The Consumption Gap - Solutions

Nalpeiron Software Analytics Blog, January 2014 http://blog.nalpeiro ... solutions/

The Consumption Gap – Solutions


If the Consumption Gap in SaaS is the difference between those software elements that customers pay for and those they can actually use, then closing that gap involves finding ways that more features can become valuable to the consumer. 


It’s probably safe to assume that the majority of consumers are to some extent comfortable with the idea that any given piece of software can do far more than their skills, knowledge and experience can use.  It’s fine to not know how to program the TV to record future shows, but it’s important to know how to find something to watch right now, for example. 


Customer discomfort really increases, however, when, in the work environment, a user is required to achieve certain tasks and deadlines, but cannot do so because the software is too complicated, or the learning curve is too steep.


In order to lessen the Consumption Gap, there are several solutions:


1)    Understanding User Adoption

Software Analytics can provide user adoption measurement

 as to how quickly users are able to learn and benefit from software features as well as where they get derailed.


2)    Improving User Adoption

Once the data identifies the hotspots where users get stuck, unable to work with the software, the SaaS provider can take several approaches:


Focus on User Education

- Send information on how to better navigate the software, or maybe just how to get through this particular sticking point

- Encourage users to take training by offering free as well as paid courses

- Facilitate a users forum



- Identify customers having difficulty with the software and reach out to them


Remove the difficult features

- While it may be impossible to remove all the complexity from the user experience, it is best to assume that every time a customer gets frustrated at hitting a roadblock, it is one more time that another product will begin to look appealing.  In the end it may be best to simplify the features than to attempt to change the end users.


Offer incentives to get past the difficulty

-       A special deal that provides cost savings

-       An offer of technical support, perhaps for free

-       An offer of training


Good communication with the goal of assisting customer success needs to be the focus of the tech enterprise.  Once users know that they will be helped through any obstacles, they will be inclined to risk using more features of the software and worry less the next time they hit a roadblock.   


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