What Is the Product Experience and Why Does It Matter?

June 20, 2022

The product experience, or PX, refers to what customers or users experience when they use a product—that is, their motives, emotions, and thoughts. It plays a critical role in the customer and user experience.

When we consider that we would be nowhere without our users, it is not hard to understand why the product experience is so critical. After all, if users do not enjoy using your product and the emotions they feel do not line up with what you’ve anticipated, you would have a problem on your hands. In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at the product experience.

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What Is the Product Experience?

Understanding the product experience requires an awareness of the psychological impact of your product when someone interacts with it. This includes the degree to which the product stimulates their senses, the values and meanings that attach to the product, and the emotions and feelings that the product elicits.

How do customers or users feel when they interact with your product? From the moment users log in to your software until the moment they finish using it, what are their emotions? This is what product experience is all about.

Why Is the Product Experience So Important?

Product experience is critical because it relates to the way users feel when they interact with your product. If users have a poor experience with your product, they won’t want to use it to complete their tasks, and they’ll have negative feelings about your product.

On the flip side, a successful product experience can boost a product’s Net Promoter Score (NPS), engender loyalty, and increase the duration of your product’s usage. As a consequence, it stands to reason that businesses should value what their customers think and the feedback they provide, so they can make changes as necessary and deliver the right level of service for their solutions.

How Can You Improve the Product Experience?

Now that you know how important the product experience is, the question becomes: how can you improve your product experience and make it serve users’ needs better?

Create a Tour of Your Product

Begin by creating a product tour. Product tours are beneficial because they explain how to use your product. Plus, they ensure that customers are using your solution in the way that you intended them to use it, so they’ll get the maximum value from it. Figure 1 shows an example of a product tour.

There are plenty of great product-tour platforms that make it much easier for you to put together an effective tour of your product’s features. These solutions are user friendly and can help you to build an effective product tour in a short period of time.

Figure 1—Example of a product tour
Example of a product tour

A lot of businesses overlook the importance of product tours because they assume that people would know how to use their product to its fullest extent. However, when you have a product with a lot of different features, it is not uncommon for people to use only a few of them—not realizing the full depth of what your product has to offer.

Plus, a lot of business owners assume that product tours would cost a lot of money to create. However, with the tour platforms that are available today, this is simply no longer the case.

Listen to What Your Customers Say

You are never going to be able to improve your product experience unless you are in tune with what customers think and feel about your product. It is all too easy to assume that your product is delivering on its value proposition or that your customers have certain emotions when interacting with your solution, but is this the really the case?

You need to monitor what your users think. Get feedback from them. Find out whether they feel your service meets their personal needs—even if it is fully automated and digital. Make sure that your monitoring systems are up to date and providing the information you need.

Of course, you need to assess your metrics and evaluate things from an analytical point of view. However, at the same time, nothing beats actually having a conversation with your customers. Surveys and discussions can work wonders. Your learnings can help you to fine-tune your solution so it caters to people’s needs.

The trouble is that many people are time poor these days, so not everyone is going to be able to dedicate time to assisting you with improving your product. Therefore, giving research participants an incentive can be an excellent way of encouraging them to provide feedback. For example, you might give them a discount or a free month’s subscription to your software if they answer some questions for you.

Use Early-Warning Systems as Filters

When you consider the sheer number of different options for obtaining feedback that are available to you, you’ll need to find a way to filter the massive amounts of information that you could gather. Early-warning systems make a huge amount of sense.

You don’t need to know about every minute detail of what consumers are moaning about. Let’s face it, a huge river of unfiltered data is not going to be of value to anyone. It would only give you a headache!

So make sure that your systems are well organized and prioritized. Do not do this taking a general point of view. Your approach should be very deliberate. Think about the signals and indicators that are going to be most critical for you to monitor and analyze.

When you’re looking through all of your content in all its different forms, from social to email messages, you need to have an effective way of easily recognizing any sorts of opportunities that would have a high level of value and impact.

Make PX Improvements a Company-Wide Task

In addition to the tips that I’ve mentioned so far, it is also important to make sure that enhancing the product experience is a priority across all of your organization’s departments. You could miss out on considerable potential for improving your product if you do not do this. A lot of businesses think that PX is a task for just one department. This is a big mistake.

Instead, you should educate your entire business on the fundamentals of the product experience. You should also explain what improving your PX could do for the entire company. After all, people are going to appreciate the need for PX only if they understand how it pertains to them and why it is something they should care about.

You do not need to overwhelm people with a huge list of benefits, but as time goes on, you can weave this message into everything you do. Eventually, an appreciation for the value of the product experience should become part of the company culture within your organization. Only this can ensure the very best results.

Prepare for an Educated User Base

Not only do you need to create product tours and provide information for users who are coming to your business with no experience of your product, you also need to make sure that your organization is well prepared to serve a well-educated user base.

There are three different elements you should consider here. You need to think about marketing to these people first and foremost. Rather than simply going all-out with big banners and display ads, provide educational content. Users who are well educated about your product domain tend to be more interested in such content, and this content is how they’ll find your business.

Therefore, when you are trying to reach a well-educated user base, think about producing videos and creating news releases, articles, and blog posts. Focus on empowering people to realize that your solution is the right solution for their problem.

Next, you also need to consider educating people from a product-specific angle. While providing such content might not be the purview of the product-experience team, a significant percentage of each user’s overall satisfaction comes from their ability to locate the answers they need within your content ecosphere. For example, you could leverage an extensive FAQ section, open-source approaches to gathering content, forum-based support, and general knowledge banks.

Finally, creating new functionality and features is critical when it comes to engaging an educated user base. If you don’t invest your time and resources in this way, you won’t be able to retain and delight your most valued customers.

Final Words on the Product Experience

So there you have it: everything you need to know about the product experience. I hope this article has given you a better understanding of what to expect from your product experience and why it is so critically important to your users and your business.

Follow the tips and suggestions that I’ve provided in this article to ensure that you offer your users a better product experience and that your customers’ experiences align with what you expected when delivering your product. 

Content Writer at Skale

Milton Keynes, UK

Kerry HarrisonKerry has over 11 years of experience as a content writer, working both as a freelancer and within a variety of companies. She graduated from Canterbury Christ Church University with first-class honors, earning her BA Degree in Multimedia Journalism. In her spare time, she enjoys attending sports and music events.  Read More

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