How I Pendo Customer experience

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See how PAR used Pendo’s in-app guides to familiarize customers with their Data Central restaurant management platform and drive awareness of new offerings

Problem
PAR knew its restaurant management platform, Data Central, would be a game changer for its customers—but they needed a way to communicate new features to restaurant managers and show users how to perform activities in a way that wouldn’t leave them overwhelmed.

Pendo'ing it
The PAR team leveraged the Resource Center in Pendo to house a collection of in-app guides that walk customers through how to complete common processes and activities and alert them about new product offerings.

Payoff
Since launching the guides within Data Central, PAR has seen more and more users consult their Resource Center and undertake new processes on their own initiative. Pendo’s analytics lets them see which guides get the most traction and where users drop off, giving them a new level of insight into how users engage with the product.

Tim Macnamara

Technical writer, Data Central

Sherri Ehrlich

Knowledge and training lead, Data Central

PAR

PAR is an industry leader in hardware and software solutions for restaurants. Its Data Central platform is a back-office software program that offers a one-stop shop for managing inventory, labor, invoicing, and all the other tasks and processes related to running a restaurant.

Pendo’ing for our company is the tagging and the guides—building the step-by-step processes to enable clients within our application . . . to understand what they need to be doing.

Serving customers the way great restaurants serve patrons

One of the hallmarks of a great restaurant is impeccable service. Think of the server who knows the menu like the back of their hand, gives the perfect recommendations, and gets you your meal in a timely manner. It’s the kind of experience PAR has in mind when it thinks of serving their own clients—namely, restaurant managers and staff themselves.

PAR is a technology business dedicated to helping restaurants thrive. It provides both hardware and software solutions for restaurants to use, one of which is its Data Central platform. Data Central is a back-office software that lets staff manage all the essential elements and processes involved in running a restaurant. This includes everything from inventory and labor to purchasing and payroll. “Everything that you can do, that you need to do at a restaurant, we can conceivably do it,” said Tim Macnamara, a client services specialist at PAR focused on Data Central. 

The PAR team chose Pendo for two main reasons: It wanted a way to help Data Central customers quickly familiarize themselves with Data Central’s web-based portal and interface, and it wanted to be able to get the word out to restaurant managers about new features and offerings. “Our managers are the first ones to react and to work in our programs,” said Sherri Ehrlich, a knowledge and training lead at PAR. “So that’s a big thing too, alerting our community [about] all these things that we now have available for them.”

Guidance, à la carte

Using Pendo’s Resource Center, the PAR team was able to build a central information hub in Data Central containing guides that explain common activities and processes. If a client wasn’t, say, clear on how to undertake a certain workflow related to inventory, they could simply navigate to the Virtual Guides related to inventory and find a comprehensive set of resources to help them through their work. 

“It helps them jump from not knowing what to do to resolving their issue as quickly as possible,” Macnamara explained. “An example could be that a store manager may do this [process] most of the time, but then they’re busy. They’re out on the floor working with clients. So they have a team member go in and do this, but the team member has never really done this before.” 

Pendo even inspired the team to add a little moment of delight: Pendi, the Data Central team mascot that pops up and points customers to the right resources. “We use [Pendi] to attract users’ attention and help direct them over into our Virtual Guides, frequently asked questions, tips or release notes, and other additional features,” Ehrlich explained. 

 

After just a few weeks of using Pendo, the PAR team already started to see results. Many customers have embraced the new guidance on their own, without being prodded. “To have people go in and do the steps and follow through tells us that they need it, or they want it,” Ehrlich said. PAR is also seeing good customer traction when it comes to adopting new features and engaging with release notes. 

Overall, PAR has benefited greatly from the insights Pendo has surfaced about how customers are using the Data Central platform—helping them understand the relative importance of different features and informing plans for how to improve the platform. In short, Pendo helps PAR serve up a great customer experience to its Data Central restaurant clients so they can in turn serve up a great experience to their diners. “It really helps us keep our eyes on the prize,” Ehrlich concluded. 

Pro tips

  • Analytics can tell you when a guide has served its purpose—if it initially shows heavy usage and then drops off, it might be time to take down or retire the guide
  • Using in-app guides to demonstrate workflows and direct users to FAQ pages can lower help desk call and support ticket volume
  • When building guides, make sure you have a clear idea of who your users are and what they need—not every user completing a given task will have the same background or level of familiarity with the process