You’ve invested in a new software or IT productivity solution to help your employees be more productive, self-sufficient, and secure. But now what? As an enterprise software vendor, we hear from customers that while they understand the benefits of our software, there are challenges with employee adoption. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your new software solution.
- Let people know
One of the biggest problems is that you have a great solution that no one knows about. Make sure you promote the new solution, and let employees know why the company invested in this software, what it can do, and how it can help. Make it personal, and give concrete examples. A quick email to employees is good but it can be lost in the daily deluge of messages. Create an internal marketing campaign to really drive the message out to your users and continue to promote it – it sometimes takes a 7 or more attempts to reach someone, so some repetition is key.
- Create clear usage guidelines
Sometimes it’s not clear how to gain access to this new solution, or it’s not clear when to use it. Any confusion or lack of clarity around how a tool is provisioned can hamper adoption. Set up an internal web page or portal with documentation, videos, how-to guides, and any other material that will help people understand when and how to use the solution. Which leads to the next point…
- Schedule training
To maximize usage and increase adoption, provide training. Let users sign up for different training classes – they can be classroom oriented, or remote sessions. Hands on usage has significantly higher knowledge retention rates vs. looking at slides or watching someone else demonstrate the product – whenever possible, let people try out the software in a sandbox environment to build up that “muscle” memory. And nothing beats actually using the solution in the real world.
- Ask your vendor for help
Talk to your vendor – the company probably has official training material, or can at least provide guidance on best practices. It’s not always apparent reading through a User’s Guide how the product is best utilized. Vendors can highlight the most popular use cases, convey tips and tricks, and make sure you’re getting the most out of your investment.
- Measure usage
The best way to understand whether the solution you just bought into is working is to collect usage data. Many applications will have activity logs, reports, and other ways to determine who’s using the software. You might appoint a few people as internal evangelists across different groups/departments/divisions – have them represent a subset of users and provide feedback on adoption, usage, questions, and issues. Create a user group with a forum or place that people can go to discuss, and share tips and use cases.
- Send out a survey
Surveys can really collect some great intel from users. If you don’t already subscribe to a survey tool, there are lots of free survey providers. Keep the survey short and minimize multiple choice questions – open ended responses can provide much richer and more useful commentary. One good byproduct of sending out surveys on a regular basis is continuing to raise awareness of the availability of the solution.
- Leverage your vendor as a partner
Most software vendors aren’t resting on their laurels – they’re continuing to develop and improve their products and solutions. Regular calls can keep you informed of the latest and greatest features implemented, and the company’s future road map. New versions may offer additional functionality, support more integrations and clients, improve usability, and increase performance. Your vendor may have new product offerings as well and if you’re already familiar with and happy with their service and support, that’s one less issue to worry about.
We’ve found that our customers who have instituted processes around raising internal awareness, training, and regular communication with us, have a significantly higher adoption and success rate with our solutions. This translates into higher utilization, additional cost savings, and improved productivity. We can help you create and implement a plan when you roll out Biscom’s solutions – and ensure that you get the most out of your investment.