In this age and era of the subscription economy, customers are inundated with multiple options. To make them stay with you, it’s super important that customers see value in what you are offering. That too as early as possible. For that to happen, understanding Time-To-Value (TTV) is key. Tracking, measuring, and improving this metric should be your number one priority.
Customer onboarding is crucial to your business. Providing early TTV during this period is vital. Customer Success is a proactive function that aims to provide exactly that. First, let’s understand TTV and what role it plays in efficient Customer Success function.
What is Time-To-Value (TTV)?
Time-To-Value is the time taken by your customer to derive value from your product after subscribing to it. It is a Customer Success metric. It measures the length of time taken by a customer to realize the value which s/he signed up for.
It should be your strategic business goal to lower TTV. It’s the goal and the KPI that should be tracked, measured, and improved consistently.
TTV is one of the least valued metrics in SaaS. However, it could be a competitive advantage for your business. If you fail to deliver early value, be prepared to find your customers leaving for alternatives.
5 Types of TTV
Now that you know how important providing value is to your business, let’s look at its different types. It depends on the nature of your business and other factors. Since it varies, you might need to track them.
1. Time to Basic Value
It is simply the time taken by your customer to realize the least value from your product. S/he is starting to see the real value of your product but hasn’t fully utilized it yet. Lower this time, the higher the chances of your customer wanting to see more value.
2. Immediate Value
As the name suggests, the value that a customer receives immediately after investing in a product. Instant gratification is the core characteristic of this type. For example, an online platform that provides instant feedback has the immediate TTV.
3. Time to Exceed Value
Suppose, your product has not only met the promises that you made but also provided value that exceeded your customer’s expectations. In this case, the metric that you would be required to calculate is the ‘Time-To-Exceed Value’. This usually happens when the customer signs up for the paid version of your product after seeing value during the free trial.
4. Short time to Value
Almost similar to the immediate value, this metric is used when the customer quickly recognizes the value of your offering. However, you need to always shorten this TTV as it’s usually easier for the customer to switch to alternatives. They will not wait for your product to show them the value when your competitors can do that much faster.
5. Long time to Value
Some SaaS businesses take time to show the value of their offering to customers. It might take several weeks to onboard and fully integrate the data and systems. There are high chances that the customer feels frustrated while using the product and not getting value all this while. In such cases, it’s important to reach out to the customer every step of the way and demonstrate value.
\n **Irrespective of the type of TTV, you would want to minimize it so that you can demonstrate value as quickly as possible.
Customer Success and TTV
Driving early value lays the foundation of a strong customer relationship. As mentioned above, consistent tracking of the KPI is important. This increases customer satisfaction and solidifies customer retention. It becomes tough if you do not have these metrics in place. Fortunately, Customer Success is there to ease your burden!
TTV is a customer onboarding metric and the CS function is, generally, the one responsible for Onboarding. It has all the data and metrics in place that are required to provide a short TTV. Starting from Onboarding through retention and renewals, CS takes care of customers every step of the way. Hence, it should come as no surprise that Customer Success is the one to provide early TTV.
Best Practices for Early TTV
- Improve Onboarding experience- Create a process where the TTV is minimal. It is easier said than done. Provide guides and case studies that will help customers understand how to make the most of your product’s features. Offering them timely resources would help them achieve their milestones easily and quickly.
- Dedicated CSMs– Customer Success Managers can guide your customers through different phases of the journey. They will address any specific issues s/he may face. Providing customized training helps them realize the value much faster and with a much shorter TTV.
- Data Analytics is important. – Pay close attention to how customers adopt your product. The best way to know your customer is through their data. You will see where your customer is struggling and what obstacles they’re facing. Know your customer better to serve them better.
- Digital Adoption Platforms (DAP)- If your customer is confused about the product, it’s a warning sign that they may abandon the solution. This is when DAPs would come into play. They have features that make it easy for your customers to learn about the product. Product Walkthroughs, In-app tutorials, etc. can help them better understand the product. They can find answers to their questions without waiting for a response to a support ticket!
Final thoughts on Driving Early Value
Providing a seamless Onboarding experience is the way to decrease TTV. A quicker TTV is a way to retain your customers for as long as possible. If your product is complex, provide a dedicated Customer Success Manager to work with customers. A personalized journey helps them see value fast.
Remember, realizing value from your product should be a cakewalk for the customer. If not, then they’ll leave your business to find someone else who provides a simple yet effective solution.
Provide them with resources, guides, and tutorials to not make them feel frustrated. Track metrics often to understand product adoption. Make data a priority. This will ensure they see value fast and shorten TTV.