For this case study, we spoke to two members of the Guru team:

Jon Billett
Jon Billett
Director of Product Design
Jon Saft
Jon Saft
Group Product Manager

At Guru, User Research is a priority. But as the company grew, the processes around outreach were difficult to scale. This meant less research was being conducted and fewer user voices were being heard.

Follow along as we dive into the challenges the Guru team was facing and what changed once they started using Rally.

Before Rally

“Our process was very manual and ultimately not scalable,” said Jon Saft. Each week, Saft would go through a process of copy/pasting, double-checking, numerous lists, lots of control-F, and too many individually sent emails.

“When you had to send 15 manual emails, schedule 15 calendar events, follow up with 15 individual Amazon gift cards to each person, it always felt like a lot,” said Jon Billett.

Not only was Saft’s process time-consuming, but it was also specifically Saft’s process, meaning it was difficult for others to be involved in participant management and recruitment.

“Without a central system in place, every PM on every product team could be coming up with their own approach,” said Billett. “As we scaled, we ran into problems down the line when it came time to merge or cover for somebody else while they’re out and every one was operating in their own different ways.”

This was limiting Guru’s ability and bandwidth to conduct frequent and recurring customer outreach. “We’d do outreach in spurts and with our manual process, those spurts felt like a LOT of work,” Billett said.

For some, including Billett, this process created a perception that reaching out to users took a lot of work — maybe even too much work. Because of this, the team was missing out on the opportunity to hear more customer voices and were limited to those who had a direct line of contact already. “We would anchor on these but we knew they didn’t tell the complete story,” said Saft.

After Rally

With Rally, the Guru team is now

👏  conducting more research

🗣  talking to more users

🥰  building a delightful participant experience

⚖️  practicing compliant research

💥  influencing business initiatives and strategy (more on this below 👇)

What used to be multiple, time-consuming steps is now a seamless, automated process in Rally. For example, instead of manually copying, pasting, and sending out individual emails, the team can use Rally’s email automation and templates to send bulk emails with just a few clicks.

“We’re now at a place where we’re comfortable and able to talk to customers regularly,” said Saft. Now that the team can spend less time on the manual work, they can conduct more research. And in turn they are able to reach more of their users. “Since we’re able to talk to our users more often, we’re able to be better advocates for them,” said Billett.


Rally has enabled the team to create a more delightful participant experience, especially with incentives. “It’s great that Rally has the Incentives feature baked into its platform,” Billett said. “It’s really encouraged best practices and produced results.”

Saft said Rally has helped the team practice more compliant research. “I’m now completely confident in the compliance side of User Research,” said Saft. “Especially now that it’s not just me conducting research and doing participant recruitment.”

How the Jons used Rally to influence a shift in Guru’s business strategy

Saft and Billett were tasked with researching potential buyer personas, which would influence Guru’s business strategy. They needed to talk to 25 individuals in three weeks — a big undertaking.

“Rally helped with all those pieces of outreach, scheduling, and incentivizing — letting Saft and me work at a quicker pace to synthesize insights and get them out to the team as quickly as possible,” said Billett.

Here’s what Saft and Billett used Rally for:

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The insights Billett and Saft found would influence every team across the company. “If we had to do all that extra manual work, it could have impacted the timelines in an environment where time is of the absolute essence,” Billet said.

Saft and Billett presented the key learnings from their research in front of the entire company. “Our entire go-to-market strategy is focused on these personas we researched and we now know so much more to help influence the strategy,” said Billett.

What’s next for Guru?

“I am excited to have a single source of truth for user outreach data and history, across all functions,” said Billett. By having one system in place that’s organized and clean, Billett hopes user outreach will increase.

As the team continues to change the mindset around User Research, Saft said he hopes to “continue to lean on Rally as the answer to questions about the overhead and time that research ‘supposedly’ requires.”

The team also is looking forward to utilizing Rally’s Salesforce integration to get a better 360-degree view of interactions with customers across the entire organization. “The value of a tool like Rally multiplies with the number of users contacted, the frequency of communication, and the number of employees in an org who are doing this,” said Billett.

Rally enables teams to better understand their users and the challenges they face and alleviates time constraints that may be making User Research with users more difficult.

Spend more time researching with Rally

Rally’s User Research CRM enables you to do better research in less time. Find out how you can use Rally to allow non-researchers and important cross-functional partners to responsibly take part in User Research. Explore Rally now by setting up a demo.