is the step most companies fail to get right - either they don’t want to speak to real customers, or they lead customers to tell them something that proves that what they have in place is right. You need to know there will be issues before conducting interviews if you want to improve. This isn’t about blame for any moment leading up to this, it’s about improving upon what you have. So you need to find areas for improvement, or you will not improve. Sounds obvious - but somehow, it isn’t.
Take some time to conduct real customer interviews - even if only with a handful of clients, so you can begin to qualitatively understand the customer experience. And make sure you have someone who is unbiased to conduct the interviews - leading the customer to tell you what you want to hear will not lead to success.
Ask them questions such as:
“What’s the one thing that nearly stopped you from starting your free trial?”
“What did you come to our app to do today?”
“Was it easy for you to do that?”
“At what point did you get excited about the product?”
Step 3: Workshop the Results
Finally, once you’ve mapped out what your users are saying about the pain and gain points of your activation journey, start bucketing them into users with similar attributes. This might be a similar use case, or function of a particular job role.
Get it up on a whiteboard (virtual or real), and get your growth team in the room. Start ideating results, and see if you can come up with some growth experiments, or product improvements that could help both eliminate pain points, and highlight gain points in the customer journey.
From here, you can use some of your customer research to re-evaluate the language you are using to sell your product.
I promise you, if you do this right, you will greatly improve your results, you will improve your customer experience, speed up your time-to-activation, and you will have a product that speaks to the customer in a language they understand.
Do an effort/impact scale to help prioritise activities
Prototype and Test BEFORE you Build
Be prepared to fail before you find success