n2y® uses Appcues to make new product announcements, provide in-app guidance, and reduce the number of support tickets for different solutions in their platform. Within 5 months of using Appcues, n2y saw a reduction of up to 400% in support contact ratio.
We reached out to their Director of Customer Relations, Amanda Borer, and Ryan Mitchell, Customer Support Manager, to learn about how n2y uses Appcues to deliver self-service support to their customers.
n2y has been helping students with significant learning disabilities for over 20 years, beginning with the development of its flagship program, News-2-You—an online, symbol-supported weekly newspaper that builds a connection to the world for students with cognitive and communication disabilities.
The company has since evolved into a comprehensive, research-based, total special education solution that empowers educators, administrators, therapists, paraprofessionals and their students. Accessed through a single, cloud-based platform, the n2y solution delivers standards-aligned academic content for pre-K-12, powerful assessment and data collection, News-2-You, dynamic symbol communication tools, skill-based learning games and a groundbreaking behavior management program—all supported by best-in-class professional development.
Today serving over 60,000 classrooms around the country, the n2y team is continually looking for new and relevant ways to help individuals with complex learning needs access the general education curriculum.
Scaling support operations
Amanda and her team are always looking for ways to optimize their users’ experience and make the n2y’s product experiences as easy as possible.
n2y understands the importance of empowering their users—mainly teachers and administrators—by guiding them to key features within their solution that will help them get up and running quickly and see positive outcomes.
They started off by building in-app guidance internally, but quickly realized that it's difficult to iterate on these experiences, and that doing so can drain development time and resources when built in-house. So n2y started looking for third-party solutions that would allow them to create in-product, self-service support experiences without relying on their development resources. The team tried a number of different solutions before deciding on Appcues due to its ease of use and versatility.
“Its simple and straightforward functionality made Appcues easy to use and implement, allowing us to see quick wins in our business. We looked at [other tools], but Appcues was the simplest to get up and running.”
– Amanda Borer, Director of Customer Relations at n2y
Putting self-service support into action
Ryan—who leads the support data analysis at n2y—began analyzing support tickets, chat conversations, and web and knowledge base searches to identify patterns. From his analysis, he discovered that a major portion of system requirements tickets were for the Unique Learning System solution.
Unique Learning System is the most widely used solution offered by n2y. It was designed to give students with complex learning needs meaningful access to the general education curriculum, and teachers from around the US access n2y through the browser of their choice. Since Internet Explorer (IE) used to be the default browser for Windows PCs, a lot of teachers used it to access n2y platform—however, Microsoft announced in early 2016 that the company would not be providing any updates or support for the older versions of IE.
To maintain security standards and continue providing a seamless experience to their users, n2y updated its system requirements and discontinued IE support following the announcement.
But they soon started receiving a lot of tickets regarding their system requirements. Ryan and his team decided to use Appcues to create a flow to encourage users to switch browsers.
Of the users who saw this flow, 88% switched to a compatible browser within 7 days. As a result, the support tickets related to system requirements were reduced by 40% in 90 days.
“We were simply blown away by the impact of Appcues.” – Ryan Mitchell, Customer Support Manager at n2y
Announcing a new product
n2y’s leadership team understands that their products are the major drivers of business growth.
When n2y launched Positivity—a proactive online behavior program to empower student self-regulation and support classroom management.—in March 2019, they decided to lean into their product-led approach by offering users a free 30-day trial.
To encourage their existing users to try out Positivity, Ryan and his team used Appcues to create a flow that would draw users’ attention to the new product.
As a result, 10% of the Unique Learning System users signed up for Positivity’s free trial, making the flow one of the sources of lead generation for this product, in addition to marketing and sales efforts.
Ryan and the team also used Appcues to create guided tours, “pro tips”, and reminders throughout the trial duration. As a result of proactive guidance through Appcues, the support contact ratio for Positivity was only 3%—compared to 15% for a similar product without Appcues flows. That’s a 400% reduction in support tickets.
“We were thrilled to notice that users were not only trying Positivity, but that they were finding the value they were looking for without having to reach out to support.”
– Ryan Mitchell, Customer Support Manager at n2y
Reducing support burden for beta features
In November, 2018, the n2y team made a significant enhancement to Unique Learning System with the launch of the Teacher Dashboard. This feature allowed teachers to plan their day and provide their students with all the required learning materials in a personalized way.
Soon after the launch, a large portion of the user base started reaching out to support with questions. Clearly, users were experiencing some friction and did not completely understand how the Teacher Dashboard worked.
Using Appcues, n2y created a video modal to help users understand how they could modify their dashboard. The modal allowed users to watch the video without leaving the app and also provided them with the option to bookmark the relevant page for later.
Within 6 weeks of publishing this Appcues modal, n2y saw a 22% reduction in support tickets related to Teacher Dashboard.
Amanda and Ryan have been using Appcues for 5 months now, and have been able to create some quick wins to share with their team. What they have achieved with Appcues so far is “just the tip of the iceberg,” says Ryan.
They are now planning to use Appcues to create a “choose your own adventure" set of flows that will allow users to select the level of detail they want in their walkthrough, based on their comfort level with n2y solutions.
“In my time using Appcues, it has been incredibly intuitive to use. From creating my first test flow, to designing more complex groups of flows that adjust based on user selections, it has been a breeze to use. It is also incredibly versatile when it comes to personalizing and targeting flows to specific groups of users.”
Ali is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Appcues. He has over seven years of experience in marketing roles at startups, corporations and government organizations. His interests include music, traveling and having random conversations with random people.