Case Study: How FastSpring Successfully Transitioned to a Self Service Model

October 25th, 2017
Estimated read time: 3 minutes, 47 seconds

At FastSpring, we knew we had to modify some of our current processes to adapt to the new climate of online sales.

In a world built around convenience, buyers expect the luxury of options.

Some buyers want a higher touch, rep-guided experience, while others prefer a low-touch, self-guided buying and sign-up process.

We noticed this feedback for our own sales and sign-up process and, after identifying this problem, our team started brainstorming to work towards a solution. The conversations eventually led to one conclusion: we had to implement a self-service model within FastSpring, but it involved company buy-in and a commitment to the change.

Many businesses make the mistake of chalking their success stories up to being simplistic and straightforward, glossing over the messy details. We’ll spare you the surrealism and be transparent: The change was scary. Our product is complex enough as is. Was it even possible for us to transition to a self-service model?

Main Challenges

Human Implementation—In its current state, FastSpring’s customers had to wait for a person to “pull the switch” to start their service, resulting in customers having to wait as long as 48 hours before having access to our service in some cases. The process was highly frictious at a time when people were seeking to reduce the amount of time it took to get started.

Risk Aversion—We had this manual process for a reason, though: risk. The 48-hour turnaround allowed FastSpring to ensure a customer’s viability, make sure that they were the right fit for the service, and ensure they understood the value from the beginning.

Complete Product Overhaul—In order to make the product usable through a self-service channel, there had to be a total tear-down of the current processes. Just the thought of rebuilding the carefully thought-out process we had always relied upon was difficult.

Making The Change To Automated Sign-ups

Once we knew self-service was inevitable, we oriented resources, mentalities, and dedication toward making the change.

We faced the conflict of complexity and self-service head on and focused on answering the question, “How can users create an account and get started without a full tutorial of everything we have to offer?” (which is a lot!)

This is how we worked collaboratively with our team to tackle it:

  • We took input from different team members and departments on how to overcome the self-service challenges. Then, we applied all these concerns and feedback to the transition strategy.
  • We utilized WalkMe, an onboarding tool that overlays the product and pops up to help customers demo the product. It guides the customers through the platform and offers contact points where sales professionals can engage with customers organically. We kept this section limited. The whole point was to decrease contact, but we wanted to provide the reassurance of having a person to talk to, if needed.
  • We made a fully stocked content library to ensure that customers are properly supported. Since the library needed to answer any question the customers might have, having tutorials and step-by-step instructions was absolutely vital.
  • We discovered that the challenge of actual implementation was completely overshadowed by making sure everything was risk compliant.
  • We prioritized the customer experience and used a monitoring tool to make sure we paid close attention to metrics that could give us insight into how the self-service mechanism was being received (bounce rate, drop off, etc.). In the end, the transition proved to be well-worth it.

Self-Service Symbiosis

Since adopting a self-service format, FastSpring has:

  • Increased account creations after registration by 5x
  • Encouraged sellers from new markets to start our service
  • Allowed customers to automatically create accounts themselves
  • Expedited the sign-up process for future customers

Overall by enabling self-service, we’ve helped improve the customer experience by reducing the time waiting to get in and evaluate the service. This has allowed us to shift our focus to continue to improve the onboarding of the new accounts to result in increased account conversions and satisfied customers.

The self-service model offered many advantages to us, and proved that we are going in the right direction. It’s also proved to be a great direction for many of our customers, as well.

FastSpring is the #1 full-stack solution for building and maintaining successful e-Commerce web-based strategies. We act as your personal silent re-seller gateway by covering customer acquisition, payment processing, tax compliance, back office work, and a wide range of other processes.

FastSpring is an invaluable partner in the growth and scaling of your business. Let us show you that with our free demo today.

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