Customer success

How product analytics power innovation, growth, and retention at Darwinbox—one of the world’s fastest growing HR tech companies


Accelerated time to value and feature adoption

Increased customer stickiness and retention

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Darwinbox is a leading global provider of cloud-based Human Resources Management Software (HRMS), and one of the fastest growing tech companies in Asia. Their platform includes talent, workforce, and compensation management solutions that enable businesses to optimize their human capital from “hire to retire.”

As a provider of human resource-focused solutions, the Darwinbox team knows how important it is to make their digital interactions feel as human as possible. A major part of this strategy? Understanding exactly how users engage with key features and workflows, and personalizing their experiences based on their unique needs.

So when Darwinbox went looking for a product experience solution, they knew they needed a platform that could not only help them understand behavior at the account and user level, but also allow them to drive ideal behaviors and optimize their experiences through in-app guidance. Bala Rajesh (Associate Product Director at Darwinbox) explained, “We wanted to get to know where our users were dropping off, and if they were unable to complete specific actions. [We wanted to be able to] identify and do something about those areas of our product to improve our [digital experience] and better guide our users.”

The Pendo platform, including Analytics and In-app Guides, proved to be the solution the Darwinbox team was looking for—and has become critical in enabling the company’s rapid growth and rise to one of Asia’s most prominent unicorns.

Empowering CSMs to be more proactive

Before Pendo, the Darwinbox team was leveraging an internally developed analytics tool that required extensive engineering effort to maintain, and only provided a limited scope of usage data. “We could only see [user]-level data,” Rajesh said. “We had no way of seeing aggregated data across all our customer accounts.” This limited visibility also made it hard for the Darwinbox team to understand macro-level trends and make strategic decisions that could impact their entire customer base.

Now, Darwinbox’s CSMs use Data Explorer in Pendo to create reports based on their respective books of business—then share those reports with their customers. Jaswanth Pal (Manager for Operations Excellence at Darwinbox) noted, “[With this data, CSMs can find out] if there are particular pages their customers are using to the maximum extent, or if there are particular features or modules they should be—but aren’t—using. [The CSMs can then determine if] there’s any need to get on a call with the customer, get in touch with them [to troubleshoot any issues], or give them training to get them up to speed. This helps us ensure that our customers are using our product in the right way, and to the right extent.”

This data that Darwinbox has been able to collect through Pendo also plays a critical role in their in-app guidance strategy.

“HR [teams have] limited bandwidth,” said Rajesh. “Setting up a new process or understanding what needs to be done around a specific activity in our portal is an alien thing to a lot of our users. So targeted guides are really helpful for them—and they can’t be generic. [We need to show users] what needs to get done on specific pages, and use specific CTAs [to drive action].” Darwinbox now leverages Pendo In-app Guides as a core vehicle for analyzing and driving adoption of key features and products—from the first impression at onboarding through ongoing user enablement. 

“[Pendo] helps us ensure that our customers are using our product in the right way, and to the right extent.”

Jaswanth Pal | Manager for Operations Excellence, Darwinbox

Leveraging product insights to drive business outcomes

Today, Pendo is deployed across the entire Darwinbox platform, and plays a critical role in enabling a core strategic initiative for the company: Increasing customer stickiness. 

Rajesh noted that for Darwinbox’s primary users, learning a robust, new platform like Darwinbox can be a challenge. “[Oftentimes, these users] might just follow what others have told them, and that’s it. So we’ve been working hard to improve their adoption and stickiness in our products. With Pendo, we’re using guides in different places . . . and trying to increase our users’ knowledge of every feature and module.” Ultimately, Darwinbox expects these small touches to have an outsized impact on overall customer satisfaction, retention, and annual recurring revenue (ARR). 

In the last three months alone, Pal and his team have built and launched over 50 in-app guides, many of which have received over 27,000 views. “We are keenly tracking these guides,” he said. “And we’re [correlating] views of the guides with usage of each feature we published a guide for.”

“We’ve been working hard to improve [our users’] adoption and stickiness in our products. With Pendo, we’re [increasing] our users’ knowledge of every feature and module.”

Bala Rajesh | Associate Product Director, Darwinbox

What’s next: Getting ahead of customer churn

The Darwinbox team is currently in the process of incorporating Product Engagement Score (PES) into their business reporting process, and will also soon start leveraging Pendo to deliver and capture feedback from Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys. “It’ll help us [proactively] understand which customers are going to churn, [so we can get ahead of it]. We hope this will help us bring down our churn rate,” said Pal.

In addition to driving users to business-critical features and behaviors, the Darwinbox team is also excited to continue learning about and getting closer to their users—thanks to the insights they’re able to glean from Pendo. “[We use] paths and the funnels [a lot] to guide our exploration,” said Shivam Gupta, a business analyst at Darwinbox. “I use Pendo upwards of one or two hours per day, and it never gets boring.”

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