5 types of time to value
Time to value comes in several different forms. Understanding each type of time to value can allow you to evaluate what your software has to offer and how you can transform it to deliver a better overall customer experience.
1. Time to basic value
Time to basic value defines the time it takes for customers to see the lowest amount of value from your product: the basic services that your software might offer, for example. It doesn't incorporate the larger-scale value that your solution can offer for your customers, but it does include the basic services your customers are paying for.
Suppose, for example, that you offer a new business communication solution. The time to basic value might include the time it takes for your customers to start using the platform, but may not incorporate deeper options like document storage and file sharing, which your platform might help streamline.
2. Time to exceed value
The time to exceed value is the time it takes for customers to reach a deeper level of value with your product: the moment at which they discover benefits they may not even have initially realized that your product offered. For example, a new communication platform not only makes it easier for employees to connect with one another, it may also streamline communication between departments or improve company culture in unexpected ways. How long does it take for customers to realize these increased values as they pertain to your product?
3. Immediate time to value
A product that has immediate time to value shows an immediate return on the customer's investment. As soon as the customer starts using the product, it starts showing the benefits promised by your value proposition. For example, if you offer a cloud document storage solution, it may immediately offer the benefit of allowing customers to transfer data to the cloud and collaborate more easily from a distance—a benefit that many businesses needed to take advantage of quickly in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many employees needed to make the shift to working from home immediately.
4. Short time to value
A product has a short time to value when customers quickly recognize the value of a product. It may not happen immediately, but customers can quickly start using the platform, with relatively little user onboarding.
5. Long time to value
Some products are expected to have a long time to value, especially if they require a long user onboarding and training process, or rely on a complicated transfer from the customer's existing systems to a new type of software or platform. A long time to value, however, can result in a great deal of customer frustration and struggle.