Which Walkthrough Solution Is Right For You?

Let’s begin…

If you are reading this I guess you probably have a web portal, perhaps you’ve developed a product or maybe you have just purchased new CRM system for your company and you want to make it easier for your customers/employees to use and master this new application.

 

After hearing about this “new walk-through technology” people keep mentioning you’ve decided you need one for onboarding your users and for supporting them. You shop around, ask friends and maybe even google “onboardusers.com” but most likely, become even more confused, and I completely understand why;

 

When we started with Iridize, some 6-7 years ago, there were only 2-3 solutions in the market. Yet today, if you google “walk through,” you will find around 20 different products that advertise their wares. From basic products that offer you simple site-tours, to extremely complex, enterprise level applications that offer high end features and user training and even offline implementations.

 

I’ve written this piece in order help you (in your evaluation) to ask the right questions, to understand what options are “out there” and to help you create an order out of the mix of possibilities. I will not choose one solution over another or mention any specific product names. There is no one-solution-fits-all and I do not presume to dictate to you what is right for you. My aim is rather to offer you a set of tools you can use in the evaluation process.

 

colorful lab bottles stock which walkthrough solution is right for you

 

So, what do you need to consider?

Working with many prospective customers, I have had the benefit of getting to know many organizations and learning about their needs, and while most customers are aware of what their requirements are, they lack a knowledge of the products that are available in the market and what they actually need to look for.

 

I will begin by throwing the ball into your court: Start by asking yourself the next three questions:

 

What do I need this walkthrough solution for?

  1. Site tour
  2. Initial onboarding
  3. Ongoing support
  4. Training
  5. User engagement
  6. In product messaging
  7. UI improvement

 

Next thing you should be clear of is

What level of complexity do I wish to have in the system?

  1. User segmentation
  2. User activity / tracking
  3. Simple guidance vs complicated actions
  4. Time based in-product communication
  5. Security, privacy
  6. Analytics
  7. Cloud or on premise solution

Last but not least you need to understand

 

What is your budget?

This is a combination of how much you can spend – but also depends on what costs you wish to overcome with the solution or how you wish to increase revenues with it.

In addition, as well all know, time and work are also money, so make sure you are also aware how much time and resources you have in order to roll-out the solution you choose.

Finally, I suggest you build the correct business case for the solution you wish to roll out. One thing you may wish to do is to use an ROI Calculator that will help you to calculate the money your work may save your company in the long run – We’d be happy to assist you with this.

 

 

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Choosing a solution grade

O.K., So now you are more aware of what you need and how much money you can spend, let’s take look at the types of solutions “out there.”

 

I’ve tried grouping these solutions into 3 levels of products. You can see below a general feature base you can expect from each level. These include:

Site Tours – Basic Walkthrough Solutions

Simple “site-tour” solutions, which allow you to show users how to navigate your site. These may solutions are relatively simple to use and implement and can have very slick and easy to use UI. These product may offer simple HTML integration, or only floating “bubbles.” They cannot offer complex guides, and half may not be able to traverse pages. Advanced web-based technologies are normally not supported. There is no user or product based segmentation as the solution is pretty much WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get).

 

PROS  Low-cost. Normally the pricing structure does not limit you on the number of views, end users, etc. The product may be easy to use and implement for low end implementations.

 

CONS – No support for complex products. No analytics. No user segmentation. In most cases there is little to no customer support. These products normally offer little actual control of the look-and-feel so customization for your product may be slightly problematic.

 

Conclusion: If you are not looking for complex system and simply wish to help users navigate your site, this could be a good, low-cost solution for you. There are several options to choose from at this level, so try to shop around for the best price tag but make sure that the solutions “offers as advertised.”

These solutions are good for

  1. Site tours
  2. UI improvement

 

Startup Products – Mid-Range Solutions

These solutions are good for small organizations that need internal training (without too many capabilities) and web products that need to offer more than just initial onboarding, for example – medium level product support. Mid-range solutions can be a good option to companies who need more than just a “site-tour” but don’t wish to pay extra for the high-end products.

These solutions offer some advanced features as well as pretty robust authoring and delivery engine. Most companies offer good customization options as well as mid-range to good support. Some guide segmentation options are available as well as a basic rules’ engine.

 

PROS – Mid-range pricing. Well rounded feature base with some advanced features (varied between vendors). Some analytics (using external software). Customization, including color palette, white labeling. More advanced guides that can span various pages. Integration with HTML elements. Advanced editor with easy to use UI. Some segmentation. Very little coding needed (if any). Medium to good support opportunities.

 

CONS – No internal analytics. Limited segmentation capabilities. Costs for large organizations can be high, especially with some of the business models. Limited editor access and no back end segmentation. Some coding needed. No full customization. No multi language support. No Mobile responsiveness. Does not support all web technologies smoothly.

 

Conclusion: If you are looking for a sound solution with a solid feature base, which offers relative ease of use and includes actual support, yet has mid-ranged pricing, this could be a good solution for you.

There are some 4-5 solutions at this level, I would suggest evaluating the feature base offered by each (you can use the attached sheet below), and see if the capabilities that are important for you exist and make a decision that include the pricing/cost and this feature base. In addition, these companies often have some listed customers you can ask to contact for reference, especially if you feel they are in the same “range” as you are.

 

These solutions normally offer a free trial – I suggest you take it to ensure their product works well with yours.

These solutions are good for

  1. Site tour
  2. Initial onboarding
  3. Ongoing support
  4. Training (basic)
  5. UI improvement

 

Enterprise Platforms – Premium Solutions

These are the enterprise level solutions. Offering the most advanced feature base as well as a very robust authoring and delivery engine. All companies at this level offer their own internal analytics engine and strong reporting mechanisms, support for many types of web technologies, API integration with various products, and of course full customization and white labeling.

 

In this range you can find very advanced guide segmentation options, multi-language support, mobile responsiveness, rich media support, integration with various external products and exporting options.

 

These solutions are hosted in very secure environments and offer high availability and performance as well as strong security measures. Some companies even offer advanced implementation models including private cloud, on premise, etc. Support options vary but offer up to dedicated account managers as well as online, phone and on premise support options.

 

In this range there are only 2-3 companies. Most have been in the market for over 5 years and have wide experience in implementing their solution as well as a respectable customer base they can boast of (which you should ask about).

 

PROS – This is the walk-through “mother ship”- strong, reliable, offering the most advanced feature list with many additional perks. It gives you full control of the set up and rollout and allows you to offer your end users a seamless onboarding, training and support experience.

 

These companies provide options for unique implementation models and have years of experience supporting many types of external products.

High security and availability.

 

CONS – Higher cost. A slightly longer learning curve.

 

Conclusion: If you need a solutions that will perform 100% as advertised, allow you to support large scale implementations with complex guide and content options and offer advanced analytics and segmentation, AND you are willing to pay extra for it – these are the solutions for you.

 

Note! Here as well, each solutions offers a slightly different feature base, and the price range also differs substantially (especially taking into account professional services you may need). I suggest you check the list below to see what is important for you – ask your vendor about these features and evaluate them with the pricing offered before making a choice.

 

Finally – all these solutions offer a free trial – I suggest you take it to ensure their product works well with yours and to evaluate the level of support you receive.

 

These solutions are good for:

  1. Site tours
  2. Initial onboarding
  3. Ongoing support
  4. Training
  5. User engagement
  6. In product messaging
  7. UI improvement

 

Conclusion

What I’ve tried to show you here is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for walkthrough products. The right solution for you is exactly this – one that is right for you.

 

This article is meant to help you understand the different level of solutions in the market, create the correct business case for your specific needs, and combine the two to find the solution that would answers these needs.

 

As an added bonus I’ve tried to compile a list of features you can use to create a “check list” while prospecting for products. The list tries to review all the issues and all the features that are relevant. Just to make sure I didn’t miss anything, I left some blank spots at the bottom to allow you to add your own features or important business issues.

 

I suggest you print out several copies of the list and compare the features relevant to you with each product you are investigating.

 

You should always ask around, try out several products, and see that they “work as advertised.” It’s worth the time to try out 2-3 products and find the correct fit. Remember! Only choose vendors that offer you a free trial – and see which one works for you.

 

Walkthrough Solution Checklist*

Please note the list attached is a benchmark for your convenience. Some vendors offer features that are outside their “level” and some higher-end products will lack some features.

 

The correct solution for you should be based on both your own specific requirements and the value you see, especially with high-end vendors, as each puts stress on different product features.

I would love to have your feedback on this article – so feel free to respond below or to write to me!



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Oded believes in making the impossible possible, and with over 20 years of experience in global marketing and business development for high tech industries has made this belief a reality. Oded has deep knowledge of enterprise sales and global marketing of SaaS products. His previous roles include CEO and Co-Founder of Comobile (LBS Software), VP Business Development at Credics (card processing industry) and VP Business Development at NeoVSP and at Videocells. Oded has a BA in English from Tel Aviv University, is happily married and is a proud father of one dog one future artist and one little ninja.

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