Accelo used Appcues to scale their customer success and support operations by implementing in-app resources to enhance the new user experience, providing contextual guidance, gathering feedback, launching new features, and delivering on-demand support. Within a few days of launching Appcues flows, Accelo saw a 48% increase in new feature activation and a 253% increase in help guide interaction.
We reached out to Sara Maskivish, Head of Client Success, and Lawrence Barreca, Customer Success Technical Content Manager, to learn more.
Accelo is an operations automation platform that helps small and medium-sized businesses automate and streamline their work into a single, integrated system. The cloud-based platform helps teams nurture client relations, collaborate on projects, and deliver consistent customer service and support.
Scaling customer success and support
Accelo’s users come from a wide range of industries—including architecture, accounting, engineering, consulting, marketing and IT—with varying experience levels, expectations, and needs. The company recognized that providing their users with contextual support at the right moment in their users’ experience is critical for improving product adoption.
The customer success team at Accelo started looking for a solution like Appcues that could help them scale their customer success and support operations by delivering a self-service support experience through their product itself.
As a robust solution for diverse user segments and industries, Accelo already had quite a comprehensive help center with answers to users’ most frequently asked questions. So instead of overhauling their existing support help center, Lawrence and his team decided to use Appcues to contextualize support resources by showing them to users at the most relevant moment in their journey.
The team decided to begin rolling out Appcues flows in 2 phases. The goal of phase 1 was to better onboard new users, increase views of the help guides, and provide contextual help in an unobtrusive way.
Enhanced experience for new users
In order to better onboard new users and guide them to activation, Lawrence created a welcome modal that primed users for a quick intro.
Clicking on the Get Started button takes users to the next screen that shows a quick intro video tutorial to set user expectations about the platform.
After the video, the users are then given a step-by-step walkthrough of Accelo’s basic functionality.
At the end of the walkthrough, users are shown a feedback modal that asks if they found the walkthrough helpful. Of those who responded, 84% of users said that the walkthrough gave them direction after their first login.
Accelo also received additional feedback from their launch announcement blog post.
“This is great. It’s these little things that really have a huge impact on the user experience and allow people to “self-serve” when they get stuck. It’s not only easier for the new user but frees up the time of the experienced user by not being asked a lot of questions.” – Mike, Accelo customer
Some of the new users gave suggestions to make the onboarding experience even better.
“SO HELPFUL, maybe make a button where users can go back to the previous step in case they got interrupted and want to see it again?” – Amy, Accelo customer
Providing self-service assistance
The second objective of phase 1 was to increase engagement with Accelo’s existing help guides. To achieve this, Lawrence created unique flows for each product module—Accelo Sales, Accelo Tickets, Accelo Projects, and Accelo Retainers—which were manually triggered by clicking on the Learn button within the app.
Each Learn button triggered an Appcues modal that allowed users to choose from 3 options: Get an in-app walkthrough, watch a video lesson, or read relevant help guides. Users could also provide feedback from this modal.
Within the first week of launch, Accelo achieved unprecedented results with Appcues flows for all 4 modules.
The pageviews for the Accelo Sales help guide, for instance, increased by 66% compared to the average view count, reaching the highest number of pageviews in a month since it was created.
Similarly, pageviews for the Accelo Projects help guide increased by 78% compared to the average, resulting in the second-highest month in terms of pageviews.
The Accelo Tickets help guide pageviews increased by 126%.
Finally, the Accelo Retainers help guide increased by 45% compared to the average, resulting in the best month for pageviews in 2019.
“From a customer success standpoint, it was amazing to see that our users were not only initiating Appcues flows and going through these walkthroughs but they were actually finding the contextual information they were looking for with just two clicks and were also taking the prescribed action.”
– Lawrence Barreca, Customer Success Technical Content Manager, Accelo
Delivering on-demand support with hotspots
After seeing early wins in the first phase of their Appcues rollout, Lawrence and his team decided to proceed with phase 2. The goals of phase 2 were to ensure transparency and responsiveness by providing on-demand guidance to users and drawing attention to important features and updates.
The Accelo team used product analytics tools (Heap, etc.) and watched user sessions to identify patterns in user behavior. They noticed that many users were not engaging with the features that could make them more successful. In order to drive feature adoption, Lawrence placed 3 hotspots within the product to improve engagement with help guides—and, ultimately, the feature itself.
To increase adoption for the Create a Quote feature, for example, Lawrence and his team used Appcues to create a tooltip that triggered an Appcues modal with a short video tutorial.
During the first week of launch, the tutorial video saw a 198% increase from its average view count.
A similar hotspot drew attention to the Editing a Project Budget feature—and led to a 48% increase in feature activation within 2 weeks.
Using a hotspot to draw user attention to the Create a Project Plan help guide resulted in a 187% increase in pageviews within a week—the highest since the guide had been created.
Drawing attention to features with tooltips
Accelo is a versatile product with a range of features for different user segments. In order to continuously improve the customer experience, the product team makes UI adjustments and launches new features frequently.
Their customer success team started implementing tooltips to improve feature adoption and prevent users from feeling blindsided by a UI change or new feature. Their primary objectives were to:
Educate customers about product updates and changes
Direct users towards a help guide or blog post that provides additional context for the new feature
Demonstrate that Accelo is constantly improving the product and investing in the customer experience
When the team at Accelo launched an upgraded Gantt Chart functionality for users creating a Project Plan, Lawrence and his team launched an Appcues tooltip to call out the new feature. When clicked, the tooltip directed users to a blog post that educated them about the new functionality.
Within 15 business days of launch, the blog post saw a 253% increase in total views compared to a previous, similar feature launch blog post that was launched without a tooltip. The blog post attached to the Appcues tooltip surpassed the total views of similar blog posts in a day and got 4x the number of views in 2 weeks.
Using tooltips also proved more effective at driving users to the blog post than emails—18% of users who saw the Appcues tooltip went on to read the blog post, a 350% increase in conversion from Accelo’s average launch email clickthrough rate of 3-4%.
“Now whenever we launch a new product, the product team comes to me and asks me to create an Appcues flow for them which is amazing.” –Lawrence Barreca, Customer Success Technical Content Manager, Accelo
Incorporating Appcues flows throughout the user journey
After the success of their first tooltip, Accelo has started to introduce relevant blog posts via tooltips whenever they make a UI change or launch a new feature. Appcues flows have now become a significant part of Accelo’s product launch strategy.
“A lot of times the blog posts die off after 2 weeks or so. But with Appcues flows, these blog posts have had consistent engagement (10-20 clicks a day).” –Lawrence Barreca, Customer Success Technical Content Manager, Accelo
The promising response from end users has encouraged the customer success team at Accelo to actively measure the conversion rates for new user onboarding flows. Moreover, they are now planning to launch more personalized, targeted user experiences aimed at specific industries and user types. They are also planning to add more hotspots at critical stages of the user journey to eliminate friction.
By giving users the opportunity to provide feedback, Accelo is able to take their customers’ preferences and recommendations into consideration when making product decisions.
Eric heads up Marketing at Appcues. When he isn't helping companies become more product-led, he’s likely to be found keeping up with his wife and 2 children, exploring the White Mountains with his dog Barley, or fermenting things at home.