User adoption is the process by which users, aka people, begin using and incorporating a new piece of software into their daily routine. One of the biggest challenges new software owners have is getting people to use the new system they have purchased.
In general, most people resist change as such, they will look at the new software as more of a hindrance than anything. It is your job as the business owner to get the users to work with your new software as much as possible.
You obviously bought the product for a reason, particularly if you acquired a CRM, you will need users to document all customer touchpoints and activities. This data is vital to making important business decisions and measuring productivity.
A user adoption strategy is tough to come up with and despite what consultants may insinuate, there is no one size fits all approach to it. Every organization and person within it is unique and will have its own motivators that will need to be called upon.
Here are some effective user adoption strategies to help your business succeed.
Most people at your organization don't want to learn anything new. And I can't really blame them for feeling this way. It's not like they are going to get paid extra for each keystroke they input into the new system.
Even if it makes their day easier, most will perceive it as another new task the business owner(s) want them to complete with no extra pay. Most sensible business owners won't blame employees for feeling this way.
People are fired every day with little, or no reason and no severance pay. Also, many unscrupulous business owners exploit employees by coercing them into sacrificing their personal time for the good of an organization they do not own themselves. This comes in the form of after-hours calls, required company activities after work, and a whole host of other odd, uncompensated tasks.
To be successful not only in user adoption but in life, you should make peace with the fact that historically disenfranchised and exploited simply don't like business owners. And they certainly don't want to do more work than they feel they have to.
People are motivated by many things, however, most workers are driven by money. Don't let that out-of-touch HR consultant tell you any different. Normal humans with bills and families don't want pizza parties, scavenger hunts, or any other work-related activities as penance for doing something new.
If you want people to use the new system, throw some cash rewards their way for achieving certain milestones.
Here are a couple of programs you can institute.
Set an established threshold for data accuracy and publish it on your company's intranet site. Whoever hits this number can then be awarded a cash gift card with a certain amount or some extra money on their next paycheck.
Data entry tasks are very tedious and error-prone. But, at times it is necessary to manually carry data from one system to another. To keep employees focused on reducing errors, pay them whenever the errors are lower than a certain amount. This will help you as the business owner gain cleaner data and will help the employees pay their bills a lot easier.
With project management software you can specify a budget within each project. For projects that do not exceed your budget, you can reward all responsible parties with cash.
Use the software as the means of storing budget adherence and all project managers will be extremely motivated to keep the information up-to-date.
Job aids are great for new and veteran employees alike. And if you purchase a product like Super Easy CRM, you will get job aid creation software for free. These step-by-step instructions are important whenever there are new processes introduced.
While individuality and creativity are vital to success, having people adhere to a similar process will ensure a consistent product is delivered to your customers.
A common part of user adoption strategy is to stress how much the company will benefit from the new product. This is a flawed method and will probably only serve to make people want to use the system less.
Most employees don't care about how much some expensive new software product will benefit the company. They care about their bills and obligations. In fact, they will probably be angry that you saw enough room in the budget for a new product but not enough for their raises.
Instead of telling them how much the new product will benefit you and your business, show them how it will make their workdays easier. Emphasize how the new software will reduce the amount of typing they have to do, for example.
If possible, let them participate in the customization of the application. Allowing input will increase the rate user adopt the system into their daily tasks. This is particulary important with crm user adoption as users will have to break the habit of relying on spreadsheets and emails for everything.
People want to be heard and have some degree of control over their days at work. Give them this and they will make your system adoption process flow smoothly.
The software vendor of your choice will likely provide you with some documentation and training. However, this is probably a general overview of the product and some best practices for your organization to follow.
You will customize your instance of the application and have a very specific set of processes unique to your business. For this reason, it's best to record short videos on how you want users to interact with the system.
As a SaaS founder myself I can attest to the fact that new releases, updates, and patches are almost a bi-weekly occurrence. As such, you will want your organization to be aware of the latest changes in the software.
Be sure to subscribe to any relevant newsletters and share updates with the organization. When needed hold meetings to go over new changes and how they will impact workflow and other business processes.
People may tune out during those meetings since most will find them boring but at least they can't say they were not told.
If you bought the system, you need to be its champion at your company. You can't expect people to adopt it into their daily routine if you have never logged in yourself.
It's imperative that you know how the system operates and all its downfalls as well as its strengths.
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