How I Pendo Customer experience

Streamlining self-service in just a few clicks

Learn how Nelnet Business Services used a Pendo in-app poll to let users customize which checklists they see in their Resource Center and make changes instantly


After using the Pendo Resource Center to house onboarding checklists and surface help content to users throughout the year, Nelnet worried they might be offering too much of a good thing. They needed a way to reduce the clutter and still provide these resources—but on users’ own terms.

Pendo'ing it

In combination with a Resource Center announcement, the Nelnet Business Services team used an in-app poll to let users customize which checklists they see in their Resource Center. Users can update their preferences at any time, and see their changes reflected immediately.


In addition to providing a more personalized experience and driving better engagement, these updates have also taken a load off of the Nelnet Business Services team. Now, they no longer have to manually communicate with customers about new checklists that are available or guess which resources will be relevant for certain users.

Liz Feller

In-app help administrator


Nelnet is a technology company, idea incubator, start-up accelerator, and center of educational expertise. Their Business Services division provides payment technology, school administration software, and community management solutions for education and community institutions around the globe.

Pendo’ing means understanding where a problem is in the product or what a solution might be, and using in-app communication to help—especially if the product team can't get to something right away or we need to target a very specific subset of users.

When more isn’t necessarily better

When it comes to in-app help, the last thing companies want to do is overwhelm users with too much information, or make it difficult for them to find the resources they need. But what if you could tailor support to a user’s exact needs? Pendo makes that personalization possible.

As the in-app help administrator at Nelnet Business Services, one of Liz Feller’s main goals is to ensure users have the help content they need at specific times of the year. Since usage of the company’s payment technology and community management solutions is so seasonal, many of Nelnet’s users don’t perform certain tasks in the system every day, week, or even month. In order to surface the appropriate help at the right time, Feller and team started leveraging onboarding checklists in their Pendo Resource Center and used segmentation to show specific checklists during certain timeframes.

While this in-app help content was useful, Nelnet worried they were offering too many checklists, making it difficult for users to find what they were looking for and risking the possibility of showing a user content no longer relevant to their role. It was also very time-consuming for the team to publish and disable the guides and Resource Center modules, and each one required an additional announcement that cluttered the product’s UI.

Nelnet Business Services needed a way to still provide this resource, but do so in a way that catered to users’ specific needs and put them in control of their own experience.

In-app support, on users’ own terms

Feller set out to create a customization center where, at any time, a user could go in and decide which checklists they would like to display in their Resource Center. She configured this using Pendo in-app polls, allowing users to “Hide” or “Show” each of the checklists that are available to them. For example, some of the polls are tied to certain times of the school year, so users might choose to hide end-of-year checklists until the Spring. Feller shared, “It’s really giving our individual users more control over what they see and what they don’t see—they can show and hide things based on when it makes sense for them and for their institution or their account.”

Once the poll is submitted, the guide includes a step to automatically refresh the user’s browser and reflect the changes immediately. “Now, when I get back to my Resource Center, I can see that I have my selected checklists available,” Feller explained. “If I ever change my mind, I can go back in, click ‘Customize my Resource Center,’ and do the process again.”

In order for each user’s choices to display correctly, the Nelnet Business Services team had to include two layers of segmentation: showing the checklists someone had selected to show within the last day, and not showing the checklists someone had selected to hide within the last day. This way, Feller ensured that the Resource Center customization would reflect a user’s most recent choices.

Before releasing this new Resource Center functionality, Feller made a point to first release it internally and collect feedback from their operations team. “We got really positive feedback [from our operations team] and they were able to use it well, and I think exposing it internally first really helped drum up excitement for the project,” said Feller.

So far, Feller and team have seen great engagement with the improved Resource Center configuration. In addition to providing a more personalized experience and driving better engagement, these updates have also taken a load off of the Nelnet Business Services team. 

Feller shared that in the past, they had to rely on manual email communications and broad Resource Center announcements to make people aware of new checklists. “Now, we don’t have to put forth all of that effort and hope for engagement—we are letting users truly choose what they want to engage with.” Feller continued, “We’re also exposing [users] to all the different resources we have, because I guarantee a lot of people didn’t realize we had so many different checklists available to help them.”

Pro tips

  • It can be beneficial to first launch a Pendo-powered experience internally to get actionable feedback and drum up excitement for the initiative
  • Where possible, build opportunities into your product for users to personalize their experience for their own needs, for example the modules they’re exposed to in the Resource Center
  • Pendo isn’t just for the product world—collaborate with teams across your organization, like operations and UX, to find solutions that truly put the customer firs