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Customer Activation

Increasing Customer Activation

After you have put all the efforts to acquire large number of potential customers, how do you actually engage them in using your product? Almost 98% of traffic to websites doesn’t lead to activation and most mobile apps lose 80% of their users in just 3 days. The more users who experience the aha moment of your product are more likely to stick with your product and activate it. In order to increase your customer activation, Growth Hacking offers you 3 important points to focus on.

  1. Mapping the Route to the Aha Moment
  2. Creating a funnel report of conversions and drop-offs
  3. Survey of Dos and Don’ts
  1. Mapping the Route to the Aha Moment

 The first step is to identify each and every point in your customers’ journey towards the aha moment of your product – right from knowing your product to their experience with it. To know in details about the Aha moment click here.

You may be well  versed with each and every feature of your product/ app but do the customers really know? In case if you have developed an app, do a trial installation with a third person and observe how easy it is for him to install the app in one go. Learn the obstacles faced by him. In order to use your product, the initial experience must be hassle free. Once they have landed at your app/ website, are they provided with the options to get the aha user experience? So you should list all the options to meet the actual need of your customers.  Just reading through these steps can make you think of many ways where users might lose interest or become frustrated and exit the app/web page.

You always have to study hard about the user behavior and then query them on the basis of your observations in order to make the efficient changes to impact the potential customers.

Once you have identified the steps that lead to the aha moment, next step is to know the conversion rates.

  1. Measuring Conversions and Drop offs

One of the best ways to measure conversion rates is through a funnel report, a tool that displays the rates at which people who know your product moving through each of the key steps in the customer journey. Create a funnel report with no of people vs who visited site, signed up, activated, billed and dropped off. For e.g. For Uber the funnel report will display the rate at which no of people who download the app, create new account, book their ride and so on..

In addition to measuring the conversion rate, the report should also track the channels ( google search, ad words, referrals, banner ads, social media pages )through which the customers have come to know your product. By doing so you discover which acquisition channel you should further focus to gain more active customers. Google Analytics can help you out to create these funnel reports. When the funnel report needs combining data from multiple sources, it becomes a bit complicated. Having a data analyst in your team might be able to identify the data sources to query and build the report effectively.

When the number of people visiting your web page/ app doesn’t pass through billing stage, it is obvious that there is a major stumbling block in the checkout experience. In that case, you should consider providing easy payment options or new design to ease the check out process. Next step is to get out to the public, conduct some surveys to know more about the user behaviour.

  1. Survey of Dos and Don’ts

We all would have experienced the customer survey pop up when visiting a website/app. It can be an effective discovery tool for you for studying user behavior and at the same time annoying to the users. To get the response effectively, the survey should be very brief and should be delivered to users under 2 main conditions.

  1. When their activity indicates confusion or staying on one page for a long time
  2. Right after they have created an account or made a purchase

Both these options can yield valuable insights about why customer decided to take the next step or did not. It is preferable to ask open ended questions or offer a set of answers to chose from. Letting them share whatever they feel gives you a chance to know them better.

An interesting fact is the reason why people abandon your product at any given step will come from people who didn’t give up. To people who leave the app/page without completing their orders, asking “what has stopped you from completing your order” will give you an effective response where you should focus on redesigning the app. 

Here are some questions that will yield good insights about the customer behavior

  1. Does this page contain the information you are looking for ?
  2. Was there anything about the checkout process we should improve?
  3. What convinced you to complete your purchase today?
  4. Is there anything preventing you to sign up at this point?
  5. If you did not make a purchase today, can you tell us why?

Always have in mind, you should never stop once you acquire large number of customers, you should continuously engage them actively by updating your product based on their behavior. As a result you can increase their retention with your product which in turn increases your revenue.


Community Manager – Cultiv8

Optimizing New User Experience

How do you optmize new user experience for your app/website ?

After you have put so much efforts to attract new customers to use your product/app, the first ever experience your product give them should be special to them that makes them irresistible to use.

The first rule of designing and optimizing your new user experience is to craft a special experience that makes the users to engage with the product and appreciate it for its offerings.

The second rule is your product’s landing page should accomplish these 3 fundamental things.

  1. Relevant communication – how well the page matches the intent and desire the visitors. Do they have what they want?
  2. Value of your product – what’s in it for the visitors should be clear and concise.
  3. A clear call to action – if they are convinced, we should provide a next compelling step for them to take.

According to Bryan Eisenberg, these 3 factors are considered as the conversion trinity. Optimizing these pages requires running many experiments with the language, taglines, images and so on..

In designing the user experience, eradicating friction helps the customers to accomplish the action they are trying to complete. What is tricky here is as a developer or marketer, we don’t recognize the sources of friction in our own products. In many cases it might be surprising for the designers to see how the users stumble to use their products. With every step the user has to jump through, if the value of your product isn’t clear or too many hurdles, even the slight irritation can send them back often for good.

According to Sean, a simple formula would help you reduce the friction as much as possible which is  Desire – Friction = Conversion Rate

To improve the user experience, you should either increase your customer’s desire or reduce the friction experienced by them out of which the latter is the low hanging fruit. Below tactics can be quiet useful to enhancing the user experience.

  1. Simplifying the sign-up process – using single-sign-on has been a game changer in recent days. Most of the sign ups with our existing google or social media accounts has simplified the process making the users create their account in a single click. With this one tag “ sign Up using your Google Account” most of the companies offering consumer products and also B2B have reported a stunning increase in acquiring new potential customers. Always remember one thing what works for one product does not work for the other. So keep experimenting.
  2. Flipping the funnel – allowing the customers experience your product’s aha moment quickly by making them to enjoy the features of your product without sign up. This technique works well for web and non-web based products. Giving them a trial period to enjoy your product has been proven successful in cases of Netflix, Amazon Prime, You tube and so on…
  3. Psychological commitment – At times, you have to put some positive friction on their way to help them understand the value of their product. Robert Cialdini, a psychologist explains once people take an action, no matter how small, as long as they have a good experience, they are more likely to take any action in the future. It is a form of a psychological commitment they have. The more information people put into their product, the more their commitment increases.
  4. Art of Questionnaire – asking customers about their interests or problems they are seeking solutions immediately creates a form of commitment and creates a personal connection with you and your product. This works best if customizing your product to meet their needs is possible.
  5. Gamification – offering rewards to the customers for certain actions. The rewards should be meaningful and offer relevant value to the customers in such a way they should feel some gratification.

No matter how good your product is, these tactics should be implemented as a foundation for building strong relationships with your customers. With providing great user experience and developing a strong relationship with the customers you should next focus on processes to achieve larger retention rate.


Community manager, Cultiv8


Idea Validation

Idea Validation - Why and How?

Me, you, anyone who has an idea and who is willing to act upon the idea, can become an entrepreneur.

Now, assume you have an idea. You like it. You love it. You believe it is futuristic and will change lives of many – great! Now is the time to validate if your assumptions are right and if the idea is worth spending more time on.

A simple definition of Idea Validation is – the process of validating your idea prior to launching your business.

Idea Validation – Why?

We are always biased towards our opinions and ideas. What problem I face might not be faced by 95% of the population. Is the remaining 5% a large enough market to cater to? – Not really.

Idea validation is important to understand:

  • Does your idea solve a real-world problem?
  • Do people need it? – Else you will be working on an idea that nobody is interested in.
  • And more importantly, are people willing to pay for it?

Before you start with the process of validation, create a framework around your idea. Easiest way to do this is to fill a Lean Canvas.

Lean Canvas helps you –

  • Define your customer.
  • What is the problem you are trying to solve?
  • What is the existing solution and how you will be better than them?
  • Unique value proposition

Lean Canvas should be refined based on new insights you come across while validating your idea. These are just your base level hypothesis to start with. Some of these hypothesis might get redefined and some may be falsified while you validate your idea.

Idea Validation – How?

  • Talk to potential customers

There is no better way to validate your idea than talking to your potential customers. I cannot stress this enough. These people should not be your friends or family. Get on the field and talk to people. Validation only comes from potential customers.

Ask as many open-ended questions as possible, try out different scenarios, get to know their pain points, ask whether they will be willing to pay for your product/service. Run targeted surveys to get feedback on the idea. Online surveys should only be a part of customer validation and not the only way.

In the initial stage, talk about your ideas with as many people as possible. The success of an idea depends on the execution; hence you should not be worried about someone stealing your idea. Sharing idea helps you refine it, get various insights, understand the obvious loopholes which you may have missed earlier and some outright critical comments.

  • Competitive analysis

Mapping the existing market players provides some understanding of how the product is received in the market. You can learn from the mistakes your competitors made, avoid them and build your own USP for the product.

  • Create MVP

Create a Minimum Viable Product and check the response. This is a great way to get feedback and build on it.

  • Crowdfunding

The most popular methods out there is crowdfunding platforms. Here you find people that are ready to pay for the product that doesn’t exist (as yet!)

Closing remarks

Sometimes just going out there and trying to sell your product/service is the best way to validate it. Often times it is difficult to precisely predict how your idea might be received. While idea validation methods provide some understanding of whether you should pursue an idea, initial confidence etc. – it is going out there and selling that paves way for continuous learning and improvements.

                                                                                                 Anusha Kamath

                                                                              Program Manager – Cultiv8

How to build products that customers Love?

Last week we had team discussion with the sales team of METI, an IIoT company, who has the reputation of building amazing products, especially hardware.  We were discussing on what value addition the products we’re offering to their customers. The main value addition that METI emphasised was remote monitoring. But we wanted to get deeper and understand why customers wanted Remote Monitoring Solutions.
We met their customer which was an Engineering Services company and had a two-hour discussion. The process of the interview is as follows 
Meti: Why do you need a remote monitoring solution? 
Company: To do energy monitoring in our foundries. 
Meti: Why do you need energy monitoring in the foundries? 
Company: Want to check if the furnace is fully loaded. 
Meti: Why do have to check if the furnace is fully loaded? 
Company: Otherwise there will be wastage of power. 
Meti: Why do you say power is wasted if the furnace is not fully loaded? 
Company: Whether the furnace is not fully loaded or not, the furnace will consume the same amount of power. If the furnace is fully loaded then the entire power is efficiently utilised, otherwise, power is wasted. 
Meti: Is there a benchmark for comparison? 
Company: Yes. Usually, it takes 590 units to melt one ton of metal.  
Meti: How does remote monitoring help you achieve your goal? What is the goal? 
Company: Remote monitoring helps us understand the power consumption pattern. We estimate the power consumption pattern every minute and the quantity of metal melted in the foundry. This will help us understand if the foundry is working in full efficiency. In other words, we understand if the machine is running is the maximum capacity or is it under-utilised which only means power is wasted.  
METI: Can you please elaborate quantitatively? 
An optimal value to melt one tonne of metal is 590 units. If we can do that 610 units, it’s still productive. The manager showed the data wherein before the remote monitoring system was employed, the company was consuming 710 units to melt one tonne because of under utilisation of machines. Remote monitoring helped them to reduce the power consumption to 610 units/ton. 
Meti: What happens without a remote monitoring solution? Cant we not monitor it manually? 
Company: If there is no remote monitoring solution then there must be a supervisor who has to go and inspect the machines every one hour and come back with a report. It only helps in a post-mortem. It does not help the system take a timely corrective action. Even if a sample is collected every one hour, it will not be enough for optimisation as the pattern varies in a minute to minute basis.  
Meti: What is the power consumption of the unit? 
Company: The power consumption of the factory is 50 lakh unit. The foundry consumes 48 lakh units. 
Meti: How many tons do you melt every month? 
Company: 3000 tons 
Meti: what are the other value additions that you derive out of real-time monitoring? 
Company: If we are able to understand the maximum load duration and the period, we shall work to keep the maximum load off the peak hours (6-9pm). Further, if the maximum load is kept after 10 pm, we also get a 20% rebate. 
Meti: What else sir? 
Company: Remote monitoring also helps to maintain the power factor, apart from optimising the furnace usage. 
Meti: What else do we compute from the patterns? 
Company: The solution has helped to improve /maintain the power factor and also compute the peak load. Without a real-time date, it will be impossible to calculate and maintain both of these parameters. It also makes sure we can keep our Maximum Demand in check thereby avoiding penalty.  
Meti: How did you decide to buy the solution? 
Company: Earlier readings used to be taken every one hour. Every tonne consumed almost 700 units.590 units is the benchmark. But you will find everyone is working all the time. Only when you know the loading pattern; you will know to how to make it efficient. The load has to be full for effective power consumption.  
Meti: History of energy monitoring : 
Company: Analog- mainly used to protect the switchboard. Analog meter was replaced by Digital energy meter. Now it has moved to Industry 4.0.  
Meti: Future expectations? 
Company: 1. Production report needs to be generated every month. The company should work to generate the report effortlessly.  
                  2. Energy consumption every minute. Patterns have to captured.  
                  3. Help us learn good practices from other companies.  
How to build products that customers Love
Insights for METi after the interview. 
Having bought the product, the company was able to achieve ROI of  71% in less than 30 days.
Apart, the device also helped the company to maintain the power factor and also calculate the maximum power demand.
“All these things, we were able to achieve effortlessly”, These were the right words from the manager
This is real value addition, not Remote Monitoring. METI is now trying to position itself differently now with these insights. 
Often, startups do not understand customer needs. Many products are launched on the market with a lot of assumptions. The biggest problem with these assumptions is that the startups do not know how to position the product in the market, even worse, if these assumptions fail, then the whole business collapses.  
If you want to build a product that customers love, then build the product with the customer. Even better, let the customer build the product for you.
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