How Kayako Used FullStory to Boost Feature Adoption and Reduce Churn

Effortless customer support is at the core of a great customer experience yet many businesses still default to the clunky solution of “help desk” software. Kayako is working to change the customer support default through offering a united customer service platform. With 130K+ users supporting 100MM+ customers, Kayako is making a serious dent.

Kayako’s challenge — seeing customers in context

As a product marketing manager at Kayako, James Doman-Pipe helps drive activation during user onboarding as well as feature adoption throughout the customer life cycle.

While James and his team used Totango and Segment to see which users weren’t fully activating and which features were gathering dust, it wasn’t enough—they struggled to understand why.

They tried getting more context through customer interviews but found the process didn’t scale. It took time and effort to identify target customers and coordinate interviews. And once they finally had the data, they still had to make sense of it.

“We needed a faster way to see what customers were finding interesting, how they were interacting with the product in real time, and we needed to accelerate those learnings as quickly as we could.”

— James Doman-Pipe, Product Marketing Mgr at Kayako

Richer, faster insights through FullStory

When Kayako installed FullStory, the curtain was lifted: James and his team could immediately begin watching customers interact with their SaaS in real time by using session playback.

“It was so accessible, even to those of us who aren’t that technical,” said James. “Most of us wouldn’t have been able to identify buttons or links by CSS selector, but we could immediately search on the text of a button and start watching how customers were using the product.”

FullStory has been a massive time saver. [We] can move at four times the speed we used to. We’re sitting back and watching these full experiences about what our customers are doing, what they’re thinking, exactly where they’re moving the mouse. So it’s not just that the information comes faster; it’s also richer than what we can get from interviews.”

— James Doman-Pipe, Product Marketing Mgr at Kayako

Now, James can uncover in real-time the why behind unsuccessful trials and underutilized features, no time-consuming or expensive interviews required.

Using FullStory to improve onboarding

With their newfound insight into Kayako’s user experience, James and his team uncovered new opportunities to make improvements in product adoption rates.

Users are never going to onboard exactly how you planned; but focusing on their actual behaviors can dramatically improve the process. (Photo credit: Bill Harrison)

For example, watching user sessions helped Kayako see that most users bypassed the entire onboarding flow, skipping straight to the admin section of the product — only to get stuck. Here’s James on the problem:

In the onboarding flow, we had some nice headers and animated gifs pointing people to the appropriate areas [to help them use Kayako’s admin area], but from watching FullStory, I found people skipped that content entirely, so once they reached the admin area, they weren’t sure what to do.

Before FullStory, we had no idea we even needed to smooth that journey. Now, users will be able to achieve some important goals on that initial screen, which should motivate them to see what else the product can do.

Kayako iterated on their onboarding approach and is now launching a new onboarding experience that first lets users choose the area of the product that most interests them, and then guides them through setup based on the user’s preferences.

Reducing churn, reaching retention goals through improved customer understanding

Kayako’s marketing and support teams can optimize later stages of the customer journey using FullStory, as well, proactively reducing churn by managing it through deep customer insights. Here’s James on the process:

If a customer has signaled their intent to churn, we can go in [to FullStory] and actually see: is this a user error? Is it actually a bug?

If it’s user error, we can communicate what behavior they can change to be more successful and bring them back. If it’s a bug, we can loop in the product team to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

The results of this visibility are twofold: Kayako wins back high-risk customers more frequently, while also creating a stickier product experience for their user base . Both approaches reduce monthly churn rates either immediately or in the long-run.

“FullStory ties right back to our retention goals and that’s revenue. That’s money we’re saving,” said James.

How does your team use FullStory?

Improving onboarding and reducing churn are but two examples of how FullStory has helped Kayako in their efforts to make incredible customer support software.

How are you using FullStory? What insights have you uncovered about your users that have resulted in changes to your products or services? We want to hear your story: email us at and tell us!

Start a free FullStory trial and begin capturing everything about your customer experience using one powerful, easy-to-use platform.

Chase a rabbit — find a labyrinth. Creator, FullStory-teller, Xoogler from the ATL.