Simply put, Pitch is collaborative presentation software built for modern teams. But really, this fast-growing darling of the startup community solves a much bigger problem.
Pitch’s user-friendly presentation design interface helps teams easily, quickly, and collaboratively create on-brand presentations, so they can focus more on content and communication — and less on formatting and the finicky details that we all get frustrated by.
Now six months after Pitch entered their limited preview, the company has nearly 60 employees and is gearing up for a public launch.
We were thrilled when senior product marketing manager Kate Donahue and community support lead Verena Kuhn took some time out of their busy schedules to share with us how EnjoyHQ has helped their company document, analyze and communicate user feedback to create a product their early users rave about.
Challenge Accepted: Designing a robust feedback loop during closed Beta.
In July 2019, the Pitch team was faced with a challenge familiar to most software startups: How to structure the beta invitation process and who to invite for their limited preview. Unlike most software startups, however, Pitch considered the longer-term implications of how they handled this stage.
“It immediately became clear we needed to have a good solution in place for documenting and analyzing our feedback,” Kate shared. “Because you really only get one chance to document this up front, and if we didn't … well, we've all been there where you embark on a research project, or work to get feedback from users or customers, and you don't document things as thoroughly as you would've wished. Then memory is failing, and you can never go back and get that information. We knew we didn't have a lot of people to throw at this problem to document things, so we needed to have a good way to store and analyze our videos and notes.”
Kate continued, “We’d used Lookback in the past for some usability testing, but we didn’t have a central repository to give people access to those videos. Slack is very temporal and ephemeral for sharing information. And Notion, which we use for a lot of our documentation, is great — but it’s not really built for analysis, and it was going to become very complicated as we amassed a large amount of feedback.”
The team at Pitch decided they would onboard 30 teams to kick off their limited preview. Their hope was these new users would help Pitch identify any major kinks before they released the product to additional teams.
An important part of this process was going to be recording the onboarding sessions so Kate, Verena and the rest of their product team could create detailed follow-up plans for the new users. Having a place to store those videos and notes in a way that they could draw insights from those assets and share them with the team was mission critical.
“The dissemination of the information is just as important as the initial capture,” Kate said. “But we wanted to be able to focus on the key takeaways for people, while also giving an opportunity to deep dive for those who were interested.”
The Solution for a Rapidly Growing Need
Kate heard about EnjoyHQ from her network, and she thought it might solve the challenge of storing, sharing and dissecting user feedback. She and Roxy, product manager at Pitch started a trial of the EnjoyHQ user research platform, then pulled in several Pitch team members (people who were going to be participating in the onboardings or using the qualitative data) to help them set up the tool in a way that would work best for them.
“Right away, it was a lot more user friendly than keeping things in a series of disconnected docs, or trying to store everything in Notion,” Kate shared.
Pitch onboarded 30 teams during the initial preview launch. Within two months, this added up to about 30 hours of video, plus notes and analysis from follow-up calls — all stored and organized neatly in EnjoyHQ. And the information just kept coming …
“By the end of 2019, we added 115 company onboardings to EnjoyHQ, and were able to tag, analyze, and create stories around those sessions. We were able to really ramp up our usage and get more people reviewing our analyses and asking more questions, which proved out the point of having a central place where we could dissect and analyze information. We realized the value almost immediately,” Kate said.
Same Data, Different Use Cases
Making the product and the marketing better
Pitch found that they have three primary consumers of EnjoyHQ data within their company: product marketing, community support, and product management.
“Here in product marketing, we’re using this beta to inform our longer-term marketing strategy,” Kate shared. “We want to know:
- What are the features we need to introduce?
- What are the most important features tied to activation and retention?
- Are we doing a good job of explaining these features?”
Kate wanted to understand if users were having a good initial experience with the onboarding — but she also wanted to understand if a good onboarding experience was tied to ongoing usage of the product. Then, after users had used Pitch for a period of time, Kate wanted to see if they could articulate the value they received, and if they understood the key features and concepts. Ultimately, this information would help her create a better onboarding and user experience for the next group of users. The user data in EnjoyHQ helped her meet these goals.
“EnjoyHQ has been invaluable in helping us check our assumptions. To give a tangible example, we knew early on that custom fonts were important. We assumed there were other features within Pitch that would be more important for creating on-brand presentations. But within the first few onboarding sessions it became abundantly clear that custom fonts were important to adoption and important as a differentiator,” Kate said.
“So we were able to quantify, show the use cases, talk about the users of this need, and bring that to the product team to get that feature prioritized. They were able to come up with an immediate workaround, and now there’s a long-term solution in place on the roadmap. This is just one of the examples of highlighting the balance of quality of life plus ‘wow’ features that we want to tackle, and putting it in the context of how people use Pitch day-to-day for their actual work.”
Creating a better customer experience from day one
Early on, Verena was responsible for onboarding users onto Pitch. On that front, Verena used EnjoyHQ to store and tag the answers to standardized onboarding questions and any notes from onboarding sessions. But she quickly discovered an integration that made her job easier long after the onboarding research was complete.
“We currently use Intercom for customer support and there's an integration that sends all the conversation straight into EnjoyHQ,” Verena said, “which is great because that allows me to track what people are asking for after they've used the product. The initial research during onboardings is very different from the research we can do with the data that we're getting later on from users, for example when we're having follow-up feedback calls with them, or from users that reach out to us for support.”
Documenting this insight in EnjoyHQ allowed Verena to collect both quantitative and qualitative insights on what people were asking for, what the top feature requests were, and what users were struggling with. This information now guides her as she builds an online help center to answer common questions and provide clear information about specific areas of confusion. .
Verena shared, “It's important for me to know what causes confusion or is difficult for people to find, and what information are people looking for. If there are any misunderstandings about how our product works, I can address those questions in educational content and also suggest product changes to improve the user experience.
“But in the end all the information comes together. We’re using three projects that we use for different conversations. One for the onboardings, one for follow-up feedback calls, and one for ongoing support conversations. And we can evaluate them separately or all together, and it's really interesting to see the varying results between the different stages.”
Kate has found a great deal of insight from this data from a product marketing standpoint, too. “This is where some of the tagging and quantifying what people are saying becomes really interesting for us. We can look at what are the positive sentiment moments within the onboarding session, and what are the features they ask about or are really excited about. Then two months later when we sit for a feedback call, we can look at how that composition changes.
“Sometimes there are features that are very sexy during the onboardings, but we find out that they don't come into play as much on a day-to-day basis. And the things that users actually get really excited about are things we didn't even mention in the onboardings. Like grids. Like some of the alignment things we have, we take them for granted. And we were able to see over the course of looking at the different ways in which people reach out to us over time what actually became really valuable to them in Pitch.”
5 Unexpected Benefits Pitch Now Can’t Live Without
1. The unexpected benefits of having raw data
Like any startup, Pitch wants to move fast. The temptation — especially for marketing — is to cut corners, paraphrase, and summarize. Having the raw user research data enables Pitch to keep themselves honest. EnjoyHQ’s transcription feature added a whole new way for Pitch to check their assumptions and onboard users more efficiently.
“We used to have two people doing these onboardings,” Kate said. “One person furiously typing notes, while the other person was focusing on the onboarding. We were able to scale up our processes a little bit where we didn't have to have two people doing these onboardings, which was good because we needed to onboard a lot more users.”
“We knew we had transcriptions that we could go back and revisit, go back to those timestamps. As marketers we're very prone to bias. We want to push a certain vision, so being able to keep ourselves honest by having these transcriptions to go back to, making sure we're not paraphrasing where we can avoid it, so that we can continue to question our own assumptions and not just present those as fact. I think that was a huge value of EnjoyHQ for me.”
Having the raw body of research also allows Pitch to revisit the data and look at it through new lenses over time.
Kate shared, “Right now we're actually going through a process of auditing and re-tagging some of the raw data. We have a couple hundred records, and are going back and just enriching our data, and then that will shape how we iterate on this process. We're learning new things every day. We're learning more about how other people are consuming the information in EnjoyHQ. So now we can make more important decisions on the taxonomy we have in place, and the processes for ingesting, tagging, circulating the data.”
2. The unexpected benefits of being immersed in the voice of the customer
Marketers understand the importance of talking to customers — but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to do. Pitch found that documenting customer conversations in EnjoyHQ helped them get more value out of those conversations, and in turn help their users get more value out of Pitch.
“Before Pitch I was sometimes afraid to jump on customer calls,” Kate said, “because if they asked me something and I didn’t know the answer maybe I’d look silly, or it would hurt their perception of the company. So I think I dodged customer conversations more than I should've in the past. But I've been able to overcome that here. Talking to customers has been so valuable. … [When we sit in Pitch team meetings we can say] ‘Here's what we're seeing, here's the use case they have in mind.’ We don't need to draw conclusions on our own. We can see what they're doing. They show us what they're working on in Pitch. They are wonderful at explaining their use case and we have it all documented, and we can point to these things. We can do deeper dives when people inevitably have questions, and we can also connect people from the product team back with those users.”
Kate went on, “We're doing a feature exploration right now on improving the way people start building their presentations. So we're able to quickly put together a story for the product designer, identify a couple of potential follow-up research candidates, and pair them up.”
3. The unexpected benefits of more efficient use of time
When Kate pairs up those users with Pitch’s product designers, she doesn’t feel the need to sit in on those calls because the designer knows how to use EnjoyHQ. She can rest assured the information will be captured properly, and she and her team can focus on more important things than recording those conversations.
“The designer knows where to upload it, so we don't feel like we need to stretch ourselves so thin. We know that we could still consume it after and get that same knowledge and context that they're getting in the room.”
4. The unexpected benefits of breaking down data silos to create a truly customer-centric company culture
Verena agrees that there’s a lot of value in everyone having access to EnjoyHQ to record and access customer insight. Particularly, she’s found value in keeping information from being isolated in the different teams.
“To create a customer-centric company [you must] get others involved in the company as well,” Verena said. “The risk is really high to have the information isolated in the customer support team, or in the product marketing team. But it's really difficult for others to access your head, right? So [with EnjoyHQ] we give them a place where they can look up information. And there's been a huge interest from others in the company to take a look at the research, and see a summary, and see charts, and get the insights, and that's really nice to see.”
5. The unexpected benefits of redundancy
Keeping information in your head is dangerous not just from a data silo standpoint. It’s also critical to centralize user research data for the sake of continuity.
“What if someone gets hit by a bus tomorrow?” Kate reflected. “You don't want all of this information in their head, all of these connections they've drawn to be gone. And when you work at a startup, people move on. No one's at a company forever. So within EnjoyHQ everything can be centralized, and you have this ‘second brain,’ and things are human-readable to access and consume knowledge. It's important to ensure there's a legacy to this information that we can come back to and reference over time.”
Taxonomy Matters: Pitch Found Great Value in the Time Investment
Like with most tools that are meant to grow as organizations grow, with EnjoyHQ there’s a time investment up-front to set up a taxonomy that will work for how your company will be using the data. Pitch not only found this investment to be worthwhile, they found it to be crucial to the future value of the customer research data.
Kate shared, “The time spent up-front [setting up EnjoyHQ] paid dividends for me, because it's time and pain I would've suffered later, plus I would have had fewer grounded insights. It takes time, but it's an investment in your own body of knowledge, your company's body of knowledge, and you're never going to find a time in the future where you can just press pause on other projects and invest the level of detail in it.”
“We started very piecemeal in our move to EnjoyHQ,” Kate went on, “adding videos, adding notes, taking a little bit of time to explore how we layered on tags and properties, then exploring rules. We just continued to iterate, and chip away, and develop that knowledge, kind of hard-won knowledge over time.
“Our setup is by no means perfect but we can pull so much information, and we can look at it in a pretty objective way, versus if we tried to then quickly summarize and do a big upload, and do some perfect implementation.
“The more we use EnjoyHQ, the more it makes sense and feels natural. You've built something that's really powerful, and on one hand we want to invest all of the time in it, and fully understand all the rules and the outcomes. But especially because we don't have a research team, or a research process, or a new product, we were able to build it out as we went along, and it's been minimal investment added onto that over time. For the most part we're uploading feedback as we get it, automating it as we can through email and Intercom, and we're able to tend to it on an ongoing basis in addition to our actual full-time roles.”
Kate and Verena’s Advice to New EnjoyHQ Users
“You just gotta rip the Band-Aid off,” Kate joked about setting up EnjoyHQ the first time.
Verena’s advice to new users of EnjoyHQ is to start small, make the feedback quantifiable, and make recording feedback in EnjoyHQ a habit: “For us, it's made a huge difference to have a template and to just take consistent notes, and then to be able to analyze them later on was great.
“So one step at a time, start small and start documenting, and you're only making your own life easier. It's great to have all this feedback written down in a qualitative way, but in the end, you also want to look at numbers. Finding a way to count the number of times a specific feature or product area was mentioned has been really valuable.
“Start to build a process and start to make it a habit. Document the process so that you’re doing the same thing in the same way, and you’re doing it consistently from day one, and then build onto it. You can always make it more complex, but start simple.”
“I'm super thankful to have found out about EnjoyHQ,” Kate said at the end of our conversation. “We're pleased that we've been able to get up and running, and the EnjoyHQ team sets a high bar for responsiveness. Any time we've got a question they've responded right away.
“EnjoyHQ ships updates really frequently, and I think it's really impressive given how complex the product is. That's made us feel very confident in the continued investment in EnjoyHQ.”