User Adoption Strategies to Ensure Smooth Implementation
User adoption is one of the most difficult aspects of implementation to manage. A solution blueprint can predict many common pitfalls and roadblocks, and a solution expert can help iron out any kinks with the system, but even the best laid plans can come to ruin due to the human element.
The hardest aspect of user adoption is making sure everyone on your team understands and embraces the new technology. Make no mistake: your team is always your most valuable asset in any business. But new technology implementation represents a hefty investment; an investment you want to make sure you get the most of. Team members neglecting the technology or using it at a less than optimal capacity helps nobody.
Sadly, you can never predict with 100% accuracy how your team will react to the new implementation and user adoption remains one of the most difficult aspects of new technology implementation.
As unpredictable as the user adoption process can be, however, there are still user adoption strategies you can leverage to ensure everyone stays on the same page.
Including Key Stakeholders in the Purchasing Process
User adoption begins before the implementation. Even before the sale in a lot of cases.
During the sale and implementation process, it’s
a wise move to include strategic personnel. You may ask who that encompasses and what that has to do with user adoption strategies?
Key stakeholders includes CMOs, sales reps, the customer success teams, project managers, and any other key stakeholders that will become potential users of the new platform.
Get these people involved in the implementation and purchasing process, get their honest feedback about how the new technology. Ask them about their pain points to learn what features are most important to them or if there is a specific task the new solution will help them accomplish more easily.
Getting future active users’ opinions about new technologies and keeping them involved in the processes is a surefire way to make sure those users adopt the solution when the time comes to roll it out proper.
Enact Pilot Programs for User Adoption
To start off, it’s important to conduct a needs study that involves observing and gathering feedback from users in focus groups. This will help identify any areas that need improvement. By involving end-users in the process, you can ensure that the solution is tailored to their needs. Companies can also set up a pilot program to test the technology’s feasibility.
The pilot program takes place in a controlled setting that allows for thorough observation and assessment. Those who take part in the pilot should be early adopters, who can then support enhancements and assist with training in their fields.
Assess how the technology and its procedures and workflow affect the test group during the pilot phase. Allow for time to make revisions before scaling the program to a larger group when planning the pilot.
This may not be particularly surprising, but we’re going to say it anyway: if users don’t know how your new software system works, they’re not going to be getting value out of it. User adoption rates hinge on your team members fully understanding how the newest addition to your tech stack works.
Training should always be a part of the strategy from your implementation team for the simple fact that all new technology requires some level of training to have even the most basic user adoption rates. Even the most basic, low-cost training programs can help smooth the adoption process as users come to terms with the ins and outs of the new system.
A week or so of basic training should be incorporated in your implementation plan to make sure everyone is on the same page with the new system and its new features. And while a barebones training program may not include every new feature there is to know about the new technology, it will still be time spent well and help improve user adoption rates across the board.
Train employees with a technology that helps them, and they’ll guarantee a smooth transition into your company’s digital transformation.
Specialized Training Programs
Because lack of training is such a major problem in user vendors provide specialized training courses for their individual solutions. These vendors understand that these programs increase the customer lifetime value, so they use the training sessions as a form of customer support.
A good number of solution providers offer training/certification programs to improve user adoption and the user onboarding process.
Holding Internal Meetings During the Implementation Aftermath
Use of new technologies aren’t just for a few months during and after the implementation; it’s a permanent swap. It’s very common for successful user adoption strategies to succeed early on and drop off as time progresses as team members that started as early adopters fall back into old habits and processes.
Hold regular meetings with the active users of your new solution. Ask them how they’re finding it. See how user friendly the product is actually once its seeing live use. Keep some data visualization tools on-hand to measure progress during the first year. The onboarding experience may have been easy, but the intricacies of day to day working with it may require more support on the users end.
Any business leader will tell you the number one cause of internal issues with any company is poor communication. Keeping an ongoing line of discussion about your new technology during and after the onboarding process is key to maintaining high user adoption.
Incentivize User Adoption
When all else fails, sometimes the best strategies are the simplest ones. Giving users an incentive to embrace the new system.
The exact particulars of the incentive itself is only limited by your own imagination and company needs.
This user adoption strategy is effective, but admittedly limited. Ideally, you want user adoption driven by genuine desire to learn the new technology and work with the implementation process. By introducing incentives, users may not be as interested in learning the technology as they are in whatever reward you’ve laid out.
The important thing to remember about user adoption is right there in the name: the users themselves.
Your new software product is obviously a huge investment in the future success of your company. But your most valuable asset as a business will always be your team members. Remember that the new system is an adjustment for them and that user adoption is a process, not a switch to be flipped on overnight.
By following a tried and true user adoption strategy and taking time to work with your staff instead of against them, you’ll find that your move to the new software will be a smooth transition that will give true business value.
Contact BrainSell today to talk to our integration experts about our blueprinting and consulting services built around getting your new software solution off the ground ASAP.
Connor O'Keefe joined BrainSell as the content marketing manager in 2023 but has enjoyed writing since he was old enough to spell his name. Connor's passion for creating content is rivaled only on his love for camping trips and trivia nights.View Posts
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