We spoke with Ross Liddell, Operations Director at Dezrez about moving from a Hybrid software model to a fully cloud based SaaS model for their new software, Rezi. As the market has changed, users have become more sophisticated and have different expectations about user experience and onboarding. Many of Inline Manual's customers can relate.
People’s expectations for software onboarding have changed
A lot has changed in 16 years of software development. Dezrez has developed software for the Real Estate market in the UK since 1999. Though they were the one of the first in their market to use the web until recently their software was a “hybrid” model, utilising both the cloud and local machines. Moving to a fully cloud based API platform & SaaS model meant more than just changes to software distribution. “We saw an opportunity to change the way we do things,” said Ross.
Ross brings a background which includes both an education in software training and experience in real estate sales to his role overseeing the smooth running of operations there. He also had delivered in-person training for their clients, which suited the old model of distributing Dezrez. They always supported their products with traditional methods such as manuals. However, it takes a lot of time to create them and keep them up to date.
Ross understands well what's required to ensure the internal adoption of business-process software. The fact is, any relatively complex software will require training, and there’s a lot of anxiety around adopting new software. He knew he couldn’t replace training entirely, but they needed to augment it and give people more options for self-service. “My plan is to take away that fear of ‘What do I do now?’” Ross said.
Moving to a fully cloud based SaaS model meant reconsidering how they approach onboarding and training their users. “People’s expectations have changed,” Ross said. “If you look at any traditional products, a big part of their revenue stream is training and onboarding your staff. People don’t want that anymore.” And the requirements of in-person training also meant their ability to scale was limited, and as Ross said, “it was holding us back.”
Ross knew the SaaS model combined with in-app guided onboarding would mean they can meet user expectations and it also allows them to grow and scale faster. He just had to find the right tools.
Why Dezrez chose Inline Manual
While reviewing in-app onboarding services, Ross had a clear checklist:
- It had to tick the box of being able to be utilized by non-developers
- It had to be malleable enough to interact with their software the right way.
“The reason I chose it was ease-of-use. I’m not a techie,” Ross said. Inline Manual also needed to be able to interact with how their software worked, and some of the services he tried couldn’t cope. “Inline Manual just worked,” Ross said it was easy to use straight out of the box.
Ross has also enjoyed the Customer Success experience with Inline Manual. He’s found that when he does have feature requests, they are in the pipeline and or the features have even been released since he started using Inline Manual.
Context sensitive help
Dezrez’s clients in the Real Estate industry have lots of industry experience and are now well-used to using software to manage their businesses, such as booking a viewing or carrying out valuations. The in-app guidance Dezrez offers fits in as part of their personalized service to configure the application to each of their client’s needs. The in-app guides offer users a way to recap on what they learn in training.
They looked at the skills required for creating content with Inline Manual. Ross determined that to build the walkthroughs, you don’t need to be a developer; you have to be creative. They advertised two internship positions, and said they were looking for “a creative problem solver.” Two students on work placement built 300 different walkthroughs for users.
That's a lot of in-depth content, so how do they make it manageable for their users? They take advantage of context-relevant walkthroughs. They can offer the right help relating to where the clients are in their process. When you put a property on the market, you’ll have more options within the widget to offer relevant help and guidance. This prevents people having to sift through user manuals to find appropriate help.
Primarily the most positive feedback Ross has received from his team is that they are now better able to make their clients aware of the new and existing functionality. They’ve had the experience where clients contact them asking for a feature request, and the feature exists, the client wasn't aware of it. Now, they can create a walkthrough showing how to use the feature and meet their user’s needs better.
Dezrez originally chose Inline Manual to augment customer service and support. It wasn’t their intention to use Inline Manual for marketing, but now that they have seen the capabilities, they're using it for marketing. “If we’re going to advertise in a newsletter it might get read at 25-30%. And that is good. If you put it in a pop-up, you get 100% views,” said Ross.
His team was also surprised at the level of detailed information they got once they connected Inline Manual’s Analytics to their customer data with People Tracking. They’ve started to use Segments and Autolaunchers to target key customers with messages, for example, to invite them to events.
Making that move to a fully cloud based SaaS model is opening up opportunities to scale and grow for Dezrez. Making that move also means living up to user’s changing expectations around self-service, and how users expect to be supported. More options for self-service and in-app help is now a key component to their continued success.
This is also a highly competitive market, with other software allowing you to do similar things as Dezrez. “We have to make it more interactive and easier to use than the next product,” Ross said.
It’s been great to hear how they are using Inline Manual to meet that challenge.
If you’d like to learn more about Dezrez’s new cloud-based estate agency software, Rezi, check out Dezrez Services.
You can see a demo of how they built their training up here: