3 ways to ensure end-user adoption
As technology advances, successful, forward-thinking companies have come to accept one few simple truth: Change is inevitable. And innovation is the cornerstone of any business that hopes to keep pace with the competition.
However, technology or software changes can also be disruptive and puzzling to end-users, particularly when employees feel intimidated by the new technology or pressured knowing that their jobs are likely dependent on their continued adaption to new solutions. In fact, a survey of Fortune 500 executives in 2011 cited “resistance” as the primary reason that changes fail in organizations. For humans, change is hard.
Business can’t afford to let fear of newness keep them from implementing new solutions that will address inefficiencies and move the business forward. That’s why end-user adoption must be the first consideration when implementing any new system or technology.
Here are three ways to ensure buy-in and end-user adoption of new technology investments:
1. Create awareness
You can’t fix what’s not broken — or what people don’t think is broken. It’s important to build awareness around how a new technology will solve an existing problem or workflow within your organization. Whether your ERP system is too old to get the latest update or hotfix, or it’s unable to integrate with newer systems. Or maybe your employees are too reliant on manual tools or processes like Excel. Whatever your reason to upgrade, your people should feel like they’re day-to-day pains are being addressed.
2. Build consensus
Once you’ve identified the problem, it’s time to find the right solution. It’s imperative to choose the right technology partner to limit operational downtime, and maximize end-user adoption. It’s critical to chose a solution with flexible architecture, proven data migration strategies, and customizable screens that can match, or better current workflows. The solution you choose must not only be usable, but also mitigate risks to operational disruption. This process should be collaborative. The quickest way to derail implementation of a new solution is to fail to get buy-in from end users.
By implementing a unified commerce solution, you can:
- Automate and optimize unlimited distribution channels
- Operate on a single source of customer data truth to drive engagement and accelerate purchases
- Make better-informed decisions, faster
- Improve your operational efficiency and quickly identify blind spots and opportunities
- Gain a better holistic understanding of every customer to decrease marketing costs
- Build your brand through more personalized, informed customer interactions
3. Turn early adopters into champions
You’ve built awareness. You’ve gained consensus. You’ve picked the right solution. Now, it’s time to put it to work. Start by finding ways to capture the enthusiasm, expertise, and influence of the early adopters in your organization. Then use them to organize a customized, hands-on training for every employee focused on everyday scenarios and tailored to the specific audience. After the training, you will need to provide on-going and easy-to-access support, such as office-hours, refresher training, cheat sheets and support groups. After all, even the best solutions are useless if no one is using them effectively.
Today’s commerce businesses require a unified platform that understands an omnichannel retail sales model. From campaign performance to order fulfillment, you need to know what’s happening, right as it’s happening.
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