Keeping Digital, In-Product Communications Human-First

  • 24 March 2023
  • 2 replies

Userlevel 3
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I was thrilled to be part of a webinar earlier this week with @seth and @lane_h on Digital Customer Success: Secrets to delivering a human-first experience. We had a TON of interest and engagement on this topic, and as a result, had so many really great questions submitted during the webinar that we didn’t get a chance to speak to them all. 


If you missed it, I highly recommend checking out the recording, or watch this quick recap video of our in-product tips to keeping digital comms human-first below 👇 

Many questions had to do with when to send digital, in-product communications to your users and customers. Timeliness is key to relevancy when it comes to in-app, and if your digital communications are truly ‘human-first’, they should always be as relevant and value-add to your users as possible. Another question was how do you trigger digital communications - what activity, data or segments should be used to identify a user is a good fit for a digital engagement. 


‘When’ and ‘how’ of course vary a bit by product type, but there’s a few common ways to trigger digital engagements no matter your product/industry. A few key ways you can effectively trigger digital content to align with relevancy, timeliness and value to your customer are to:

  1. Use recency-based in-app usage triggers. ⏰ When you’re triggering content based on timely engagement with a certain feature or module, you’re able to tap into what’s top of mind for your customers. This is a great trigger for things like best practices on feature usage, or highlighting recent enhancements that offer new functionality of a specific feature. 

  2. Use persona based triggers.👤 This may be obvious, but content geared for admins vs. new users should be triggered based on that user type. To take this the extra mile, triggering based on persona in conjunction with customer journey stage is key. An admin who is brand new and still onboarding may not be ready for deeper admin-level content that requires base level feature knowledge first.

  3. Use customer health/NPS data. 👍 When you’re triggering messages to customers, it’s important to keep their health status in mind. You don’t want to appear tone deaf by asking an at-risk or detractor customer about an upsell opportunity, or to dive into a complex and time-intensive product task that may highlight why they are at risk in the first place. Using parameters to only send communications of this nature to healthy customers means you won’t create conflicting or negatively compounding experiences.  

  4. Use location based triggers.🛣 Making sure your in-app content appears only at highly relevant points in customer journeys is key to not interrupting their workflows AND to providing value-added content to where a user is and what they are trying to achieve. 

  5. Use goal/outcome based triggers. 🎯 When you know what your users are looking to do with your product, you can personalize the types of in-app guides or informational dialogs you promote to those users to align with their objectives. This helps users improve their time to value by reaching the key features/aha moments with your product faster. 


What’s most important about any of the above (or any other trigger type), is that you combine these parameters to fine tune your audience for each digital engagement. This lets you combine recency and frequency with health and location data to send highly targeted, specific content that feels incredibly timely and relevant for your users. 


Another key point - make sure the data you use to target is fresh. If you’re using data integrated from another system, real-time updates are critical to make sure that when your engagement hits, it's still relevant for each customer. One way we do this is by real-time sync of user activities in-app - letting Gainsight track usage and qualify users for an in-app guide, for example, in milliseconds instead of lengthy delays. Getting really well integrated data sources is mission-critical!  


And one final point - collect customer data as you go to continually refine your targeting. Because we can use Gainsight PX to update user attributes when a user makes a selection via an in-app guide, we can ask users more questions to build their profile over time. For example we could ask if a user is familiar with our software, to help skip over basic guides if they’re already an expert in that area. In this scenario you could then add a targeting parameter to basic guides to not include anyone who is self-identified as an ‘expert’ in their profile. 


There are SO many additional points here that can make your communications incredibly relevant to your end users and customers - and the added benefit of making these communications really targeted is that you can make sure to avoid user fatigue with too many in-app guides by only sending the key content pieces that are most relevant and timely.


Would love to hear if anything else has stood out as a key way to keep digital in-product communications timely in the comments, or any questions on how these tips come together in the real world!

2 replies

Userlevel 5
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love it! so helpful!

Userlevel 7
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Hello @kate_wigglesworth & @Kathleen.Walsh 👋🏼
Hope this helps answer your questions during the webinar about triggers & timeliness of content.

Please feel free to ask any follow-up questions on here 🙂🙌🏼