How Cygnific saves time and engages new employees with Appical's onboarding platform

Imagine this: you're facing the challenge of rapidly hiring new employees and ensuring they feel a strong connection to your organization. This challenge is one that the Sales & Service Centre Cygnific faced head-on. With the labor market being so competitive for customer contact agents, it was critical that they captured the attention of new hires and kept them from being lured away by other organizations. That's when Cygnific turned to Appical's onboarding platform as the solution. In this article, you'll learn about how the organization uses Appical to onboard new hires, leverages data to improve the onboarding process, takes advantage of the manager toolkit, and ultimately saves valuable time.

Office Cygnific
Company Size
Customer Service

Cygnific is a Sales & Service Centre that focuses on providing excellent brand experiences to its customers. In 2010, this organization pioneered customer service via social media channels for KLM, and now they also serve brands such as Rituals and Pink Gellac. A significant portion of Cygnific's workforce (2,000 employees) consists of customer service agents. The ambition is to become the most personal contact centre for customers and employees.

Challenge: Onboarding hundreds of new customer agents

During the Covid-19 pandemic, it became evident that there was too much work for the current staff. Therefore, hundreds of new customer agents had to be hired. It was crucial to onboard these new employees effectively to prevent them from leaving within a week, or even before their first day of work, due to more appealing offers elsewhere. "We were really searching for a sense of connection," said Brandon Harker, HR Coordinator.

Additionally, Cygnific faced another challenge: delivering all the necessary information to new employees without overwhelming them. "Customer service agents undergo an intensive eight-week training program where a substantial amount of information is provided. It can be quite overwhelming for them to absorb both the training material and learn about our organization simultaneously. That’s why you want to have a portion of the information covered beforehand."

Why Cygnific chose Appical: Favorite features

Cygnific decided to use the Appical platform to share information even before the first day of work. But there were more reasons why they chose our onboarding platform. Here are their favorite benefits of the app:

☑️ From dull information to interactive content

☑️ Available not only as a web page but also downloadable as an app

☑️ Reporting tool to measure the impact

From dull to interactive

“One of the strengths of Appical is its ability to make information interactive, incorporating elements like questions and images. We primarily use the app as an alternative to presentations, particularly for sharing information that new employees need to know but might be too dull to convey through traditional methods. This way, we transform dull information into engaging content.”

Flexible and user-friendly

"Another advantage of Appical is that users can access the content at their convenience. Whether it's through the browser or the downloaded app. It aligns with modern times."

Reporting capabilities & data analysis

"One of my favorite features is the platform's reporting tool, which gives me insights into what content users are consuming and how much progress they are making in the app. In doing so, I can truly measure the effectiveness of the onboarding platform."

To interpret the data and enhance the app, Appical provides a Customer Success Manager for assistance. "We have a package subscription which includes a meeting with the Customer Success Manager every three months."

"Together, we review the data and analyze where users drop off, how often they log in, and how we can encourage engagement. After each meeting, we have a set of action points that either I or the Appical team promptly implement within the app. In the next meeting, we evaluate the effectiveness of these actions."

How did the implementation of the onboarding platform go?

Easy to set up and maintain

Setting up the app went smoothly: "It's not a complicated tool. Anyone with basic computer skills can effortlessly set up and manage the app."

Although HR is responsible for Appical, various departments within Cygnific collaborated to create the app. "The L&D department assisted in developing and gathering the app content as they possess a lot of knowledge about learning and are already responsible for the training programs. Before publishing the texts, the communications department reviewed them for appropriate tone and content. HR is now responsible for content updates, data analysis, and app usage analysis."

What is Cygnific's onboarding process like?

Automated onboarding process

“When a new employee is added to the system, they receive an automatic invitation to Cygnific's Appical platform, marking the beginning of their onboarding journey. From there, they can promptly access the initial "story" and, one week prior to their first day of work, they receive new information automatically.”

Diverse content

"We have included a wide range of content, ranging from serious to lighthearted topics. For example, we cover HR matters and employee well-being. Additionally, we have an introduction to our company where we explain who we are, what we do, and our values."

"In addition, we have a substantial number of employees who are expats from various Scandinavian countries, among others. These individuals have relocated to the Netherlands to deliver customer service for KLM in their native languages. To support their integration, we have integrated a dedicated section in the app that focuses on life in the Netherlands. Here, they can find useful and engaging information, such as 'What is a bitterbal?' and 'How do I obtain a Citizen Service Number (BSN)?'."

Providing relevant content: Distinguishing by locations and roles

To ensure that the onboarding content remains relevant and tailored to each new employee, Cygnific takes into account both their location and role within the company. "We utilize the app for our Amsterdam and Enschede offices, recognizing that each location offers unique facilities. It's important for us to deliver information that is specific to each employee's workplace. For instance, while we have a cafeteria in Amsterdam, there isn't one in Enschede. We want to ensure that employees working in Enschede are not mistakenly led to believe otherwise."

Additionally, Cygnific has implemented differentiation based on roles through the use of three different tags:

  • Air France KLM Agents: These individuals are provided with additional information about the various KLM products that Cygnific handles.
  • Brand Ambassadors: This group consists of new employees who work with brands like Rituals and Pink Gellac. They receive specific, detailed information about these brands.
  • Support Staff and Managers: To prevent overwhelming them with unnecessary details, the content for this group is kept concise and focused.

On-site activities

"In addition to the digital onboarding platform, we also organize on-site activities. Our complete training takes place at the office. The training incorporates various elements, including presentations from different departments introducing themselves and explaining their roles. Additionally, a welcome lunch is scheduled."

⭐️ Highlighted feature: Manager Toolkit

"A valuable feature of the onboarding app is the 'Manager Toolkit'. With this toolkit, team leaders can, for example, send a personalized welcome message to new employees, allowing them to establish a connection even before they begin their roles. One advantage of the manager toolkit, compared to email, is that it automatically sends notifications and reminders to the manager."

"We often witness enthusiastic responses from new employees, who promptly send a chat message in return. This fosters an immediate connection between the manager and the new colleague. The exciting part is that all of this happens automatically, thanks to the integration with our HR system. The system automatically recognizes the designated manager, eliminating the need for manual input of team leads. This saves a significant amount of time!"

Results: Higher ratings and time savings

"During my graduation project at Cygnific, I conducted a study on Appical. I performed an A/B test where one group of employees used Appical while the other did not. Subsequently, questions about the onboarding process were asked, and the results indicated that the group utilizing Appical rated their onboarding experience one point higher!"

"In addition, the app has saved us a significant amount of time. Previously, we had contract intakes conducted by HR, where we would share general information with new employees. Now, we can almost completely eliminate these intakes, as employees indicate that they have already read everything in the Appical app."

"Employees find the app very user-friendly and feel well-informed before their first day of work. This is exactly what we aim to achieve with an onboarding program."

Brandon Harker
"One of my favorite features is the platform's reporting tool, which gives me insights into what content users are consuming and how much progress they are making in the app. In doing so, I can truly measure the effectiveness of the onboarding platform."
Brandon Harker
HR Coordinator

What employees say about Appical

Arie Vooijs
Team Lead, Customer Services The Netherlands

"Since implementing Appical, our new employees have formed a stronger connection with Cygnific right from the beginning. How? About a week before their first day, I send out a warm welcome message, allowing the new hires to already be acquainted with their team lead. Additionally, the new employee can introduce themselves in advance, enabling us to have a better understanding of who will be joining our team. Personal and corporate bonding are intertwined, and Appical offers a singular virtual environment that fosters both – even before a new employee begins their journey. Appical comes highly recommended!"

Onboarding platform dashboard


This dashboard serves as the central hub of the onboarding app. Here, new employees are invited to explore the app, receive a warm welcome and are encouraged to embark on their onboarding journey.
Chapter from the onboarding app about the elevator pitch

Our story

It is crucial for new employees to comprehend what your company does and its core values, which will enable them to explain it to others as well. Cygnific's onboarding app places significant emphasis on the organization's story.
Text in onboarding app meant for Airfrance-KLM agents.

Relevant content

To ensure that the content is relevant and specific to new employees, Cygnific customizes content according to location and role needs. The information you see on the left is exclusively available to Airfrance-KLM agents.
A quiz in the Cygnific onboarding app

From dull material to interactive information

With the help of an onboarding app, you can effortlessly convert dull material into engaging and interactive content. It incorporates videos, interactive quizzes, and features like drag and drop to make the content more engaging and dynamic.
Quiz about Dutch cuisine in the onboarding app

Bonus for expats

Cygnific employs many expats. To assist them in adjusting to life in the Netherlands, they have added a special section in the app filled with useful and enjoyable information. Here, they can discover how to obtain a BSN (citizen service number) and learn more about typical Dutch cuisine, among other things.