A good user experience is something no digital product can overlook.
And at the very start of each user journey lies a very much overlooked digital adoption experience. That’s why we are utilizing more and more cloud-based digital adoption tools.
Now when we’re talking about a digital adoption platform, there’s no denying it: Pendo and WalkMe are the biggest out there.
But are they really the best fit for your business? Most probably, no.
This is because both WalkMe and Pendo are products designed specifically for enterprise-level businesses. They both have comprehensive feature sets and not-so-great customer service like any big company.
So, if you are a small or mid-market company, my professional advice right from the start is to look for a different solution. (Hey, wait. Here’s one)
But if you are an enterprise-level business – or brave enough to roll with the big-budget products – the question is, which one is for you: WalkMe or Pendo?
I say we find out. Let’s go over:
- What WalkMe is,
- WalkMe Pros,
- WalkMe Cons,
- What Pendo is,
- Pendo Pros,
- Pendo Cons,
- Which of the two is the best fit for you, according to
- Ease of use & set-up,
- Feature sets, and
- Customer Service
Without further ado, here’s WalkMe versus Pendo.
What is WalkMe?
WalkMe is a digital adoption platform that offers solutions for different product experiences, but its main deal is user flows. With WalkMe, customers can create product tours for their users or create interactive guides for their employees for inbound use. Besides these app training options, WalkMe offers different solutions. However, these solutions are, in fact, just fancy names for different use cases for their app guides.
A critical matter of fact is that WalkMe is way more focused on employee training than its customer onboarding solutions.
Of course, it is still a powerful tool with key features like:
- Product tours, user guides, and walkthroughs,
- User segmentation and survey implementation,
- Knowledge base
Plus, famous enterprises like Microsoft, IBM, and Adobe use WalkMe. Good referrals if you were to ask me.
Not convinced? Let’s take a look at WalkMe’s pros and cons.
✅ WalkMe is one of the pioneers in digital adoption and user onboarding
✅ WalkMe users get to enjoy an extensive set of high-value features and different onboarding UX patterns like tooltips, checklists, and progress tracking options with progress bars
✅ Although technical knowledge might be required, WalkMe offers a lot of customization options
✅ WalkMe is perfectly scalable for enterprises, especially if the use case is employee onboarding rather than customer education
❌ Among the WalkMe features, even core features might be too sophisticated for inexperienced users
❌ WalkMe’s feature amount/feature usage ratio is often low if there is no dedicated user or employee onboarding team
❌ WalkMe requires a technical skillset and occasionally coding knowledge; this makes setting up and using WalkMe harder than average
❌Not so accessible pricing, WalkMe is not the best option for small or medium-sized businesses or enterprises with an immature budget structure
❌ WalkMe is enterprise software designed for enterprises, feature updates following customer feedback might not be possible; likewise, customer service might be less accessible
What about WalkMe’s closest competitor in the digital adoption software market?
Let’s take a look at what Pendo is capable of.
What is Pendo?
Pendo, founded by CEO Todd Olson and CTO Joe Chernov, is a product experience platform and a digital adoption platform, two in one. Though Pendo offers these two specific solutions, it is easy enough to notice that Pendo is way more established and sophisticated when it comes to user segmentation and in-depth analytics. As a result, the tool really excels at the product experience part, while at the digital adoption part, it falls behind others.
Among Pendo’s feature highlights are:
- Highly intuitive options to segment users by user persona
- Product and user behavior analytics
- Data collection for customer feedback and in-app messages
- Product tours and user guides
It is important to note that Pendo focuses more on customer/user onboarding than on employee onboarding, though the digital adoption solution is focused more on employees.
As much as Pendo sounds incredible with its two-way solution and unique design that brings experience, onboarding, and analytics together, we need to see its benefits and shortcomings compared to going for it.
✅ The best feature Pendo provides is its in-depth analytics; meanwhile, its user segmentation truly makes a significant change in the way users consume onboarding material.
✅ Pendo puts together different solutions like user experience, user onboarding, and highly sophisticated data collection and analytics under one tool to guarantee customer success and easier customer engagement tracking for digital product teams.
✅ Founded in 2013, Pendo is among the first comers of digital adoption; it has a strong background and customer portfolio.
✅ Though Pendo is quite expensive, it offers a free trial and a freemium, something other platforms of its caliber rarely do.
❌ Though Pendo represents itself as a digital adoption solution, its onboarding UX elements are pretty limited to the very basics, leaving out checklists, hotspots, and more.
❌ Being a highly sophisticated tool with a complex UI, it might be hard to set up and use if not used by an experienced user.
❌ Likewise, Pendo’s features tend to be complex and use case-specific, so it might be hard to leverage all features and possibilities without a fully established game plan dedicated to Pendo.
❌ Though Pendo does not publicly share its pricing, it is very well known that Pendo is more expensive than the market average.
❌ Yet another enterprise-level tool, Pendo’s customer service might not be as responsive as smaller products’ customer service teams.
So… reached a decision yet?
Which is better: WalkMe or Pendo?
It is quite hard to pick one thing or another, especially when both are quite good options with great features and a reputable background.
But of course, like in any decision-making scenario, there are pros and cons and important capabilities we can compare the two accordingly.
Here are some.
Time to touch upon a recurring theme in this article, the expensive pricing for WalkMe and Pendo.
Although neither of the platforms shares an official pricing list, what we know is that WalkMe works on annual contracts that go up and beyond $10,000, while some claim that the average pricing is around $9000/month.
WalkMe also seems to be raising its regular pricing according to what we know.
Pendo, on the other hand, is even more secretive about their prices. However, some old users reported that they were paying around $2,000 just for the tour functionality. When other features are added, the prices go up to $15,000-$30,000.
Why not… give something else a try? 😎
Way too many products hide their pricing like it’s a big secret nowadays, and honestly, even before.
What difference does doing that make, I couldn’t tell.
But I know a different user onboarding tool that can make a huge difference in your onboarding flows – and budget.
UserGuiding is an (absolutely) no-code digital adoption tool that’s easy to use, geared up for effective onboarding for both customers and employees, and budget-friendly.
Some of UserGuiding’s features are:
✅ Interactive guides and product tours,
✅ Tooltips, checklists, hotspots and other onboarding elements,
✅ Powerful analytics,
✅ User segmentation and targeting,
✅ Resource centers,
✅ NPS survey, and more!
Don’t want to pay thousands of dollars for a product you cannot use effectively? You know where to go.
Ease of use & set-up
WalkMe and Pendo both being highly sophisticated tools matching their reputation and pricing; neither is easy to set up or use.
WalkMe requires some sort of technical knowledge when setting up as it is an on-premise tool that you need to download.
On the other hand, Pendo is not any better. Even on their help center, Pendo notes that users don’t need to be a developer to use Pendo but reaching out to “technical resource(s)” is highly recommended.
When comparing the two in terms of ease of setup, WalkMe seems to be rather harder to handle because of its local installation requirements.
In terms of ease of use, however, Pendo might be slightly more annoying for developers.
WalkMe essentially requires a bit of coding knowledge for customization while Pendo introduces a Visual Design Studio which eventually still makes the tool clunky and hard to use.
In terms of ease of use, both WalkMe and Pendo are almost equally bad. Users inexperienced with code are left to decide whether to get an extra developer on the job or completely give up proper customization.
Comparing WalkMe and Pendo in terms of their features gives us two different use cases.
WalkMe has a more dedicated focus on employee training and overall user onboarding; Pendo cares more about product experience and has a very limited set of features for its digital adoption solution.
Though WalkMe has above market average features for onboarding both in quality and quantity, some of these features are way too complex for a user with no technical background.
The same is true for Pendo’s in-depth analytics and user segmentation features along with others. They are way too use case-specific and complicated for anyone to use right away.
Still, if a decision were to be made solely on the basis of these features, it would still be a matter of use cases as both software excels at different features.
While both platforms offer great self-service options on their help centers and communities, Pendo seems to be putting more effort into it with videos. Still, both platforms gatekeep information on the help center unless users are logged in.
In terms of traditional customer service, however, one of the platforms tips the balance with a bad reputation in customer service. WalkMe has a reputation for its challenging customer experience and difficulty in abandoning expensive contracts.
Both Pendo and WalkMe seem to be performing well in customer support nowadays, but as they are both quite expensive as it is, such perfect support might come at a price.