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Value Realisation : Unleashing the Potential of In-App Guides for Seamless User Activation

  • 18 January 2024
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Value Realisation : Unleashing the Potential of In-App Guides for Seamless User Activation
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When the new user joins the platform, there will be a set of expectations and enthusiasm to find what’s in the product. While the user is exploring things enthusiastically every empty state can enable the user to get started with the feature only when they understand the potential of the feature, we call it user activation and at Gainsight we drive activation using In-app guides seamlessly.

How can we do that?

1. Find the user you would like to enable and create new behaviors
2. Define their persona and what matters to them the most
3. Identify the product features and use cases that meet the user goals

4. Demystify the complex use case scenarios into simple walkthroughs
5. Solve the question “what’s next” and reduce friction to initiate the flows

6. Keep track of the nudges and refine as you go
7. Analyze the behavior via adoption trends

Every product is built to solve multiple use cases for multiple personas. So while making a list of golden features, it’s important to identify who we are trying to activate.

The prerequisite to kick off an activation series is to first learn more about your users by gathering role specific information to precisely target and personalize the user experience to match their needs.

The sample in-app engagement below aims to identify the user’s role and department (assuming you don’t already have this meta-data about your users):


The key is to personalize!

Adoption for a new user starts with identifying the key features that the user needs to explore to get the desired value out of the product.

Now that we know the role and the department of the user, we have a better understanding of the different actions and tasks we would like the user to perform in the product.

Catering to enablement on Demand: The self-serve mode

While planning to drive progressive adoption, it’s best to give users the power to self explore and learn at their own pace.

For that, we use a knowledge center bot that hosts a checklist of onboarding engagements or on-demand guided tours. The bot also supports search so that users can find answers to their queries without contacting support, thus helping with support deflection.


With time, gradually enable the user - Progressive adoption:

If we bombard the user with all of our enablement content on the day they sign up, that would cause user fatigue and lead them to skip these walkthroughs.

So, to optimize for user experience, it’s best to gradually deploy guides in a sequence depending on the user proficiency and where they are in the product.

Not just that, Progressive adoption helps:

- Reduce overwhelm for users.

- Enhance retention through gradual learning.

- Increase satisfaction with a user-friendly approach.

To briefly understand user proficiency, we need to capture data about the user’s first actions.

For example: To enable a user on Gainsight - Cockpit, we need to know whether the user has created their first CTA in  Cockpit or not. If the user hasn’t created a CTA before, then it makes sense to trigger a guide that nudges the user towards the “Create CTA” activation moment.


Where you trigger the nudge matters:

Digital nudges shouldn’t disturb users, but rather help users to take the next best action. So we need to find the right place to trigger these actions. In the case of the above Cockpit example, it makes sense to trigger a guide on the “Cockpit” empty state page rather than the home page. The empty state page view is only visible when the user has not created a CTA yet.


Mastering Micromoments for Activation:

I hear and I forget,
I see and I remember,
I do and I understand!

- Confucius

This is the power of learning by doing. There is something called the IKEA effect which refers to “a cognitive bias that helps explain why people place higher value on things they helped to build or create.”

As individuals, we place a higher value and importance on ideas and work that we help to build and create. Through micromoments users are able to interact with guides that walk them through how to use the application. By using cues such as “Click on the button” or “select the dropdown item,” we help the user build their experience. This naturally places a higher value on the action for the user because they were doing the work instead of reading how to do it.

The Harmonious Blend: Progressive Adoption, Micromoments, and Targeted Features

Now that you have identified the:

What: Golden features activation
Where: On feature empty states
Who: Feature usage < 1
When: In the initial days after user signup
Why: To activate users and accelerate time to value
How: Leverage micromoments and user interactions

If all the above things are ticked off, don’t wait - get started with your activation campaign!


Conclusion: Crafting Habits Through Activation

Once the user gets into the flow of activation and starts interacting with these walkthroughs, we need to track how effective the nudges are by analyzing whether it has initiated a new habit for the user.

Activation doesn’t just mean the user does it once, but rather that they find the feature insightful and get habituated to using it more frequently.

To track habits, check the adoption reports of the features for the activated users.

We did this at Gainsight, and below illustrates the results of our work to instill new habits for two crucial Gainsight CS product features.


That’s our story of habit formation and how we do it at Gainsight, we would like to hear your stories of enablement as well. Let’s learn and grow together 🙂

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