Pendula - Generation 3





Project Overview

Pendula is an Australian scale-up organisation that has built the world's first proactive retention platform. Businesses from across industries, including telecommunications, health and energy, rely on Pendula to drive strategies with a view to upsell and cross-sell to their client bases. It is commonly understood by enterprise organisations that a well-thought-out retention strategy will have a significant impact on reducing churn whilst driving up average revenue per user.

Pendula's platform enables businesses to make data-driven decisions and interact with consumers based on tailored actions, events and triggers - what we call the customer ‘Moments of Truth’.

With it costing 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, those businesses who embrace or switch to performance-focused retention will benefit. These companies understand that personalised feedback loops, with unique experiences and offers, create loyalty with customers meaning they ultimately spend more. Pendula empowers businesses to outperform classic retention strategies by giving customers a voice and choice through an exceptional conversational workflow.

Now in its third generation, Pendula’s retention platform provides an easy-to-use interface that allows a business to create and manage automated interactions from any back-end system that contains customer data. Users can envision, build and launch multi-stage, multi-channel two-way customer journeys in a single afternoon.



Project Brief

In early iterations of the Pendula platform, multi-step and multi-threaded conversational journeys were purpose-built for specific use-cases. This meant that custom-created solutions would require teams of IT professionals working alongside marketers and CX teams to plan, build and deploy. Projects of this nature, therefore, had long lead times and required technical expertise that may not already exist in the company. The third generation of Pendula’s product set out to solve this issue.

The initial brief was to provide a design that allowed modular flexibility for any workflow or use case while still being simple and intuitive enough for a non-technical user to build conversational journeys. Users of the platform had to be able to ideate a journey in the morning and be testing campaigns to customers by that afternoon. Pendula’s platform needed to deliver rapid iteration and speed to market for customer experience teams whilst reducing their operational costs and improving the customer experience.

After extensive consultation, research and usability testing over the last two versions the objectives were rooted in the insight that customer data lived in many different systems of record, and the 'moments of truth’- interactions with customers over their lifetime - were across systems. The third generation of the product, therefore, had to make it easier than ever to orchestrate customer journeys with data from multiple systems to create a seamless experience from a single platform.

Project Innovation/Need

Pendula’s uniqueness is based on the approach of being created from a human-centred design standpoint and by putting a business’s customer’s needs first. The platform is built to provide an intuitive interface for non-technical users to build a complex data-driven customer journey. It provided the team with a mammoth design challenge, distilling complex information and process into a simple-to-use UI.

The outcome of this challenge came in Pendula’s bespoke intention layer which interprets inbound messages and provides context. This allows for multi-threaded and simultaneous two-way conversations across use-cases. A robust workflow engine automates communication processes, messages, and read/write access to customer data sources to integrate customer communication with business operations seamlessly.

Users can view campaign level and individual experiences, and performance, whilst being able to pick up where automation leaves off. This means that users aren’t stuck with only automation or required to respond to customers manually - but the option of a blend of both. Pendula’s platform also has the ability to be connected to the source of customer records and leverage this data with segmentation allowing granular control over who gets what, and when. The integration layer is designed to onboard other ecosystems quickly, effectively and with an ease that isn’t prevalent anywhere else.

Design Challenge

Understanding the technical skill level of users in the business who would benefit most from Pendula was one of the bigger design challenges the team faced. The vision for the third generation of the product is a wide-ranging one. The team addressed the original brief by going back to the ‘first principles’ and developing a system that is atomic and extensible. The underlying engineering architecture and user interface design follow these principles, allowing users to create, and reuse, any customer journey they can imagine. However, with a system that is so generic and versatile, who is the person in a business that can get the most out of the tool? What are their jobs to be done? As we moved away from specific use cases and into the reality of a toolkit, our understanding of potential users and their challenges broadened significantly.

This is where the focus on a ‘retention’ platform came into play. Many of our current customers use Pendula hyper-effectively in retention strategies and we wanted to build on that foundation. By narrowing the scope of the design challenge from a problem set perspective, we were able to focus our research and user experience design efforts to truly understand the needs of a smaller set of users and test the principles of our extensible platform against the requirements of this group. Rather than explore novel or ‘out-of-the-box’ concepts, instead, the business leaned into how its customers were using the platform - making those aspects more powerful.


Pendula’s approach to sustainability, currently, is very straightforward. For this third-generation product, the focus has and has always been, on running the business and core product alongside its greenfield developments. By using existing lean resources and teams, and not hiring any additional employees for this project, the environmental impact was not increased. Due to parallelling development activities, the team were tasked to do more with less and this meant not increasing the environmental impact unnecessarily.

The mere nature of the product itself has a positive impact on the environment for the end user it allows for a stark reduction in their manual and paper-based processes in their enterprise companies. Pendula, in its essence, reduced the need for physical letter-based communications and less back-office style admin - both of which contribute a large amount to a business’s sustainability impact.

This award celebrates creative and innovative design for either a component or overall product. Consideration given to aspects that relate to human usage, aesthetics, selection of components and materials, and the resolution of assembly, manufacturing and the overall function.
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