How StrongMind integrated Pendo and Zendesk to chat its way to customer success
20% reduction in support tickets
87% platform CSAT score
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If there’s one type of software that has become especially critical to all of our lives during a global pandemic, it’s education technology. Platforms like StrongMind have been crucial in helping schools shift to hybrid or online formats while still managing student coursework and progress reporting and effective learning from a safe distance.
But while the schools were able to help solve this conundrum with StrongMind’s help, the people building the software faced one of their own: COVID-19 pushed usage of the platform through the roof, and thousands of support tickets per month began flowing in from parents trying to learn to use this new technology.
Before the pandemic, StrongMind had begun using Zendesk to provide support to teachers and school administrators through their Knowledge Base. While this offered quick support to teachers and administrators, it was a different story for parents and students. They didn’t have access to Zendesk, so when they encountered issues with the platform, it meant reaching out to multiple teachers and administrators. The school staff would then have to act as liaisons between the parents and StrongMind’s customer support team to solve the problem.
“When you have a bunch of people playing telephone to solve a problem, it isn’t solved as efficiently or effectively as you would like,” said Kaly Nasiff, a product owner at StrongMind, who was the learning community manager at the time.
Nasiff knew it was critical to find a way to deflect some of these tickets so that support teams weren’t overwhelmed. Her solution? Integrating Pendo with Zendesk to offer real-time support to parents and students through live chat.
Nasiff’s team initially offered this functionality to the schools with the highest enrollment, so their first step was to create a segment of usage data in Pendo that included only those accounts.
Then, they used in-app guidance targeted at that segment to launch the chat by adding an HTML snippet provided by Zendesk to a custom code block in a Pendo in-app guide. This also ensured the chat was not accessible to users when support staff was not available to attend to it. The guide was always discretely displayed in the bottom right corner of the screen, so it would be available on every page without interfering with the students as they completed their schoolwork.
All of this was accomplished without using any dev or engineering resources, and the project was a huge success: During the first month the chat guide was live, it was viewed nearly 2 million times by over 10,000 users. The guide is now helping deflect 1,000 support tickets per month—about a 20% reduction—and the median resolution time for tickets has dropped drastically: from 72 hours to just an hour and a half.
And best of all, StrongMind users love it: the experience earned a customer satisfaction score of 87.8%.
“We were able to reach this whole new section of users that we couldn’t reach directly before,” Nasiff said. “It means we can be much more effective in resolving tickets as well. Use the integrations available in Pendo. They are so helpful.”