Most of us would agree that product usage data is a key element to better understand customer adoption, retention, upsell and churn metrics. But what if you don’t have easy access to product usage data to analyze?

If all your products are cloud-based, then you may not suffer from this dilemma. But if you are working with legacy or non-cloud-based products or if you just don’t have access to in-product usage metrics, then you might need to be creative on how you gather product usage data to better understand key customer activity.

Solutions for Getting Product Usage Insight from Customer Service Data

Regardless if you have in-product usage data or not, there are three great data sources in your customer service organization to consider for tapping into customer product usage. The first and most obvious data source is your open-ended customer survey or customer feedback data. While this is the most straightforward data source, there are several companies that are not investing time to read and analyze the feedback customers write in these reviews to better understand product adoption and usage.

The second data source is your customer service request or case management system. Every day your customers contact your service organization to ask questions, get help and seek advice. If captured effectively, each customer inquiry can give you deep insight into product usage. Understanding the motivation for why your customer contacted your services team will help you better determine what they are doing with your product.

For example, a customer calling in out of frustration because they are unable to launch a documented product feature is more likely to abandon the product if they are not able to get help with their request. A customer calling in looking for additional product capability beyond what they are licensed for is a perfect example of a customer prime for an upsell. Seems obvious, right? As simple as this seems, companies still miss the opportunity to analyze this important touch point to gain insight into customer adoption and usage. What if you could analyze every customer request coming into your customer service organization to determine if each customer is ready to leave, renew and upsell/upgrade their product? What could you do with this data?

The final data source and one not tapped into enough is the inquiries submitted to your customer facing web page search and customer-facing knowledge base. If you have an authenticated customer portal then once your customer is logged on to your site, you should be able to track what they are looking for, and any inquiries they submit to your knowledge base or in web page search strings. Reviewing and analyzing this data can help you better understand how your customers are using your product and where they are in the customer journey (customer lifecycle).

Text analytics can provide a way to consolidate all three of these data sources into a single view to better understand customer adoption and retention through product usage. So if you are working with products that do not provide in-product usage data, there is still hope for getting usage data out of other systems. It just takes time and patients to build a repeatable process to gather this data. Once this process is in place, analyzing this data will give your company a deeper insight into customer adoption, retention and upsell opportunities.