Do you know how your customers use your product?

When you create your own startup and have a technological background, as I do, is very easy to think that what your customers need is a product full of features.  But what your customers need is a product that makes their lives easier, period.

Having a product with the right features is more important than having a product with a lot of features.

That is why I spend a few hours every week looking at the usage patterns of Happy Mood Score.
To know how people are using HMS I use Google Analytics and Events.

The firs step is to define what I want to know. The most important thing I want to track in Happy Mood Score is:
  • Feedback
  • Peer to peer rewards
  • Ideas
Then there are other metrics that I want to know also like: adding new employees, 1on1 notes or teams.
All those metrics will tell me important information about the use of HMS. To capture that information I use a Google Analytics feature called: Events. In Google Analytics adding an event is very easy. You need to add the following line of code:

ga('send', 'event', 'Category', 'Action', 'Label', Value);

For instance: Let's say that I want to track when someone creates a new High 5 (High 5s are peer to peer rewards in Happy Mood Score). I would add the following event after the High 5 has been created successfully.

ga('send', 'event', 'High5', 'New', 'UserDashboard', 0);

  • Category: I am tracking which tool is being used, in this case the High 5.
  • Action: I am saving the specific action the user is doing like: New, Edit, Delete.
  • Label: Where is the user doing that. Users can give a High 5 to other users in different parts of the application. Now I know which place is being used the most.
  • Value: This is a numeric field so I use it to know if the High 5 has a message included. If that is the case then it will be 1 or 0 if no message is present.
As you can see there is a lot of interesting information that I know using events.
Combine this information with some custom metrics like, for instance, if the company is in the trial period or not, and you will have a lot of useful information to make informed decisions.
Now I can create custom reports that will tell me:
  • How many new employees are adding companies in the trial period?
  • How many High 5s are created each week/month?
  • Which areas of the application are being used the most/least?
  • Which day do people create more feedback, High 5s, ideas?
There is also a report called "Events Flow" where I can learn things like:

After reporting their status 50% of the people send a feedback message and then 16% of that people send an average of 2 High 5s to co-workers.
How cool is that? A lot of information available with a small effort.
I know there are other tools available, like Mixpanel, but I found them very expensive specially for a bootstrapped startup like us.
Are you tracking the usage of your product? I would love to know how you do it and any tips, improvements or suggestions.

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