Here’s a sobering truth: if you run a SaaS company and don’t use customer analytics software, you probably won’t be in business very long.

Gone are the days when business leaders can afford to make decisions solely on the basis of intuition.

We live in an era of big data. According to Hosting Tribunal, more data was created in the last two years than in the rest of human history combined!

It therefore stands to reason that the companies that thrive are constantly collecting and analyzing data about customer behavior, and pivoting their offerings accordingly.

If you’re looking for quality customer analytics software for your business, you’re in the right place.

Allow us to walk you through the best solutions on the market at the moment, and the criteria by which you should choose between them.

Contents

TL;DR

  • Customer analytics software is used by companies to uncover insights from customer behavior and turn those into a better product experience.
  • The main heuristics to take into account when shopping for customer analytics software are the source of the customer data, how easy the data is to categorize and follow up on, and the size of your business.
  • Userpilot is the best customer analytics software on the market.
  • Other good options include Hotjar, Canny and Satismeter.

What Is Customer Analytics Software?

Increasingly, customers expect that companies will collect data and use it to generate a deep understanding of their needs and wants.

A study by Experience Dynamics found that as many as 79% of users are prepared to search for a competitor if your business is unable to give them what they want.

Enter Customer Analytics Software to save the day.

hero meme

Customer Analytics Software is designed to facilitate the collection, sorting and analysis of data from customers.

The “customers” part of this definition is important, since this is what differentiates customer analytics software from tools like Google Analytics, which looks at data from website visitors as opposed to customers.

Through analyzing customer data, SaaS companies can create better product experiences for their users. This has numerous benefits across key growth metrics, including:

  • Reduced churn: The better you understand your customers, the better their product experience will be, and the less likely they will be to leave you for a competitor.
  • Faster activation: Customer analytics software can be used to determine where the friction is in activation. With this knowledge, the product team can create individualized product walkthroughs that point users towards the key UI elements that they need to learn.
  • Increased Customer Lifetime Value: Reduced churn and faster activation translate into more engaged users that stick around for longer, which means you company will make more money per customer over time.

How Do You Choose The Best Customer Analytics Software For Your Business?

So you’re convinced that your business needs customer analytics software.

But there are so many different options on the market. How do you go about deciding what to buy?

thinking meme

Here are the heuristics we think you should use to make your decision.

A. How do you want to gather customer data?

There are two main schools of thought on the best way to do this:

  1. Gather customer data by email using NPS and other survey tools
  2. Gather customer data by examining their in-app behavior

Note: these methods are by no means mutually exclusive. For example, Userpilot is primarily an in-app tool, but it also offers the ability to create NPS surveys.

That being said, if you have to choose one over the other, we would recommend looking at users’ in-app behavior.

The reason for this is simple:

Actions speak louder than words.

Look, anyone can give positive feedback in a survey.

But if a user who gave you a 9/10 on your NPS score churns a week later, did the survey or their in-app behavior better reflect their actual feelings about your product?

As much as dishonesty sucks, giving disingenuous feedback due to people pleasing is a real phenomenon.

people pleasing meme

 

Don’t be this person. Source: mywellnesshub.in

In fact, entire books have been written to discuss the arbitrariness of positive spoken feedback in business. I personally recommend “The Mom Test” by Rob Fitzpatrick.

B. To what extent can you categorize your customer data?

Perhaps you’re a small company that only has one customer segment that all use your product in the same way.

Well, if so, you’re certainly in a minority!

Most companies have multiple user segments and multiple use cases, and these only tend to increase in number as your SaaS empire expands.

It follows that the more customer data you wish to analyze, the more categorizing that data becomes an essential feature of whatever software you decide to use.

In particular, consider categorizing customer data by the following factors:

  • Customer segment (eg product managers versus business owners)
  • Size of customer account
  • Duration of customer account
  • Activated accounts versus non-activated accounts
  • Accounts with high satisfaction versus accounts with low satisfaction

C. To what extent can you follow up on insights from customer analytics?

This is a must. There’s no point gathering data about customers, analyzing it, and then not doing anything with those insights.

It follows that the best customer analytics software will allow you to follow up with users in the same app in which you gathered the data.

To show you what I mean by following up, imagine you’ve sent an NPS survey to your customers in-app.

userpilot nps

 

NPS survey in Userpilot

Following up on that data might involve sending a qualitative survey to expand on the quantitative insight data.

You could then follow up on those qualitative insights in a number of ways, such as:

  • Asking the user if they wish to have a Zoom call with you
  • Requesting a new feature from the product team
  • Suggesting a UI improvement to the design team

D. How big is your company?

The size of your business affects two factors that should be a part of your decision:

  1. How much budget you have to spend on customer analytics software
  2. How many seats you need to purchase

Larger enterprises will generally have entire teams dedicated to customer analytics, so you’ll need to buy multiple seats, which can get expensive quickly.

By contrast, if you have a small team, you’ll be looking for something that’s cheap and allows you to use one seat across your entire organization.

Best Customer Analytics Software

Without further ado, here are the best customer analytics options on the market at the moment.

Keep your decision-making criteria to hand as you go through this list.

1. Userpilot

userpilot logo

Yes, it’s our tool, but we think we can make an objective case that Userpilot is the best customer analytics software on the market right now.

How does it gather customer data?

As previously mentioned, the main way Userpilot gathers data is on the basis of in-app customer behavior.

Userpilot is well known in the SaaS world for its so-called “microsurveys.” Found in-app, these surveys only take a minute or two to complete, meaning that your customer can focus on what they want to do, namely using your product.

This is what a microsurvey in Userpilot looks like:

userpilot microsurvey

And it’s super easy to build one. Check out this post for instructions.

One really neat thing about these microsurveys is that you can choose to send users a survey based on the specific features of your product that they have interacted with.

For example, if you wanted to examine the effectiveness of a new feature launch, it wouldn’t make sense to survey all users – only those who have actually used the feature.

In this scenario, you would set up a custom event in Userpilot that is defined as “use feature XYZ” and only send the microsurvey to users that have fulfilled the custom event.

Microsurveys are a great way to collect user data because they keep your users on your platform.

By contrast, if you were to send your user a survey by email, think of all the ways they could possibly be distracted by other emails…

email meme

How does Userpilot categorize customer data?

Userpilot offers users a huge amount of options in terms of organizing customer data.

Let’s look at the example of how one could organize data collected from an in-app NPS survey. Here are some possible ways you could stratify that data:

  • By NPS score.
  • By promoters, passives, and detractors.
  • By company email. This feature is useful if you need to zoom in on a particular enterprise customer’s feedback.
  • By keyword, using the custom tagging feature.

This level of categorization makes subsequent analysis of your customer data much simpler.

How can you follow up on insights from customer data?

Rather than emailing each user manually, which is boring and time-consuming, Userpilot allows you to add qualitative follow-up questions to microsurveys.

Sticking with our NPS example, imagine that a social media scheduler gave you an NPS score of 4. That’s not great, but the number 4 doesn’t tell you anything about why the customer is unhappy, only that they are unhappy.

An intelligent way to follow up with this customer would be to simply ask them why they gave a score of 4. You can do this with another in-app microsurvey.

userpilot qualitative microsurvey

 

Qualitative survey built with Userpilot for Postfity

Lo and behold, the customer fills out the survey and tells you that Instagram support is lacking. If you receive this feedback multiple times from the same segment, it’s time to add Instagram support to your product roadmap.

You could then launch this feature to the social media scheduler segment, and get feedback in-app from those customers who have used it.

All this is possible with no code whatsoever.

How much does Userpilot cost?

Userpilot is available starting from $249 per month for up to 2500 MAUs. Additional support for enterprises is available.

 

2. Hotjar

hotjar logo

 

Source: Hotjar

Hotjar is a behavioral analytics tool best known for its heatmapping feature.

How does it gather customer data?

Hotjar collects data primarily by means of session recordings. This means that the tool records the actions of users on your website, such as mouse clicks and scrolls.

hotjar screen capture

After a few different session recordings, Hotjar will start to highlight the buttons and links on your site that get clicked the most frequently.

Hotjar’s session recordings are excellent, but they’re actually not the only way the software collects customer data.

It also employs in-app surveys that are comparable to Userpilot’s in terms of features and quality. There are multiple survey formats, including NPS and multiple choice.

It’s worth noting that the customer data Hotjar collects is largely qualitative, which deepens the level of analysis possible from it.

How does it categorize customer data?

This is Hotjar’s weak point.

These are the settings by which you can filter session recordings:

hotjar settings

Filters like “landing URL,” “device” and “country” have more in common with Google Analytics’ data categorization systems than they do with a tool like Userpilot, which is more customer-focused.

How can you follow up on insights from customer data?

There are innumerable ways that insights from customer data can be useful. Here are a few concrete examples:

  • Bug fixing: Does your UI have a bug that’s preventing users from getting full value out of your product? Watching session recordings can uncover insights like this. It’s then up to you as the product manager to go to your product team and get a fix built.
  • Improve activation rate: Sometimes there are blocks in the user journey between acquisition and activation that aren’t immediately obvious. Hotjar will allow you to uncover these blocks. You can then use a tool like Userpilot to create interactive walkthroughs which direct the user to the UI elements they need.
  • Analyze power users: What makes a power user a power user? The answer lies in their in-app behavior. Hotjar can uncover patterns that you can seek to replicate across other user cohorts.

The downside: it’s worth noting that you have to leave Hotjar to perform any of these follow-up actions.

How much does it cost?

Hotjar subscriptions start from $39 per month, which is a steal for such a powerful tool.

3. Canny

canny logo

Canny is a tool that was built to analyze and prioritize customer feature requests.

How does it gather customer data?

The main way in which Canny collects data from customers is by means of a feature request board.

Customers can suggest features and upvote requests from other users, resulting in a Reddit-style interface where the most popular requests rise to the top of the page.

canny interface

 

Source: Canny

As well as the feature requests made directly by customers within Canny, the tool also pulls in requests from integrated third-party platforms, such as Intercom. (Just make sure you don’t commit the sin of creating a product tour with Intercom!)

It’s worth noting that the data Canny collects is outstanding for analyzing feature requests from customers, but is singularly focused on this one type of use case. The data collected by the other tools on this list is quite a bit broader in scope.

How does it categorize customer data?

Canny is exceptionally good in this area.

The upvoting interface makes it easier for your product team to see what the most popular feature requests are at a given moment in time.

If you need to analyze customer data by user segment, Canny has you covered there too. You can also categorize the feature requests by type, whether they’re related to bugs, payments, the size of the account that made the suggestion, and more.

How can you follow up on insights from customer data?

The main way to follow up on feature requests is, well, by building the most popular feature requested!

Most of the time, conversations about features will take place off Canny, on platforms like Slack or Hangouts.

That being said, if you need to discuss a particular feature on Canny itself, but don’t want users to see it, Canny allows you to keep those chats private, which is neat.

How much does it cost?

Canny subscriptions start from $50 per month. For a tool that has such an intuitive UI, we think this is a good deal.

4. Satismeter

satismeter logo

Satismeter is a feedback platform designed to give real-time insights into customer satisfaction.

How does it gather customer data?

Satismeter is perhaps best known as an NPS tool, but it does also provide surveys in a wide variety of other popular formats. Notable examples include CSAT and CES.

Like Userpilot, you can use Satismeter to embed customer surveys into SaaS products.

Satismeter comes with the extra bonus of allowing you to send these surveys out by email as well, assuming you see value in taking your user away from your platform and having them open emails from other people.

How does it categorize customer data?

Satismeter segments customers largely on the basis of the quantitative scores they give in surveys.

If you want to categorize customers based on whether they’re a promoter, a passive, or a detractor, Satismeter’s interface is intuitive and attractive to use.

satismeter interface

 

Source: Satismeter

For companies wanting more custom categorization, Userpilot’s custom tags are a better option.

How can you follow up on insights from customer data?

Satismeter performs well in this area.

Within the tool itself, there is the possibility of scheduling interviews with customers to gain further insights into their survey data.

Much like Userpilot’s follow-up surveys, this makes it easy to gain additional qualitative data to corroborate the quantitative survey data you get from Satismeter.

If you want to add insights from customer analytics to your product roadmap, you can easily send customer data to external product tools, such as ProductBoard. This makes communication between your product and analytics teams straightforward.

How much does it cost?

Satismeter subscriptions start from $49 per month.

Conclusion

Analyzing customer data is probably the most important tool that SaaS companies have at their disposal. It informs product development, positioning, and even branding.

We hope that this article helps you make an informed choice while you’re looking for customer analytics software.

If you’d like to try out Userpilot as your customer analytics software, consider booking a demo today!