What Do You Do When User Adoption Doesn’t Match Expectations?

Build it and they will love it, they said. And yet, you did and they don’t.

What happens when your engineers built new functionality you thought everyone would love, and your user adoption has yet to catch up to your expectations?

Are you feeling a little stressed, because your budget or your metrics were based on this adoption and the savings that would create?

Or, do you want to make sure, before your next system upgrade, that your work and the work of your team goes into something your users will actually embrace?

Don’t stress, this is actually doable with a little outside help.

The reason I say outside is because whenever we create something 2 things happen:

1) We are too close to see our blind spots; and

2) People aren’t necessarily going to want to tell us why they aren’t using the system, or why they hate using it. People, being inherently nice, don’t want to tell us how this new product you are so excited about, and put all this time and energy into – doesn’t actually meet their needs.

It’s natural for good humans, and also as co-workers who want to be supportive of our fellow co-workers, to not want to tell someone their product isn’t hitting the mark. And honestly they might not even know how to explain what they need, because they might assume that it isn’t possible. (As you know, people tend to assume that their need is very specific and an outlier, and so their go-to response to change is not – “here’s what I need to fit into the box you just created for me.”)

When you bring in a specialist such as myself – who has experience figuring this out (solving for X), people will happily open up. Partly because of my experience and coaching and communication training in non-judgement. But also because I am outside the group needing the feedback.

When I utilize my proven, 2 phased approach that includes targeted, individualized focus sessions with people, they are:

1) Really happy to be of service; and

2) Often share all sorts of things no one on the development team or the management team thought about when creating the directive.

In general, people in a company don’t want anyone’s hard work to go to waste. Most of the time they are happy to have something developed that will meet their needs and make their life easier. And they are generally happy to be heard – to be asked, listened to, and feel seen. And the wonderful side effect of these sessions is that your team often has a new unofficial change champion.

Now here’s the thing. Sometimes what you built will not work for all the people you thought it would. And that’s ok too. Because we can’t be all things to all people. And while whenever we initiate change, a common push back is “this won’t work for me” that can, in some specialized instances, actually be the truth.

Understanding who your system will and won’t help enables you to focus on the people you can serve, and server them even better. Once you have done that, if it makes fiscal sense, you can then move on to more unique, nuanced use cases that focus specifically on how to serve those who’s needs weren’t initially met with your product or service.

Sometimes though, a good old spreadsheet is the answer – and that’s OK too. It’s better to know your systems and processes, and embrace what works, than have people creating work-arounds no one knows about – in order to get their job done IN SPITE of the system in place.

Now here’s some good news. If you have implemented a product or service, or an upgrade to your software, and it isn’t getting the traction you desire – this is actually a great time for someone like me to come in and work with your team to find out why.

Why is this the case? Because it’s often easier for people to give feedback once they already have something in place to critique. I go into more detail about why that is in this video and blog post.

If you would like help achieving higher end-user engagement and system adoption, please email me at Michelle@MyLifeIntegrated.com

And if you would like to learn a little bit more about what working with me creates and how my proven, 2 pronged approach to enhance user acceptance and system update looks like – see this video and blog post.

To View The Rest Of The Videos In The Series:

You Implemented A System But Your User Engagement Didn’t Happen. Now What?

How Software Engineers Can Increase Both Experiment Success & User Adoption

Our Proven, 2 Pronged Approach for Increased User Adoption and System Uptake