Gainsight scales self-service while tripling its product offerings, leading to a 34% increase in engagement

How the Gainsight team has used MindTouch to meet urgent customer demand for low-effort self-service support content.

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At a Glance

Gainsight is a category leader within the customer success space, helping more than 750+ customers and 35 partners increase revenue, decrease customer churn, and drive advocacy. Because the company regularly expands its software offerings to include new products, features, and functionality, Gainsight customers and partners rely heavily on public-facing self-service content. Site traffic and ticket deflection data overwhelmingly indicate that customers turn to support.gainsight.com first, before contacting support. 

To consistently deliver on this expectation while continuing to expand its product and customer base, Gainsight relies on the MindTouch knowledge management platform to help customers and partners adopt new products, answer questions, and troubleshoot issues on their own. Over the past year alone, sessions to the self-service support site have increased 34%, total keywords have increased 57%, and top 10 organic keyword rankings have increased 94%. Gainsight customers, partners, and internal employees are increasingly choosing self-service first.

Company: Gainsight
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA
Year founded: 2009
Industry: Software

Challenges

As an industry leader in customer success, Gainsight makes the success of its own customers a top organizational priority. Its self-service support site is a cornerstone of its broader efforts to help customers adopt, use, and succeed with Gainsight products. For customers, partners, and employees, the Gainsight self-service site is a go-to source of information. In the past year alone, users, pageviews, and sessions have all increased by more than 29%. 

“Gainsight rolls out new features every six weeks,” says Denise Stokowski, Group VP of Platform Products. “We recently scaled from one product offering to three. Without a knowledge management platform and documentation operation of this scale and agility—without an easy way for customers to find what they need—the Gainsight support team would quickly be overburdened with tickets. Customer experience would suffer.” 

To meet this demand while continuing to rapidly and regularly release new products, features, and functionality, the company depends on a knowledge management platform with the following core capabilities:

  • Scalable information architecture so new content can be quickly added as new products are released
  • Embedding documentation to in-product experiences and Gainsight support sites
  • Public-facing articles that customers can find using a simple Google search

“We wouldn’t get adoption of these features nearly the way we do now,” says Stokowski. “And we know that we do, because between customers, internal teams, and partners, if there’s something missing, we hear about it.”

Meet growing demand for self-service documentation
as new product lines are added

Offload “low-touch” questions to self-service
to ease the burden on the contact center

Publish content once
and reuse it in product, online, and in other support and service channels

Solutions

To organize content around its product lines and versions, Gainsight leverages the flexible MindTouch information architecture. “From there,” says Lila Meyer, Director, Product Education and Community, “we use paths to present content in a sequence, guiding a user through particular workflows. This was a big selling point for us.” This approach is reflected on the support site’s homepage experience, in which users are guided to the content they need in a couple clicks by first choosing their product, version, and then topic area. 

“Content reuse has become even more important for us, too,” continues Meyer. “We have two versions of a similar product. Not having to create similar versions of content two or three times for each product line ends up saving our team a lot of time and effort. And it makes for a more straightforward experience for customers, partners, and internal employees.” Should the company move to phase out older versions, they can easily centralize related product documentation so that the latest version is universal, creating a more straightforward experience for end users. 

Gainsight can quickly make this content available within their products, too, thanks to the MindTouch API. “There’s no additional content to be created. It’s just a portal that allows customers to access our MindTouch documentation when they’re in one of our applications,” says Meyer.

To serve its large, global user base—including customers, partners, and internal employees—Gainsight leverages MindTouch to optimize its content to be public-facing and crawlable by search engines. This provides Gainsight customers with another easy way to find answers and information about Gainsight products, while providing Gainsight with valuable data about how its customers interact with self-service content.

“We’ve seen impressive growth in page views, sessions, and number of visitors, especially year over year,” says Meyer. “We get monthly stats [from the MindTouch team] that help us communicate about the impact and success that we’re having and the value that the team brings to Gainsight.”

Paths
guide users to what they need based on product or version

Content reuse
makes it fast and simple to publish content one time for use in different product lines or channels

MindTouch API
enables Gainsight to embed self-service content directly into their products

Public-facing, search-optimized
content allows anybody to find Gainsight content using Google

Results

“It’s funny,” says Stokowski. “We talk to administrators [of Gainsight products] and they now expect to get the answer before they contact support. You only develop that kind of expectation if you’ve made it possible for customers to succeed with self-service enough times.” 

This expectation speaks to customer lifetime value (CLTV) and the scalable self-service infrastructure that Gainsight has built with MindTouch: the ability of customers to easily handle “low-touch” issues themselves instead of contacting support. This has enabled Gainsight to continue serving its expanding customer base while adding new products, all with its existing contact center staff. 

While the Gainsight self-service site does help the company prevent costly support interactions—with more than an estimated 6,000 tickets deflected since the beginning of 2020—preventing tickets is not its primary purpose. Instead, it’s an opportunity to consistently deliver excellent experiences for Gainsight customers and partners who have come to rely on self-service for finding the resources they need to adopt products faster and be more successful. 

Year over year, self-service engagement is up, with a 34% increase in sessions and 36% increase in users (both YoY).  That tickets have only marginally increased during this spike in sessions underscores user preference for self-service first

Proactively supporting its customers through self-service and helping them maximize product adoption and success is in alignment with the broader Gainsight company mission and organizational objectives, an approach that appeals to prospects while strengthening existing relationships. “There’s a lot of prospects and customers that call out our documentation as a huge asset,” says Stokowski. “They see it in the sales process and say, ‘Clearly, you guys have an extensive set of information that backs up how you use the product.’ It amplifies the message we already promote through thought leadership—the fact that the product side is also backed up with really thorough documentation.”

In fact, the MindTouch-powered self-service site has helped Gainsight further strengthen its position as a category leader and thought leader in the customer success space by improving its organic search visibility in Google. To date, organic search accounts for almost 55% of all traffic to the self-service support site (a 3% YoY increase). And while support.gainsight.com currently captures more than 5,700 organic keywords, up 57% YoY, with more than 190 keywords ranking in the top ten (a 94% increase), Gainsight documentation ranks in the top 20 for more than 400 unbranded customer success keywords, such as “how to create a playbook,” “EBR process,” and “product adoption plan.” 

Says Meyer, “These searches aren’t specific to the Gainsight products, but we’re still in the top results on Google. It speaks to the impact that our documentation has on the Gainsight brand and the reputation as a thought leader in customer success.”

34% increase in self-service
sessions (YoY)

94% increase in top ten keywords
(YoY)

400+ top-twenty rankings
for unbranded customer success keywords

6,000+ tickets deflected
in H1 2020

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