How I Pendo Customer experience

Using in-app outreach to generate more and better feedback

Learn how Zonar used Pendo to improve the quality and quantity of its customer interviews with segmented in-app guides


The team at Zonar Systems was looking for a way to increase the cadence and quality of its customer feedback interviews, particularly with regard to a new vertical whose pain points, wants, and needs it wanted to better understand.  

Pendo'ing it

Zonar leveraged Pendo to segment the type of customers it wanted to target and solicit interviews from them quickly and at scale via in-app guides, rather than the slower and human-intensive traditional outreach methods. 


By using Pendo, Zonar was able to radically increase the amount of customers sitting down for interviews, so much so that it both generated new insights about who their core users were and spurred process improvements to feedback implementation.  

Dan Clem

Senior product manager

Zonar Systems

Zonar Systems provides software and hardware solutions for commercial fleets that include everything from shipping trucks to school buses.

For our company and my team in particular, ‘Pendo’ing’ really means having a better understanding of how and why our users use our product.

Asking for feedback where and when it matters most

In any business or line of work, there are tons of moving parts. In the realm of commercial fleets, this insight applies quite literally. Whether it be school buses, large-haul trucks, or a public transit system, these fleets depend on technical solutions for things like dispatching, compliance, maintenance, navigation, and other factors that drive business success. Zonar Systems is a company that specializes in providing these and other hardware and software solutions for commercial fleets, and part of what makes them so successful as a business is having a continual finger on the pulse of their customer wants and needs. 

After a team offsite focused on building continuous customer discovery habits, Dan Clem, a senior product manager at Zonar, came out inspired to take steps to radically improve the frequency and targeting of the company’s customer feedback outreach. What’s more, Zonar at the time was prioritizing understanding the wants and needs of a new customer vertical, a development that had Clem thinking about how to get feedback quickly and efficiently. Traditionally, he explained, it would take weeks to get and schedule the kind of research they were looking for. “So I thought to myself, what if we could implement some way to get feedback in the next week, and do it at scale using Pendo?”

In the span of just an hour, Clem was able to get together with a designer and build an in-app notification requesting a customer interview that would go out to the relevant segment based on usage habits. To incentivize participation, they offered respondents a gift card, and had the guide link to a self-scheduling service so that customers could easily pick the time that worked best for them. Once deployed, the result was a quick and significant uptake in interview bookings. 

An embarrassment of riches in customer insights

After just one day of the guide being live, Zonar had already seen a dozen customers book interview times. “It was super exciting to see just how many users we could get a hold of who actually use our product—and how easy it was to do it,” Clem said. Since then, Zonar has refined its approach as new research objectives lead to new interview request pushes to new segments. “We’ve been tweaking our approach and improving our click through rate on the guide, Clem explained. “We’ve also been improving the conversion of users that actually show up to do the interview, since there’s multiple steps involved. But it all really started with the Pendo segment and the Pendo guide to be able to reach those users directly in our product.” 


The uptick in rich feedback also spurred Zonar to make key process improvements. Not only did it inspire other teams within the company to use in-app notifications as their go-to means for feedback outreach. It also changed the ways in which Zonar managed and implemented feedback. “We’re collecting all this research because we’re just interviewing so much more than we used to,” Clem explained, “and it’s created a new need for better processes to be able to map everything that we’re learning each week.”

Clem explained further, “We used to have interviews when we were planning, say, a new release or new objective and we would map feedback directly to that. Now we’re literally talking to users of our product every week. So we also needed to create new systems to store that information and make it consumable for our team and executives.” When it comes to feedback, collecting so much quality information that it creates the need for even better management and implementation processes around it is certainly a good problem to have. 

Pro tips

  • Be mindful of the cadence with which you publish guides—you don’t want to overwhelm users with information such that what was meant to be helpful becomes a point of frustration   
  • Start small—when you begin using Pendo to address a specific pain point, chances are you will come across three or four more issues in the process, which you can take steps to improve down the line
  • You have limited space in which to communicate on a guide, so make sure what you send out ties back to a crisp and clear goal