Designing a new product adoption process is a fundamental part of the user’s journey.
During this critical stage, users are first introduced to a product.
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That introduction can make a big difference in an organization’s bottom line.
- Users’ perception of a brand or product
- How quickly users can learn and understand the product
- The user experience
- User engagement, retention, and churn
All of which affect the product’s value, performance, and ROI.
For these reasons, it is important to design and execute effective adoption processes.
How to Design a New Product Adoption Process in 5 Simple Steps
Product life cycle management can be a complex affair, involving high-level organizational strategy, multiple business functions, and in-depth analysis.
However, in this guide, we’ll present a basic overview of the most important stages in the product adoption process:
Onboarding is the stage when users first begin using a product.
It is important because:
- Onboarding affects users’ impression of a brand, a product, or both. That first impression can immediately define a brand’s future relationship with its customers … or lack thereof.
- Effective onboarding can improve the user experience. Better user experiences decrease churn, burnout, and frustration, among other things. They also contribute to higher user retention.
- This stage can make or break customer relationships. A single bad experience can drive users away forever. And onboarding that isn’t streamlined can have the same effect – users receive a bad impression, give up, and never return.
To create effective onboarding experiences, businesses should focus on:
- Simplifying the user experience
- Familiarizing users with a product or service quickly
- Demonstrating a product’s value as early as possible
Continual optimization of the onboarding process, as we’ll see below, is another essential way to earn better returns from software investments.
Product training is a must, particularly for enterprise-grade software.
The quality of product training affects:
- How quickly users become proficient and productive
- The product experience
- Users’ overall expertise with a tool
In the digital age, effective training should:
- Focus only on need-to-know information
- Deliver that information quickly and efficiently
- Immediately allow users to apply what they have learned
Digital Adoption Platforms (DAPs) are digital training tools specifically designed to streamline the product adoption process.
These platforms offer:
- In-app, contextualized guidance. DAPs, such as the WalkMe DAP, are UX layers that operate alongside software applications. They offer assistance directly inside their target platforms, allowing users to immediately apply what they have learned.
- Walkthroughs and step-by-step instructions. Step-by-step instructions give users the ability to learn workflows and tasks, regardless of their skill level.
- Task automation. Certain DAPs can also automate tedious tasks, freeing up user time for more valuable activities … and adding significant productivity gains across the organization.
- Analytics and insights into software use, training efficiency, and user behavior. Software analytics help managers understand users’ sticking points and training needs. That information, in turn, helps businesses further enhance product adoption results over the long term.
DAPs deliver significant value to businesses, both when it comes to onboarding, training, and support – the next stage in the process.
Support refers to functions such as:
- Customer support and customer care
- Technical support
- Educational support, through training and teaching
These customer-facing functions also play an important part in product adoption.
After all, the better the support, the better the customer experience.
As mentioned above, DAPs are excellent tools that can streamline the new product adoption process.
Efficient use of a DAP can help organizations:
- Deliver automated support directly inside an application
- Decrease technical support costs
- Cultivate a culture of employee learning and self-reliance
All of which further help to streamline the user experience.
4. User Input
User input can come from many sources, including:
- User feedback
- Software analytics
- Other data stores
Product adoption specialists should make it a point to regularly collect, analyze, and learn from such data.
That information can inform the new product adoption process and improve onboarding, training, and support.
To effectively use this input, though, product adoption approaches must take a systematic approach to optimization.
Optimization refers to the continual improvement of a process – in this case, the product adoption process.
As mentioned above, optimization should be systematic, and based on:
- The collection of data
- Improvements based on what was learned
Ongoing optimization is a fundamental part of the new product adoption process.
It can be applied to all of the stages above, helping adoption managers:
- Improve the outcomes of each stage
- Decrease costs and timelines
- Enhance the user experience
Among other things.
These five stages are crucial elements in any product adoption process.
For organizations without concrete approach to adoption, simply implementing these five steps can dramatically improve adoption outcomes.
However, it is certainly possible to take a deeper dive into product adoption.
A good place to start is by understanding how product adoption fits into related business processes, such as digital adoption and digital transformation.