5 Tactics to Drive User Adoption Of New Technologies and Products
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Change is the only constant in life.”
Well I beg to differ. There is one other constant in life: resistance to change.
Most people don’t like change. Change is frightening. Change is hard work. People resist even beneficial changes because in the beginning, they’re forced to struggle with acquiring new skills, knowledge, habits, etc..
As much as we love our smartphones, tablets and streaming TV, setting up these devices and learning how to properly use them wasn’t much fun. But with the right strategy, you can reduce the friction involved with rolling out new technologies and products to your team in order to drive lasting adoption.
5 Tactics for Getting a Groundswell
To overcome employees’ and customers’ reluctance to change, and more quickly drive user adoption of new technologies and products, I recommend the following 5 tactics:
Select strong leaders.
The first key to user adoption is to select people with leadership vision – people who can effectively explain to the team why you’re making this change. Good leaders will persuasively communicate to the users why the change will be worthwhile to them, to the company, to their customers and to stakeholders. Of course, special emphasis should be placed on what’s in it for the users. Are they going to save time? Will they make more money? Will they have access to more information – information they really, really need? Nothing drives widespread adoption faster than motivated self-interest.
Make it easy – and fun – for people to get help.
When employees or customers first start using (say) a new software platform, many will get frustrated or angry. To counter this problem, make sure it’s quick and easy for them to get help – live human help, not a series of automated hotline prompts that drives callers around an endless loop. Make sure the help is just moments away, whether it’s an internal expert or your outside vendor.
Instead of forcing an employee or customer to find their own answers, spend a couple of minutes to walk them through a task, or do it for them and then show them how to do it themselves. If possible, inject some fun into the process. The more you make change fun, the faster you’ll see user adoption accelerate.
Contests, awards, and rewards can be very helpful in this regard. For example, after introducing your sales learning and coaching platform, you could offer rewards to the first three people who create a best-practices video. You could even have fun encouraging people to share their mistakes and frustrations with the new product, which will help them overcome learning difficulties in a lighthearted way
Recruit early adopters.
Be on the lookout for early adopters. These people can serve as your change agents, helping you spread the word with others who might be naysayers or struggling to adopt. Identify and reward these change agents to ensure they work harder to promote user adoption of new technology.
Introduce the change gradually.
Don’t overwhelm people with the change. The more gradual you can make it, the easier it will be for people to adapt, and the more likely it will be that the change will stick. Don’t try to force overnight miracles. Be willing to facilitate – and settle for – “small victories” and steady progress.
Start by giving users a “gift.”
Finally, it’s always a good idea to give people something before you ask for something. When it comes to Allego, for example, we always tell customers, “Put some great content in the system before you ask people to create a video.”
Consider what you could give your users – something that will encourage them to learn the system and use it as often as possible until it becomes second nature to them.
Rolling out new technologies and products doesn’t have to be painful. Just put yourself in the user’s shoes. With some thought up front about the experience from the user’s perspective, you can put together a strategy to win over even the most skeptical team members.