Best Practices

Why you need in-app guidance to drive successful change and digital transformation

Published Sep 21, 2023
Digital transformation is synonymous with change management.

Both aim to improve an organization’s relevancy, efficiency, and bottom line. And both involve establishing new technologies, processes, and strategies to meet customer and market needs—then helping customers and teams use them effectively. 

But digital transformation isn’t just about implementing new tools. It’s about changing how people work and engage with digital experiences. Change management addresses the human side of this equation, for this to work you need a solid change management process. And delivering guidance inside your product is the perfect way to enable, empower, and drive change throughout your digital transformation initiatives. Here’s why.


1. In-app guides build trust and reduce resistance to change

When organizations introduce or build new digital tools as part of their transformation efforts, it’s natural for employees or customers who are used to legacy offerings to feel overwhelmed or resistant to change. In-app guidance plays an important role in not only ushering users through change once the new product or digital experience is live, but also in preparing them for the change ahead of time.

For example, you might use a lightbox-style in-app guide to let users know that big changes are coming to your product—including when they can expect to see it, options for opting in or out, and other important details. You could also consider using a slider or carousel-style series of in-app guides to show users what the new user interface (UI) will look like, and walkthrough guides or tooltips to show them exactly where to go to access their most-loved features in the new experience.

In-app guides are more likely to be seen than emails (which are often lost in packed inboxes), and more effective for communicating information that requires action since users will see the notification as they’re actively engaged with your product. This also builds trust and gives users plenty of runway to ask questions or connect with their CSM if they will require one-to-one attention as the change progresses. 

Onboarding guides are also particularly effective in driving change and encouraging customers and employees to adopt new products and ways of working. They provide step-by-step instructions to help users get started, reducing barriers to entry and making the transition from legacy offerings even smoother. You can also deliver real-time support and assistance via in-app guides—preventing costly or repetitive errors and reducing user frustration. In turn, this encourages users to embrace the change and makes it more likely that they’ll stick with it for the long haul.

2. In-app guides create better, more personalized user experiences

Different cohorts of users may have varying levels of familiarity with technology, differing needs, and unique use cases. But delivering onboarding and ongoing enablement to all these different groups in-person or other one-to-one settings is extremely expensive and time-consuming. Instead, in-app guides can be delivered to specific segments of users, and tailored to provide personalized support based on user roles, tenure using the product, and other metadata—ensuring each person receives the specific training and assistance they require.

In-app guides are also a great continuous learning tool. Whenever new features are released, product and enablement teams can easily build walkthrough guides to help users acquire the skills they need to successfully use these new areas of the product. And through an in-app hub like a Resource Center, users can also access helpful documentation, training, and other materials on-demand, without needing to wait for support or a live training course to get the answers they need. This empowers customers and employees to own their learning journey and become more self-sufficient—plus it means they can continue to work without disruption if they need help outside of typical working hours.

Personalized experiences like these are not only great for users, they’re also good for the business. On average, in-app guidance reduces support tickets by 15%—though many companies see even higher returns. By providing automated guidance inside your product, you can free up support teams for higher value initiatives, reduce costs associated with onboarding and enablement, and eliminate routine tickets and requests that pull your team away from more pressing tasks.

3. It helps you ground all your decisions in data

Product analytics is critical in any successful digital transformation initiative. But with Pendo, there’s valuable data in your in-app guides, too. By evaluating guide metrics, you can start to understand things like:

  • Common topics users look for training and resources on
  • Guide elements and formats that drive the most engagement or conversions
  • How far different cohorts of users get through a given guide sequence—and how their subsequent product usage is affected
  • How many times users repeatedly view a particular guide, potentially indicating a need for more enablement on that subject

You can then compare this data to your product analytics to understand if your guides are driving the desired actions. Assessing how your most engaged users interact with guides throughout your product (and their actions before and after viewing them) can also help you replicate ideal behaviors across your entire user base and drive increased adoption of your new digital experiences. 

In any digital transformation initiative, it’s also important to maintain consistency in the user experience across all parts of your product—or for multi-product organizations, across your entire product portfolio. Using in-app guides across all your products helps create a unified experience for your customers and employees by giving them reliable support in every digital experience they have with your brand. It also allows you to take an iterative approach to change and transformation. Instead of waiting for the next product release to implement a fix to a common issue blocking users from completing a task, you could deploy an in-app guide or tooltip to let users know you’re addressing the problem, walk them through how to complete the task, or direct their attention to the right area of the product. This ensures your users feel heard and are always working with the most current information.


Want to see how Pendo In-app Guides and Pendo Analytics can help accelerate your digital transformation initiatives? Request a custom demo today.