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How to Increase Software Adoption: Expert Tips for 2024

By Tara Porter
Updated February 12, 2024
Increasing software adoption

According to Forbes, 70% of digital transformation projects fail. The problem is that while you can have a great tool, if you don't have a solid software adoption plan, it could crash and burn.

In this article, we'll talk about the common barriers to software adoption and share expert tips on increasing software adoption.

Understanding the Barriers to Software Adoption

Before diving into strategies for increasing software adoption, it's crucial to understand the common barriers that hinder user engagement:

Users don't see the benefits: They don't understand its benefits or how it can streamline their workflows

Complexity: A complex interface or overwhelming features can deter users from exploring the software, leading to disengagement.

Inadequate Training: Inadequate training can make users confused and reluctant to use the software.

Lack of Relevance: If software doesn't help users with their daily tasks, they'll see it as useless.

Resistance to Change: Users may be resistant to change and may prefer to stick with their familiar tools and processes.

Strategies for Increasing Software Adoption

Here are some effective strategies for improving the product adoption process and maximizing the benefits of new software:

Establish a Clear Vision and Goals

When developing a software adoption strategy, it is important to start by defining clear objectives. What do you want to achieve with software adoption? Do you want to increase user engagement? Improve employee productivity? Reduce costs? Once you know your objectives, you can develop a plan to achieve them.

Here are some tips for defining clear software adoption objectives:

  • Make your objectives specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound: For example, instead of saying "improve employee productivity," you could say "improve employee productivity by 6% in the next 3 months."
  • Align your software adoption objectives with your business strategy: The software you adopt should be a valuable tool for helping you achieve your overall business goals.
  • Communicate your software adoption objectives to all stakeholders early and often: This will help to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals.

Here are some examples of software adoption objectives:

  • Increase software adoption to 90% within 6 months
  • Hit 100% ROI of new software within 1 year
  • Improve employee productivity by 6% in the next 3 months
  • Reduce customer support tickets by 20% in the next year
  • Improve the quality of customer service by 5% in the next six months

By defining clear software adoption objectives and communicating them effectively to all stakeholders, you can increase the chances of a successful software adoption.

Identify and Empower Champions

One of the most important steps that you can take to increase software adoption is to identify and empower champions. Champions are individuals within each department who are passionate about technology and have a strong understanding of the software's capabilities. They can play a vital role in promoting the software's value within their teams and providing hands-on training and support.

When selecting champions, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • Technical expertise: Champions should have a strong understanding of the software's capabilities and how it can be used to improve workflows and productivity.
  • Communication skills: Champions should be able to clearly communicate the benefits of the software to their peers and provide helpful and supportive training.
  • Leadership skills: Champions should be able to motivate and inspire their peers to adopt the new software.

How to identify change management champions for a new initiative

Once you select your champions, empower them by providing the resources and support they need to be successful. This may include:

  • Access to training and resources: Champions should have access to the training and resources they need to learn about the software and how to use it effectively.
  • A voice: Champions should be given the opportunity to provide their input on how to implement and promote the software within their teams.
  • Recognition: Champions are usually not paid extra. Instead, make sure to recognize and reward them for their contributions.

By identifying and empowering champions, you can create a strong network of advocates for the new software and increase the chances of successful adoption.

Increase User Buy-In

Another way to accelerate software adoption is to increase user buy-in. When users have a high level of buy-in, they are more likely to adopt and use the software effectively.

In order to increase user buy-in, you could do the following:

  • Clearly communicate the benefits of the software: You'll need to clearly communicate the tangible benefits of using the software to each department and user group. This means emphasizing how the software can improve their productivity, streamline workflows, and enhance collaboration.
  • Use real-world examples and success stories: You can use real-world examples and success stories to showcase the software's impact and show users how it can benefit them. This can be done through case studies, testimonials, and presentations.
  • Get users involved in the software selection process: This will help to ensure that they are familiar with the software and that it meets their needs.
  • Provide users with a voice in the software adoption process: This means involving them in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the software adoption strategy.
  • Address user concerns and feedback: You'll want to address user concerns and feedback promptly and effectively. This will help to build trust and confidence among users.

If you can increase user buy-in, you've upped the odds significantly to have a successful software adoption experience.

Make the switch easy

When it comes to user onboarding, it is crucial to make it as easy as possible for users to switch from their old systems by giving them a smooth onboarding experience. Users are more likely to adopt new software if it is easy to use and does not require them to learn too much new information or change their workflows too drastically.

To make the switch easy for users, you can,

  • Provide data migration assistance: Migrating data from old systems to new systems can be a complex and time-consuming process. You can make this process easier for users by providing data migration assistance. This may involve providing users with tools and resources to help them migrate their data or by hiring a third-party data migration service provider.
  • Create custom integrations: In some cases, users may need to integrate the new software with their existing systems. You can make this process easier for users by creating custom integrations. This may involve developing custom APIs or connectors or working with the software vendor to create pre-built integrations.
  • Offer temporary support for legacy systems: Some users may need to continue using their legacy systems for a period of time after the new software has been launched. You can make this process easier for users by offering temporary support for legacy systems. This may involve providing users with access to legacy systems, or by helping users to gradually transition to the new software.
  • Offer training and support on how to use the new software:  This training and support should be tailored to the needs of different types of users and should be available on an ongoing basis.

Measure and track software adoption rates

Measuring and tracking software adoption rates is important for a few reasons:

  • It helps you to identify areas where users need more support.
  • It allows you to track your progress toward your software adoption goals.
  • It helps you to determine the return on investment (ROI) of your software investment.

There are a number of different metrics that you can track to measure the user adoption rate. Some of the most important metrics include:

  • Number of active users: The number of users who are actively using the software.
  • Number of logins: The number of times that users log into the software.
  • Number of features used: The number of different features that users are using within the software.
  • Time-to-value: The amount of time it takes for users to start realizing the benefits of using the software.
  • User satisfaction: How satisfied users are with the software.

You can also use a free tool such as Microsoft Clarity to help you see user behavior and identify pain points.

Foster a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Creating a culture of continuous & long-term improvement for software adoption means continuously gathering feedback from users and using that feedback to improve the software and its adoption strategy.

Here are some tips for creating a culture of continuous improvement for software adoption:

  • Set up a feedback loop: Make it easy for users to provide feedback on the software and its adoption process. You can do this by setting up a feedback form, creating a dedicated channel for feedback, or holding regular user feedback sessions.

For example, VisualSP allows you to quickly take a "pulse survey" to see how users like the new software. It quickly appears in the app to allow them to give feedback (and you're far more likely to get a response than if you sent out an email).

  • Analyze feedback regularly: Once you have gathered feedback from users, take the time to analyze it carefully. Look for common themes and trends.
  • Use feedback to improve the software and its adoption strategy: Once you have analyzed the feedback, use it to improve the software and its adoption strategy. This may involve making changes to the software itself, developing new training materials, or providing additional support to users.
  • Communicate with users regularly: Let users know that you are listening to their feedback and taking steps to improve the software and its adoption process. This will help to build trust and confidence among users.

Use a Digital Adoption Platform for In-Context Onboarding & Support

A Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) is a valuable tool for both the onboarding process and ongoing support. It provides users with the help they need when and where they need it, while also being less disruptive to their workflow than traditional support methods.

A DAP works by integrating with the software application that users are using and providing them with contextual help and guidance through:

  • Walkthroughs: Walkthroughs are interactive guides that guide users step-by-step through complex tasks.

Guided Walkthroughs

  • Contextual help articles: These are displayed to users within the software application itself, when and where they need them.

search-help-items.png

  • Tooltips: Tooltips are small pop-up windows that provide users with information about specific features or tasks.

Inline Help

  • Videos: Videos can be used to provide users with visual instructions on how to complete tasks.

Training Videos

Users don't learn all they need to know in one training session; they need help in the context of their work. A DAP ensures that they fully adopt the software by providing them with further assistance in their moments of need.

VisualSP is the most affordable and easy-to-use Digital Adoption Platform on the market. It does not require any coding or technical expertise, and it can be used by organizations of all sizes. You can get started with VisualSP for free today.

Conclusion

With the right plan (and we laid out a great one here), you can have a successful software adoption experience for your team. Keep in mind that the best software adoption process is one that is ongoing; it's not a one-and-done training experience.

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