HOW TO

Aha Moment:
How to Make Users Realize Your SaaS Product's Value

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes
December 22, 2021
HOW TO

Aha Moment:
How to Make Users Realize Your SaaS Product's Value

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes
December 22, 2021
HOW TO

Aha Moment:
How to Make Users Realize Your SaaS Product's Value

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes
December 22, 2021
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Ratibor Sekirov
CEO at Aspirity
Written by
This article was written
in collaboration with
Polina K. and Konstantin K.
UI/UX Designers at Aspirity
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A SaaS product's success directly depends on the number of customers willing to stay and keep using the service. Usability and frictionless customer experience immediately impact how the users perceive the app's environment.

The role of design is crucial. With its help, you should find a way to retain customers and lead them to your product's value as quickly as possible. But what exactly in your SaaS product system can prevent users from leaving for the first few minutes (or even seconds)? How do you keep their attention and make a good first impression?

Well, for a start, you should provide your potential customers with a streamlined and discreet product introduction. That's where onboarding comes into play.

The SaaS customer onboarding process is a comprehensive yet concise overview of the product's key features and an explanation of its key features. When new customers start using the app, they need to know how your platform is arranged and what benefits it offers.

However, providing a result-driven SaaS onboarding experience is not so easy as it may seem. A product often contains many functions, so it's not always clear how far onboarding should go to not overwhelm users, pushing them away. That's why onboarding should lead to a so-called Aha moment.

Having rich experience in building successful SaaS products, we at Aspirity decided to share with you some valuable insights. This post will reveal what an Aha moment is, how to determine it, and use it to retain your customers.

What is an Aha Moment?

So what is an aha moment, and why is it crucial for efficient onboarding?

You can find many definitions of this concept. However, the general idea is quite straightforward. It's when a user realizes the product's value and gets satisfied interacting with it. Understanding how the app works and meets the customer's needs directly impacts their decision to keep using it.

Simply put, an aha moment comes when users realize why your app is special and how it can make their lives easier. And the sooner it happens, the better.

Suppose the SaaS onboarding process particularly focuses on finding and emphasizing an aha moment. Then, the chances to create a fascinating user experience and improve metrics are significantly increasing.

Now, let's dive a bit deeper into the details.

Why Is the Aha Moment So Important?

Finding an aha moment of your product leads to "activating" users. It means that a customer takes an important step to move to the next funnel stage. Understanding the solution your product offers to relieve their pain points turns passing-by visitors into loyal service buyers. A timely and notable aha moment persuades them that your product is worth paying for.

Besides, aha moment establishes an emotional connection between users and the application, essential for subscription-based services like SaaS. This emotional component allows users to get used to the product faster and encourages them to spread positive feedback. In turn, it will help you expand your audience.

In contrast, if an aha moment isn't found and accurately introduced to the users; it may snowball into a serious challenge. The users might not understand how your product will solve their problems and what its value is. As a result, churn rates will increase, significantly slowing down your SaaS growth.
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How to Find Aha Moment in Your SaaS

It's not always easy to find the aha moment, even if you know your product perfectly. Moreover, your insider vision may be an obstacle. Being immersed in your product and finding yourself within its context, you may experience difficulties walking in your customers' shoes.

The advantage of an experienced designers' team is in well-established product skills and a variety of essential tools. To discover product aha moment, we at Aspirity use the techniques like User Journey Mapping, User Personas, Job Stories, User Interviews, etc.

Let's overview several key options to help you search for a SaaS aha moment.

Funnel Analysis

Supposing your product is already on track and has a sufficient number of active users. The easiest way to find the aha moment will be analyzing data regarding your SaaS client onboarding experience. It will give you a chance to see your product's benefits and drawbacks through the users' eyes.

This approach consists of two steps to clarify where the aha moment should happen and why it might fail.

The first step is to find out where and how the retention succeeds. Here is what you can do to get this information:
Study analytics.
Select the segment of users that come back to your service.
Determine their SaaS onboarding journey experiences. User Journey Map is a perfect tool to understand how the users interact with your product. With its help, you will find out how they move through the interface, where they click, etc.
The second stage will show where your app fails to deliver your service value to the customers. Here are the steps to follow:
Select the segment of churning users. It's important not to consider the ones who hesitate. Only the potential customers who leave within the first few days or weeks should be the subject of research.
Determine what they do differently from the retained users.
Funnel analytics will give you a full picture of the users' behavior. It will also be easier to find out where they are (or should be) experiencing the aha moment.

Ask Your Early Users

User interviews are worth explaining in another article or even a whole book. Interviews' main advantage is that they provide numerous insights about users' needs, pain points, behavior, psychology, etc.

So when struggling to find your product's aha moment, ensure to resort to this method. With its help, you can add a few necessary points to your potential aha moments list. With a huge variety of possible interviewing methods, you can determine the following:
At what point did your active users decide to keep using your service?
How good was their onboarding experience?
How fast did they realize your product's value?
Which of your product's features do they appreciate most?
How long did it take them to understand how the app works?
For example, we gained useful insight when working on the Pick Up Points web application. We conducted a user interview and found that, despite our expectations, the audience prefers smartphones to computers. It helped us come up with a more efficient solution, prioritizing the mobile version.

Come Up With Multiple aha moments

SaaS product is normally aimed at a fairly wide audience. So when looking for your app's aha moment, you should consider all possible options. Coming out with a single narrowly focused moment could be not enough.

To enhance engagement, you can conduct user research and create numerous User Personas, depending on their needs and goals. Accordingly, aha moments for each of these groups may be different. It's important to consider various factors, including the users' average age, occupation, range of interests, reasons to buy your service, etc.

This approach proves that you cannot determine your product's value separately from the users. It entirely depends on particular customers' needs and, therefore, may vary.

For example, any popular marketplace like Amazon or eBay involves multiple aha moments provided for different user groups. The buyers are likely to experience an aha moment when completing their first purchase. In turn, sellers' aha moments happen when they get their first revenue for the sold goods.

Test Your Onboarding

SaaS user onboarding is inseparably linked to the aha moment concept. Moreover, the onboarding experience is worthless unless it leads users to the awareness of the product's value and the benefits it can bring.

Thus, the potential aha moments list is created to hypothesize when exactly the users realize: "Aha! That's what I actually need!" You can verify many of these hypotheses with the help of A/B testing.

A/B testing involves comparing two different versions of the same web page or set of features. This method adoption is one of the essentials in the SaaS onboarding checklist. Verifying which user flow works better can help you improve the product's hierarchy.

However, if your SaaS product is in the early development stages, it's better not to overestimate metrics and quantitative analytics like A/B testing. Focus your attention on qualitative research, such as User and UX Interviews, analyzing user sessions, etc. For efficient qualitative findings, you can use tools like Smartlook, Hotjar, CrazyEgg, etc.

Analyze Competitors

Last but not least, you can take advantage of analyzing the competitors' experience. Carefully studying SaaS onboarding examples, especially those related to your product's type, can considerably complement your aha moments list.

Many user interviews explore where your direct competitors succeed and where they fail. You can ask your target users how quickly and at what point they realized the value of the services they're currently using.

As a result, you will drill down into your market's environment to get more useful insights and discover SaaS onboarding best practices.

SaaS Onboarding Metrics and KPIs

To determine your product's aha moment and improve user activation, you can use various SaaS onboarding metrics that will help you outline where your app succeeds to retain users and where it fails.

However, there is no universal solution related to the data you need for finding aha moment and improving the onboarding process. Core metrics and KPIs vary depending on your product's nature.

For instance, Tik-Tok uses Daily Active Users (DAU) and Time per Session metrics to determine how many users are active within a certain time frame. In contrast, subscription-based SaaS products like MailChimp benefit from the Trial to Paid metric since it shows how many users have converted from a free account to a paid one.

Here, we will define the key metrics and explain how they can help you improve your product's value recognition.

Churn Rates

Churn rate is a metric showing how many customers have left your SaaS over a certain period of time. Your product's success directly depends on this indicator. It reveals if your service can meet customers' needs and make them recognize its value before they decide to stop using it.

According to the research, the acceptable annual churn rate for a SaaS product is 5-7%. So if your churn is much higher, it's time to pay attention to your SaaS onboarding UX quality. The poor onboarding experience is one of the most typical reasons of increased churn rates.

The most probable cause is that a big number of customers don't recognize your aha moment. In other words, they simply don't understand why to keep using your service.

Thus, it's extremely important to monitor customer churn rates and control your SaaS performance.

Retention

Retention metrics show the percentage of customers who decide to keep using your product. This indicator shows how efficient your service and marketing strategy are.

Like churn rates, retention indicators can be used to monitor your SaaS app's performance, particularly its onboarding effectiveness. It might be helpful when searching for an aha moment. If your retention rates are growing after you've implemented certain changes, it means that you're on the right path.

Free Trial to Paid Conversion

This type of metrics reports about the number of users who converted from free trial to paid users by selecting one of your subscription plans. Free trial to paid is especially valuable for SaaS products whose income directly depends on the number of subscribers.

The trial-to-paid conversion metric is one of the best ways to verify how well your SaaS onboarding strategy works. You can also dive deeper into the data delivered by this KPI and find out which marketing channels are more efficient, or when exactly the users decide to start paying for your service.

Time per Session

Time per Session or Average Session Duration metric specifies the average time the customers spend in your app daily. This indicator can give you valuable information on how smooth the customer journey is and reveal if most users manage to get through a certain funnel.

For instance, a common lifecycle of a particular session is 30 minutes, but a certain number of users leave earlier, which might report an issue. As for the onboarding process, an unexpectedly interrupted session might mean that the aha moment doesn't arrive on time.

However, this SaaS onboarding metric may be controversial and need more in-depth investigation. Raising numerous questions, it doesn't provide accurate answers. To go deeper and find the causes of potential issues, you will need to conduct more detailed research like in-app surveys or session recordings.

Aha Moments Examples

The aha moment concept might seem quite simple. It's not always easy to identify one, though. Take a look at these aha moments examples to better understand how it works in existing successful SaaS products.

iTraq

iTraq is a powerful tracking solution designed by the Aspirity team. It enables monitoring shipments easily and conveniently.

When users send parcels with devices, they enter the app and see how the status changes over time: their parcels move on the map. The aha moment comes when a user enters the app at least twice during the day to trace their order's status.

Pick up Points

Pick up Points is a web service for creating unique ads in order status notifications. The platform allows store owners to insert their promotions directly into the parcel's delivery notifications.

The aha moment is associated with the first purchase. When a customer comes to pick up their order and at the same time makes a purchase of the advertised goods, the store owner realizes that the use of the platform has started to pay off.

Usersnap

Usersnap is a SaaS platform allowing users to gain visual customer feedback with screen captures, surveys, and feature requests.

The platform offers numerous integrations with project management and CMS tools.. So the actual aha moment happens when the potential customers see numerous logos representing their daily-used tools like Jira, Slack, Trello, Basecamp, etc.

Thus, the target users get more convinced in the product value as they see how to collect feedback and instantly get it to their team's favorite tool.

Uber

Uber is a world-famous mobility-as-a-service platform with more than 100 million active users around the globe.

Uber app is a great example of multiple aha moments aimed at a wide target audience. After the signup, customers realize they can find a ride within a few minutes. It's a great aha moment for those who need spontaneous travel and the fastest possible service.

Meanwhile, those who plan their rides in advance may experience another aha moment. They will be happy to find out that it's possible to schedule a ride for the following day.

Airbnb

Airbnb is a giant online marketplace for lodging with a great aha moment implementation. The service provided by the company requires users to enter a lot of data during registration. The signup may take long, which often results in increased churn rates. Yet, here is the solution.

The aha moment comes before customers should fill the form. The users can find the platform's benefits in advance, so they have no doubts about its value when signing up.

Slack

Slack is a business communication platform offering to organize and improve teams' performance by sending messages and sharing files internally.

Slack's success proves that an aha moment doesn't always have to happen immediately. The researches showed that the customers should exchange approximately 2,000 messages to realize the product's value.

Wishpond

Wishpond is a platform created for marketing specialists. It enables creating online marketing campaigns, boosting sales, and generating leads.

The aha moment happens when customers realize how fast the publishing process is. The simplicity and instancy of the live campaign publication dispels stereotypes of long-lasting procedures, convincing that the product is easy to use and result-driven.

Calendly

Calendly is an appointment scheduling software that has rapidly gained popularity despite stiff competition.

With no need to reinvent the wheel, Calendly offers a more smooth and streamlined way to book events and schedule meetings. The aha moment comes when customers realize they don't have to experience the hassle of back-and-forth emails. With a simplified user journey and automated reminders, new users instantly see what makes the product stand out.

Canva

Canva is a popular graphic design platform used for creating social media graphics, presentations, etc.

One of the keys to customer success provided by Canva is a frictionless and efficient onboarding experience. It creates the desired effect of designing processes' simplicity and accessibility instead of the traditional point of view. Most users believe that design is extremely complex. Yet, using Canva for the first time, they may feel relieved: "Aha! It could be that easy!"

In just four easy steps, Canva shows users they can easily handle ready-made templates, custom designs, and their own media files uploading.

LiveAgent

LiveAgent is a powerful help desk software used by thousands of companies worldwide. It provides users with increased productivity, personalized real-time chat support, cloud-based call center solutions, etc.

It's another great example of an aha moment that may occur depending on certain user groups' needs. Normally, the product value awareness comes when particular customers start to realize that the product helps address their issues by improving response speed or reducing cart bounce rate.

Improve Your Product Onboarding Process with Aspirity

When designing a SaaS product, one should pay extra attention to coming up with a well-thought-out onboarding strategy. It will deliver your customers a comprehensive overview of your app's core features and capabilities.

Aha moment is one of the keys to an efficient onboarding experience. Finding and implementing it will ensure your customers get to the product's essence on time. Thus, they will recognize its value and realize why they should stay.

Great aha moments build emotional connections between your product and the audience. So finding them is crucial. By doing so, you will considerably reduce churn rates and, consequently, increase revenue.

If you need to improve the product onboarding or struggle to find a result-driven aha moment in your SaaS, we are ready to help you out. Our designers' team at Aspirity has rich experience working with SaaS products, including various analytics and advanced research. Feel free to get in touch for more information. Let's empower your SaaS with an aha moment that will retain your customers like a magnet!
This article was written in collaboration with Polina K. and Konstantin K. UI/UX Designers at Aspirity
CEO AT ASPIRITY
Ratibor Sekirov
For more than 2,5 years, I've been working as CEO at Aspirity. I help professionals launch digital products by providing dedicated development teams.
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