This article is based on Karapet’s appearance at the Product-led Summit in New York.

The journey from recognizing challenges in retention to implementing effective solutions is both intricate and rewarding. 

I'm Karapet Gyumjibashyan, Senior Director of Product at Krisp, and I've embarked on a quest to understand the nuances of communication and perception in delivering product value

My experience has illuminated the importance of clear metrics, the efficacy of habit loops, and the delicate balance between innovation and user trust. 

In this article, I'll unravel our strategies at Krisp to address retention issues, enhance user experience, and foster trust in our AI-based meeting assistant platform. 

The paradox of perceived value

I want to share a fascinating journey about overcoming a significant challenge in product management, particularly in the context of retention and perceived value.

Our journey began during the pandemic when our product, Krisp —a voice AI assistant designed to eliminate background noises during online meetings— experienced a surge in user signups. 

Despite this growth, we faced a daunting issue: people were signing up but not sticking around. The retention numbers were disappointing, and this problem posed a fundamental question about user perception and value.

Conventional wisdom in product management suggests that to improve retention, you must clearly demonstrate value to users, ensuring they recognize and appreciate your product's benefits. However, our situation at Krisp was uniquely challenging. 

The value we provided —silencing background noise during calls— was inherently invisible. 

Users didn't directly experience the benefits because the noise cancellation happened seamlessly; it's hard to notice something that you no longer hear. Moreover, users themselves were often unaware of the ongoing benefits because the disruptions they avoided never reached their ears.

This scenario posed a peculiar dilemma: How do you communicate and demonstrate the value of something that users don't see or directly experience? Our task was to tackle this issue head-on, using data and psychological insights to bridge the gap between our product's capabilities and user perception. 

The lessons we learned from this endeavor not only changed our approach to product communication but also deepened our understanding of user behavior and retention strategies.

The challenge of demonstrating invisible value

In product management, retention is fundamentally about showcasing value consistently. It's crucial that with every interaction, users recognize and appreciate the value they're receiving —reaching what we call the "aha moment." This realization is what drives continuous engagement and loyalty to a product.

However, Krisp's unique value proposition presented a peculiar challenge in this aspect. The core functionality of our product—to remove background noise—is not visible. In fact, it's not even audible in the traditional sense, as the purpose is precisely to ensure that certain sounds are not heard. 

Moreover, the effectiveness of Krisp is experienced not by the user directly but by the person on the other end of the call. The user does not hear the noise being canceled; thus, they might not perceive our product's ongoing benefit.

This scenario led us to a critical question: How could we make our users' engagement with Krisp valuable and motivate them to continue using it? 

It wasn't just about removing disturbances; it was about ensuring that users could clearly see the value of an action whose results were deliberately designed to be imperceptible. This required us to think creatively about how to demonstrate value when the primary benefit of our service was essentially invisible and experienced second-hand.