Customer success

Rapid7 uses in-app messaging to deliver a critical tool amid crisis

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COVID-19 forced a response from every company, and emails are being sent by the thousands to get word of their efforts out. It’s easy for your message to get drowned out in all that noise, so cybersecurity leader Rapid7 is using Pendo to cut through it all and get news about an important offer out to their customers.

When the pandemic erupted and forced businesses across the globe to shift to remote work, Rapid7 responded by offering its agent-based monitoring capability, which allows customers to monitor the devices connected to their network and identify security threats, potential attacks, or improper access, to existing customers at no additional charge until the end of the second quarter. That allowed them to scale up a crucial piece of their security infrastructure to accommodate a distributed workforce.

To ensure all customers were aware of the offer, the company used Pendo in-app messaging. A lightbox guide was used first to announce the offer to all users direct them to Customer Success to opt in. Afterward, a banner guide was deployed to continuously promote it.

Travis Turney, a senior data strategist at Rapid7, says engagement with guides has been strong so far, with about 70% of active users seeing the initial lightbox guide. That’s compared to an average email response rate of just 10%, he notes, and the messaging didn’t have to compete with the tsunami of COVID-19-related emails users were receiving from the developers of the other products they’re using.

“One of the unique things Pendo allows us to do it to directly connect with the users so that they know about the ability to increase usage without incurring additional expense,” Turney says. “We’re looking at seven times the visibility and five times the engagement rate compared to email by doing it in the product. It’s almost unfair; there’s just no competition with having in-product messaging.”

These techniques both help customers during a time of great need and serve as a powerful conduit for building trust with customers. That leads to higher satisfaction and long-term retention.

Rapid7’s happy, healthy customers

Pendo is also a core component of Rapid7’s efforts to create and perfect a customer health score, so they can gauge the health of specific accounts and take action to improve retention.

“The way that we think about retention in the customer lifecycle and customer health at Rapid7 is, if we can develop a wonderful customer experience, everything else will fall in line,” Turney says. “And you get this by really having broad alignment across your organization, across sales marketing, success engineering and design.”

Developing a reliable and accurate customer health score can provide a company-wide early warning system for teams that don’t work directly with customers very often, and it can be used by customer success managers to identify potentially at-risk accounts early so there aren’t any surprises during the renewal conversation, Turney says.

Turney says Rapid7’s team uses the score to identify customers that score in the neutral zone—those who are not already lost, but who aren’t the most successful or heaviest users of the product either—so that they can prioritize working to get them into a healthier bracket before they become a churn risk.

“You’re able to get in front and really use some tactics and strategies to improve the health of those customers,” he says. “Your healthy customers are already stable, so they really don’t need the TLC. Really, the priority is your neutral customers.” As the health of those accounts increase, they also turn into opportunities ripe for expansion.

Rapid7’s model is currently on its fifth iteration. Pendo provides Turney’s team with a large portion of the data that’s used to develop the score, from product adoption to NPS to user feedback. That’s paired with data on renewals, support experience, customer success input, and purchasing behaviors to build a fuller picture.

Each customer’s score is pushed into the account in Salesforce, so everyone can see it. “People aren’t only going to be aware of it: They’re going to use it and make decisions with it,” Turney says.

Jay Brewer, Rapid7’s VP of experience design, is also using Pendo to focus on, maintain, and improve the health of his customers.

A software product that stops criminals from stealing your credit card information has a lot of pressure to provide a flawless user experience. From trial to onboarding to setup, everything should be seamless.

Since implementing Pendo, Rapid7 provides their users with more support by having in-product walkthroughs that teach customers how to use the product. Now they’re able to get help in-app without having to call support.

Along with walkthroughs, Pendo data allows the Rapid7 team to pinpoint the behaviors of customers who renew. This has allowed Jay and his team to identify what actions correlate to customer health, and they’ve created playbooks to help replicate that behavior.

Rapid7’s customer success and support teams also benefit from Pendo. They now have additional context during phone calls with customers, which helps them to provide better service.

Not only did Pendo prove to be successful for Jay’s team and the broader company, but it was also for his career. “Pendo got me promoted,” he says humbly.

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