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  • Arda Aksoy

Guide to Aha Moments in SaaS Products

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

The value of a Software as a Service (SaaS) product comes from its service, which is the medium for users to solve their problems. However, the users usually do not think the SaaS product is helpful to them or solve their problems straightforward when they start to use the product. Therefore, as a SaaS product owner/designer, you should create a time for the users to perceive the value and the necessity of the SaaS product. The exact moment when the users understand the benefit they get from the product is called the "Aha!" moment. Therefore, the Aha moment is the first time the users perceive the product's/services' meaning and worth.

The most noticeable Aha moment results are the subscription, and consequently, the commitment of the users of the SaaS product. For example, the users who download a fitness app expect to become getting in shape or more active. Suppose the users think they achieve their aim via using that app end of a free trial. In that case, this is their Aha moment. Consequently, they will subscribe and become the consumer of that particular SaaS product. Aha moment is beneficial for both parties. When the users conclude that the product solves their problems, they become committed and paying customers.

Aha moment varies depending on the SaaS product's functionality, so there is not an exact Aha moment. To illustrate this point, it would be better to present some Aha moment examples from companies and SaaS products. For instance, a user experiences an Aha moment when she/he realizes how functional it is to use cloud storage after starting to utilize Dropbox. For Facebook, the Aha moment comes to a user when she/he connects with a friend. For LinkedIn, a user experiences Aha moment when she/he finds a job opportunity.

For a SaaS product owner, the value and function of the service are crystal clear. However, it is essential to remember that the interlocutors do not necessarily know the information you have. Therefore, you should present the value of your product and guide the users toward the Aha moment. Keeping in that mind, the first thing to do is identifying your Aha moment and then guiding your users to the Aha moment.

Identifying Your Aha Moment

As a SaaS product owner, it is crucial to outline your product's Aha moment because those moments are crucial while you are creating a product. Also, you will ease the process of guiding your users towards the Aha moment by finding it in the first place. The most straightforward approach to achieve that is talking to your users. In other words, qualitative research is helpful for you to find your users' Aha moment.

It is important to remember there are two types of users: successful users and churned users. By making contact with successful users, that have understood the value of the product and have become paying customers, you might have an idea about what you have done right because those users who engage with your product regularly and clearly have already undergone an Aha moment. Also, there is a lot of information that you might acquire from the churned users. The churned users show you the points you have failed because they have not reached Aha moment. Learning "What are the things that drive a churned user to move away from the product?" and fixing the problems with the product based on the feedback from the churned user should be the primary motive.

Generally, the users churn when your product is not suitable for their problems, or when there are frictions in the user experience. Friction is a term used to describe anything that might delay or prevent your user's improvement. Friction might be a positive or a negative thing. For example, asking your users' personal details can be counted as friction. If you ask those details right from the beginning, you are more likely to end up with churned users. However, suppose you let your users achieve an Aha moment before asking for personal details like Airbnb does. In that case, you make your users stay for your product. Therefore, knowing the friction enables you to have control of those frictions and make amendments.

It would help if you asked some questions to the churned users while they are leaving. It is important to remember that the questions must be clear and short. Otherwise, the churned users might get bored and leave the survey without finishing answering the questions. The more you have a higher response rate, the more information you can use to amend your product.

Those questions you should ask:

-What was the reason you decided to cancel your subscription?

-What did you like about the experience?

-What did you dislike about your experience?

-Do you have other feedback or comments that you want to share with us?

By looking at data from successful and churned users, you will be informed about some patterns between those users. After acquiring the users' perspective on your product's value, now it is time to help the users achieve their Aha moment.

Guiding the Users Towards Aha Moment

As it was said above, as a SaaS product owner, you know the value of your product. However, the users do not have this information right from the beginning. Therefore, they need some help to perceive the value of the SaaS product.

Here are some ways to guide your users to understand the value of your product:

Free Trial

Before requiring the users to pay for your product, it is a smart move to allow them to experience your product, so the users achieve their Aha moment. Almost every SaaS product provides a free trial for varying intervals, so there is no uniqueness about this method. However, one should remember that, because the other products offer a free trial at the beginning, your users would probably expect the same from your product instinctively.

Creating a personalized experience

The reason the users come to your SaaS product is they are looking for a solution for their problem, so it is not surprising they will expect a personalized experience.

Proper and Complete Onboarding Process

The onboarding process is vital when the users start to utilize the SaaS product. This process presents a roadmap for the users and helps them to find what they are looking for. Having an incomplete or skipping onboarding process can be counted as a fatal user experience (UX) mistake you might make. Therefore, while providing a good UX to the customers via the onboarding process, you also help your users find their Aha moment.

There are many methods you can utilize to achieve the onboarding process. For example, tooltips, tutorials, and walkthroughs are the most common vehicles for the onboarding process. With a good onboarding process, you might shorten the time to reach Aha moment for the users. Therefore, it is vital to put enough effort into creating a meaningful onboarding process.

Maintaining Consistent Aha Moments

SaaS products are living organisms. As the SaaS products are updated, there is a requirement for user adoption. To pursue user adoption, you should make the users experience Aha moments consistently. Therefore, as the product contains more novel features, the users understand the value of your product through this process and remain to be as your customers.


🔥 Key Takeaways 🔥

👉 The moment when the users understand the value of the SaaS product called Aha moment.

👉 Aha moment is precious for both the users and the SaaS product owners. When the users experience the Aha moment, they will become committed and paying consumers.

👉 The SaaS product owner or designer should identify the product’s Aha moment primarily. Talking to both successful users and churned users will help you outline the Aha moment and amend the user experience.

👉 Expecting that the users reach the Aha moment by themselves is a false hope because you, as a product owner/designer, have to prove the value of your product to the users and help them experience the Aha moment.

👉 You can consider some methods to guide your users to their Aha moments. First, offering a free trial helps your users to experience the product. Second, creating a personalized experience might lead your users to find solutions for their problems. Third, you might provide your users with a shorter pathway to the Aha moment via a well-designed onboarding process. Fourth, maintaining consistent Aha moments to the users leads to user adoption as the SaaS product is updated regularly.

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