3 big wins Pendo helps you achieve right away

Published Jan 3, 2024
How Heartland School Solutions steered its school payment app to success.

As consumers, we’ve grown accustomed to seamless, friction-free digital experiences all the time. Fixes can never come quick enough, satisfaction can never be high enough. Businesses understand that this trend isn’t going anywhere—if anything, it’s only getting more pronounced—and are prioritizing their digital experiences accordingly. The easiest, most comprehensive way to do that? Product experience software

The benefits that the best of these solutions provide—deep product analytics, the ability to create and deploy customizable, segmentable in-app notifications and guides, feedback collection and management—make app experiences the best they can possibly be, both for customers and the product teams who build for them. To see a prime example of how, look no further than Heartland School Solutions (a Global Payments company). Heartland’s MySchoolBucks app provides students and parents with the ability to easily make payments for everything from school lunches to administrative fees, merchandise purchases, and donations. 

Faced with a low app store rating and frustrated users, the Heartland team needed to get the right answers to make the right fixes, fast. And with Pendo, they did. Here are three quick wins they were able to achieve by leveraging the power of Pendo’s all-in-one platform.

1. Get quality feedback, fast

The Heartland team felt frustrated. They just had worked hard on releasing a brand new version of the MySchoolBucks app with a brand new user interface (UI), only to have it garner negative reviews. In fact, the team found itself facing a 1.7 rating on the app store. They needed to figure out why ASAP.

Utilizing Pendo’s In-app Guides and user segmentation capabilities, the team sent out an in-app feedback survey to the subset of users on the updated version of the app asking about their experience. If that experience was positive, they were directed to the app store to leave a review. If negative, they were prompted to share why. “We received about 3,000 responses with really valuable feedback over two weeks,” said Jason Mathews, a product manager for Heartland. “A lot of the feedback told us things that we already knew, which was good,” he explained. Various performance issues and the need to revamp the registration process, for example, were known issues.

2. Quickly prioritize the right features and updates 

At the same time, the feedback Heartland collected through Pendo gave them insights into other areas they weren’t aware needed addressing. One such area was context around fees. “34% of our respondents said that our convenience fees were the reason that they left a poor review,” Matthews said. “And so we took that feedback and thought, ‘Maybe we can give more information when you create your account about how we use these fees and what they mean.’”

Another issue that got the team’s attention had to do with an automatic payments feature on the app. Many users came away with the impression this feature didn’t work, where in fact it did but was not intuitive to set up. The good news? “We were able to address this feedback immediately,” Mathews said, and the team quickly deployed fixes to contextualize fees and make automatic payments management easier. 

3. Watch your brand (and business) grow stronger in real time

For Heartland, just as important as improving the app was letting users know that they were improving it. Their feedback had not gone unheard—in fact, it was crucial to creating a better app experience. “The biggest thing we did was communicating these updates to our parent users. ‘This is what we did, we’re hearing from you and we’re making immediate changes.’ I think that really helps with our customer base and it helps with our reputation.”

The data bore Mathews’ hypothesis out. In just two weeks, MySchoolBucks’ app rating went from a 1.7 to a 4.9. This astonishing reputational rebound was not just a win for the brand in itself, but for the business as a whole. “Increasing our app store rating and increasing satisfaction of our users in turn helps to support our increased revenue goals as well.”

For Heartland, the path to success was clear: With a little help from Pendo, they were able to do meaningful customer outreach, and from there provide as strong of an experience as possible to drive the higher user satisfaction. “Having an almost five star app rating gives the user a really good vibe,” Mathews said. “They’re going to feel good about their experience using this app.”

Want to see other quick ways to improve your app experience with Pendo? Take a self-guided tour here.