Best Practices

How to use Pendo to reduce the burden on your support team

Published Aug 31, 2022

While an unpleasant or confusing product experience can be frustrating as a user, the software providers on the other end of these experiences aren’t doing much better. Just think: an influx of support calls, a constant stream of support tickets, and unhappy customers. What tend to be small (and repetitive) help inquiries add up to a lot of time for your customer support team—time that would be better spent on the most critical support cases.

Rather than relying on traditional support models that require a 1:1 approach, the best companies use in-app messages or resources embedded within their product itself to proactively address common customer queries. A recent report found that companies that leverage this self-service strategy reduce support ticket volumes by an average of 15%.

Wondering how to get started? With Pendo, you can use product analytics to understand exactly where users are struggling, then quickly take action with in-app guides that provide context and clarity around complicated features or workflows. This allows teams to deliver in-app support at scale without driving up headcount costs. It’s a win-win: Users don’t have to leave the product to get their questions answered, and your customer support team no longer has to dedicate resources to these smaller support inquiries.

Below, we share three ways to utilize Pendo to bring support inside your product and save your support team time and resources.

1. Analytics: Understand where users need help

The first step to improving users’ experience with your product is understanding where they’re getting stuck or having trouble. When paired with support ticket data, product usage data in Pendo can help you answer important questions about your users that can then inform how you intervene. As you dig into your Pendo data, consider these questions:

    • What behaviors do the users who contact support have in common?
    • What are users doing right before they seek out help?
    • Are there specific workflows that users are failing to complete?

From there, use Paths and Funnels to narrow in on how users are moving through your app—are they navigating it the way it was intended, or are they finding workarounds? Paths reveal the sequence of actions users took before or after a target event, whereas Funnels allow you to measure how customers move through a defined series of steps.

These tools can show you exactly how users navigate from one point in your application (e.g. the home page or dashboard) to another (e.g. clicking on a “Help” button). This helps shed light on what caused a user to seek out support, and allows you to spot trends across your user base.

2. Tooltips and walkthroughs: Proactively explain features and workflows

Once you’ve uncovered points of friction or confusion, you can also use Pendo to take action on that data and deliver support directly inside your product. One of the easiest ways to provide in-context support is with tooltips, which are a type of in-app guide that appear when users hover over or click on an element (e.g. a question mark icon).

Since they typically only use a small amount of space in your UI, tooltips are the least disruptive form of in-app messaging—making them great for explaining features or proactively answering frequently asked questions. If you see multiple support tickets mentioning a particular product feature, you can create a tooltip that briefly explains how the feature works or any important context that users need to know.

There may be scenarios that require more in-depth explanation or education than tooltips alone can provide. In those cases, use Pendo guides to create in-app walkthroughs that guide users through a task or action in your product. Again, examine your product usage and support ticket data (or talk to your customer support team) to understand any workflows that users are struggling with. Create multi-step guides to walk users through these flows, but be sure to keep walkthroughs to under five steps.

In-app support in practice: WebPT started leveraging Pendo in-app guides to help explain parts of their product that weren’t immediately clear, looking to areas of the product that generated a lot of support requests. After adding a tooltip to a field where users input insurance information, the number of support questions they received about that page dropped by 50%.

See Pendo in action: Take this self-guided tour to see how to use Pendo to analyze how users engage with your product, identify opportunities to improve their experience, and deliver in-app support with guides.

3. Resource Center: Provide always-on information

In addition to providing real-time support using tooltips and walkthroughs, Pendo’s Resource Center offers a way to support customers with helpful information they can access at any time. Even better: You can customize your Resource Center to include the types of resources that users of your product will benefit from the most.

Here are three modules you can add to your Resource Center to better support users in-app:

    • Product announcements: House product and feature announcements in the Resource Center so users can stay up to day on your application’s latest functionality, and learn about updates on their own time.
    • How-to guides: Create in-app walkthroughs for features or walkthroughs you know users struggle with or that consistently show up in support cases.
    • Support articles: Integrate your Zendesk Knowledge Base into the Resource Center to let users search for support articles right in your app.

By providing information on-demand, users can easily access resources from inside your product without needing to navigate away to outside documentation—or contacting a member of your team. This means users can get answers and move through friction faster, and reserves customer support resources for higher-priority items.

In-app support in practice: After launching a new content creation and collaboration platform, Elsevier realized that users were struggling to find the help they needed—and adoption was lagging as a result. They turned to the Pendo Resource Center to build an always-on, in-app repository of resources for users—featuring helpful onboarding guides, FAQs, announcements, and feedback modules. Soon after, the team saw positive results from their new in-app support offering, including a 42.8% reduction in first line support queries.