Customer success

Zmags saved six weeks of development using Pendo to execute GDPR strategy

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Creating an approach for the new European regulations has been a daunting task for many software companies. But not necessarily for Zmags. Using Pendo, the team is getting the required information in front of each and every customer and keeping detailed documentation to comply with the new laws.

Zmags initially purchased Pendo to offer users of its content creation platform a more personalized in-app experience. However, over the past few months the Zmags team recognized another challenge that Pendo could uniquely solve, one that every other software company is also facing: GDPR.

Kristen House is a senior product manager at Zmags who helped develop the communication and compliance strategy around the new European data protection regulations that went into effect May 25, 2018. Here’s how she planned for the changes, and how she used Pendo to ensure customers were on board.

As a customer since early 2018, Zmags had already integrated some of Pendo’s offerings into its product strategy. “Initially the Pendo relationship was all about segmented guides and making sure that we could build tips and tricks for customers to make onboarding easier,” Kristen says. “If they were a more mature client, telling them about new functionality.”

The Global Data Privacy Regulations, or GDPR, became top of mind for Zmags in late 2017. The set of guidelines created by the European government to regulate personal data across the web would require companies to update their privacy policies with customer sign off. For many software companies, GDPR caused a rush to the finish line to ensure the correct processes would be in place for compliance.

With the help of Pendo, Zmags was prepared. Kristen sat on a cross functional GDPR taskforce and had the responsibility to ensure customer sign off on the new Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. While a developer could have coded an alert in the platform to show users the new policies and built reporting infrastructure to support it, the team realized Pendo offered a better solution. Pendo’s in-app guide creation feature offered an easy way to notify customers of the changes and secure their signatures without requiring a developer.

“It was a nice epiphany that we could not only build the notifications, but also have access to analytics to then distribute information internally or up to our board if we needed to,” Kristen says.

The Zmags team has two products that would have needed coordinated systems and reporting to ensure that customers were not only presented with the correct notifications, but that each response was recorded and documented. The Pendo “epiphany” would end up saving the Zmags team over a month of engineering time.

Here’s how Kristen explains the impact of Pendo: “We wouldn’t have had the features to do this internally, so it would have been totally new development work. While building the guide would have been relatively simple, with Pendo we have all the analytics we need behind it. We saved 4-6 weeks of development and testing work combined by using Pendo for GDPR. That’s huge.”

Besides that, Zmags had the confidence that customers would see the appropriate level of information in compliance with GDPR. Using Pendo guides, Kristen’s team set up two alerts that prompt the user to accept both the Terms and Conditions and the Privacy Policy at login. If they do not accept, they can’t proceed in the app.

“It’s great that Pendo allows you to make the rest of the tool inaccessible until the alerts are accepted,” she says. “In addition, we’re able to easily track which users are rejecting the terms for follow-up and reporting.”

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