Have you ever wondered how to move the needle on adoption? At HubSpot, we’re tackling adoption from a unique perspective: the in-app self-service and help experience. In this post, you’ll discover how we empowered customers to self-serve in-app, opening the door to a non-linear growth for HubSpot.
Why you should incorporate Help in your adoption strategy
First, what is Help? Help covers all the product flows a user can go through to be unblocked and able to use your product. Help can span from in-app experiences to web pages. It is a massive and most of the time, unnoticed growth play.
A Help team is not often seen in organizations that promote product-led growth. Yet, it can quickly become one of the most concerning bottlenecks. Indeed, as your customer base thrives, it’s more likely you’ll invest in growing your product. Overtime, product complexity grows and customers have more and more questions about your product. At HubSpot, we decided to spin up a team dedicated to Help, to solve the customers’ help needs at scale.
How to track the impact a Growth Product Team can have
Our team was a Growth Product team, which means we looked at numbers a lot. Why? Because they speak for themselves. We ask ourselves questions like: How will we track the impact we will have on customers? How will we know we are also solving for the business?
Defining a self-service metric as a Growth Product Manager was exciting for two reasons. I worked with our stellar product operations analysts. We looked at a cluster of elements. We incorporated many user interactions to reflect all the indicators of self-service. Yet, we also wanted to keep this metric clear and make it easy to trouble-shoot it.
The bundle of elements we incorporated span from clicks on in-app Help resources, to Help open rate and close rate. With this self-service metric, we were able to show how our team solved for both the customer and the business in a very tangible way.
Where to start in order to solve the users Help needs
Finding where to focus our energy is what made us successful.
Before diving into the Help product experience, we nailed down what user problems to focus on.
- First, we wanted to know when users ask our Support team questions. We looked at a typical user journey. Most of their questions were submitted in their first 3 months.
- Second, we looked at what our users asked. We used the support team’s classification of tickets. We looked at the top largest bucket of tickets and isolated the simplest questions.
At that point, we knew we had the list of real customer needs. They were easy to solve via a product-led self-service and in enough quantity for us to have an impact.
How to drive meaningful change through experimentation
At that point, our product mission was clearly defined, our main success metric was built, and we identified the biggest volume of user needs to focus on. So how did we drive product change?
We dived into the current experience, in which many assumptions were made. We questioned the status quo and ran many small iterative experiments in 2021 and 2022. The goal was to test every component. We based these experiments on existing qualitative or quantitative evidence.
Because we collected a huge amount of learnings through experimentation, we had enough knowledge to rebuild Help as a minimum viable product. We redesigned the Help User Interface (UI) with simplicity and accessibility in mind. From a user experience perspective, we led with a simple search entry point, letting the user ask their question immediately.
Due to this search entry point, we had to work on parsing users’ queries. We relied upon Natural Language processing, using external solutions. Once we gave all our inputs to the model, the machine learning model was able to return the custom Help content we created.
We even improved the Help content by making it relevant, concise and digestible. Indeed, the best Help app without the right Help content is not solving for the user. Overall, it was a lot of engineering, content and design efforts put into it. Once ready, we launched it as an A/B test.
The experiment was successful: this new user interface improved the customer experience, as self-service rate increased by 23% percentage points, being statistically significant. Because we moved the needle on our north star metric, we decided to scale this experience across all users.
Driving user adoption is hard, yet it can partially be done through self-service. At HubSpot, we believe in non-linear product-led growth and this is why we invested in Growth In-App Help. In the past 18 months, we learned that these investments in self-service paid off for our customers and for the business. Moving forward, our Help team will continue experimentation and testing.