Okta used Pendo to boost retention and adoption on its platform.

Okta

How Pendo powers Okta’s end-to-end product analytics and digital adoption process

  • Product
  • UX
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25% increase in product adoption

57% quarter-over-quarter increase in user-submitted feature ideas

Product(s) Used

There’s an app for just about everything these days, and the average company deploys 88 of them. That’s according to a recent study by identity management leader Okta, whose platform enables any company to seamlessly and securely use any technology.

But Okta has its own app to build, maintain, and help users see value from. To get it all done, Pendo has been woven into the fabric of Okta’s product planning process, from collecting the ideas that later become features, to getting people to use them and keep a pulse on how they’re being received.

Closing the loop with analytics and guides

Okta’s product team first brought on Pendo to better understand how users were interacting with and navigating the Okta platform, and to improve planning.

Pendo’s analytics allow anyone on Okta’s product team to run reports on usage, use funnels to figure out where users are dropping out of their workflows, and analyze paths to see exactly how users are navigating the platform. Then, they use that information to make tactical decisions about where to take the product next.

Prior to Pendo, getting reports on how many users were on the platform on a daily or monthly basis required extended development cycles for the data team and results were highly variable based on the data sources used to generate them. Pendo simplified that process by serving as a single source of truth that covered 90% of the application, available for viewing at any time. The team can now report metrics to C-level staff in just a few minutes.

Pendo’s retroactive analytics are playing a big role in the redesign of Okta’s app. Because Pendo starts collecting data from the moment it’s installed, the Okta team doesn’t need to put in the work of tagging every page or feature. That alleviates the upfront workload, and the team doesn’t need to worry about missing out on any data that might be needed for a future analysis—it’ll all be there, available on demand.

Because this data is available in a seamless and straightforward way, it’s easier for the team to leverage it for better decision making.

Since that initial deployment, Okta has expanded its use of Pendo, pairing guides with product data to develop a closed-loop system for driving engagement and product adoption across the platform.

Tom Witczak, director of digital experience, says Pendo data is used to segment specific groups of users based on their activity or inactivity in the platform. Then, those users are targeted with in-app guides and messaging designed to onboard new users, announce new features as they’re released, and point users towards existing features they would benefit from.

“Pendo is our platform for measuring, end-to-end, feature and service adoption and helping bolster each of those numbers with in-app guides or retargeting tactics,” says Witczak.

Moving forward, Witczak and his team plans to expand this initiative to connect the in-app experience with email and help center content. If users drop off at any point in the guidance funnel, email can be used to nudge them back on track, and if they need to leave the app to visit the help center, they can be guided back to the platform when they finish.

“We can segment, target, and re-target users across channels based on the data that we have at our disposal so that we can effectively coach them, guide them, or nudge them through critical core pieces of configuring Okta,” he says. Accounts guided in this manner saw a 25% increase in product adoption.

Refining UX and developer experience with user sentiment

Another part of that cross-platform initiative, Witczak says, involves measuring user sentiment through NPS surveys at various points on the platform. “Being able to baseline user sentiment allows us to understand what the pulse of the customer base is and where there are opportunities,” he says.

Katie Le, a Senior Product Manager for Okta’s End User Experience team, uses this tactic to understand user satisfaction with Okta’s app dashboard interface, where users are able to login to the various apps their organization manages through the platform.

When that UI was redesigned to run faster with an improved user experience, in-app surveys were used to measure NPS around the new experience, and Le was able to compare the data from both iterations to see what was and wasn’t working for users.

“We set goals around making sure the satisfaction was the same across both,” Le says. “We expected it to drop at first, because people aren’t usually receptive to change, but in fact it was higher.” Le says that data from Pendo allowed her team to bring concrete, objective metrics to executive leadership to demonstrate the success of the product decisions they had made.

Before Pendo, those NPS surveys had to be manually built and maintained, which ate up months of development resources. “That’s the biggest part, is not requiring any engineering resources to get the guides up,” she says.

Pendo is also helping drive up adoption and retention on the new UI. Using Pendo’s retention analytics, Le noticed that users who launch at least one app from Okta’s dashboard become stickier than those who don’t. So, she has begun using Pendo guides to onboard new users when they first land on the UI to make them aware of available features, and to teach them how to launch apps and customize their dashboards.

Okta users are greeted with a Pendo-powered in-app onboarding flow upon their first login to the new UI.

While the UX team has thousands of users to collect sentiment data from, it’s a different story on the developer experience team, which works with the developers of the apps that integrate with Okta. The sample size is much smaller for that group, which means obtaining detailed qualitative data from each developer is a priority.

“If someone finds something wrong with the app and they take the time to call it out, that’s something that’s going to drive my roadmap decisions,” says Albert Chen, a senior product manager on the developer experience team.

With Pendo, Chen is able to define behaviors in the app that would trigger an in-app survey, such as the moment a developer finishes building their integration and submits it for approval. That way, the experience is fresh in their mind and Chen’s team is much more likely to obtain useful, relevant feedback and it’s less likely the developer will ignore or miss the survey. “At that point in time, they’re all ears,” he says.

Chen says he is planning on expanding use of Pendo in-app surveys to start collecting feedback at an even more granular level: at the outset of the development process and in the middle of it, in addition to at the end.

Driving retention and improving planning with Pendo Feedback

Pendo has also helped Okta revolutionize its processes for capturing its user’s voice to improve product planning, boost product adoption, and improve retention.

Okta’s Customer First Programs team handles customer feedback and insights. 

The team wanted to streamline process to ensure there was a single channel each for input and output of feedback and a clear way to prioritize requests. Pendo Feedback, with its ability to let users directly submit requests and easily prioritize them based on popularity, revenue impact, and other parameters, provided that solution. Feedback’s flexibility allows different teams of product managers with different priorities to explore data most relevant to their own projects, then make or validate decisions quickly.

Since implementation, 440 new ideas have been submitted by customers, a 57% quarter over quarter increase.

Pendo Feedback helps the team tell a data story to answer business questions in the moment for whoever needs them answered.

Now, Okta’s customer success teams are using Feedback to review information on customers prior to having crucial conversations with them, and product teams are digging into the data to align their roadmaps with what customers are telling them they want or need.

Pendo Feedback also lets the team build trust with users and maintain that trust by showing them that they’re receiving, listening to, and acting on their requests.

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