You’ve purchased and implemented state-of-the-art software for your business but it isn’t exactly meeting your expectations of improved productivity, reduction in costs and increase in revenue. Getting users to embrace new software is a big challenge for many businesses. According to the Butler Group, 50% of software functionality paid for and licenced by businesses is not actually used. How can you change that? We believe that the answer to this lies in user adoption – software can only offer a return on investment if the levels of user adoption are high.
We have found that the best way to get better rates of user adoption is to develop and implement a comprehensive change management strategy involving communication, promotion and training. This strategy is the key in stimulating user adoption and getting your customers to fall in love with your software. With this in mind, here are three steps that we think you should include in your change management strategy.
Get Them Informed
It is likely that any new software also brings about new processes and this means a significant change in the day-to-day working practices. How do you make sure that your users are aware of the change that is coming? The answer – get them involved as early as possible! You should develop an effective communications plan where the goal is to detail every aspect of the change to the exact audience that will be affected by it. This will not only keep them informed but also ensure that there is no confusion about the oncoming change. Your ability to effectively communicate about the software to your users influences their behaviour towards using the product, as well as getting their participation throughout the process.
Get Them Excited
A good communication plan needs to be backed up by the right mix of marketing efforts. A timely, well-executed new software launch, internally, may end up receiving a lacklustre response if the messaging and positioning isn’t quite right. Generate buzz by planning orientation events and activities that require user participation. Ask your CEO to communicate a message about the change and demonstrate how this will improve productivity. Build up anticipation, evoking a positive response, which makes users excited to use the new software.
Get Them Learning
This is the most important step in the change management process because users will have first-hand experience by getting acquainted with the new product. It is their chance to learn, not only how to use the product, but also what features are best-suited to their roles. A one size fits all approach seldom works. This is why you will need to develop a flexible, bespoke training experience for users so that they can learn best and get the most out of the new product. In addition, plan for the future and develop training plans for new employees that are included in their induction, which will ensure continued success of user adoption.
All of the steps listed above are co-dependent and vital for successful user adoption. Adopting any new software product is a journey in itself and focusing on your users and what they need, helps to make the transition smoother. Do you have any tips on how to increase user adoption? Let us know by leaving a comment below.