One of the central roles of customer success teams is to increase (and speed up) product adoption. And it’s not an easy task. We traditionally think of adoption as an onboarding challenge, and indeed, training is an important part of adoption, but a better approach may be to think of adoption as developing new habits in our customers, habits that replace the old ways of doing business.
In The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg shows how we can develop new habits for ourselves and makes it clear that self-motivation is not enough to start running or cut out that superfluous afternoon cookie. As customer success professionals, we have the additional challenge that our customers, especially the end users, may not be that self-motivated to begin with. But we can use some of the techniques he describes:
- Add rewards: perhaps a simple emailed thank-you after the first use, and others as milestones are reached. One of my clients, a vendor of an e-commerce platform, sends congratulations when orders placed through the platform reach certain levels.
- Integrate product usage into a larger routine. Rather than just training on how to use the tool, show the entire routine. For the commerce platform, my client trained customers to schedule one day a week to place orders (and place them through the platform, of course!)
- Address the emotional root cause. The e-commerce platform is much better than the old-fashioned methods for tracking orders, but we found that the users welcome personal contact with their suppliers and cling to the old ways (email, phone) to get that emotional connection. So we designed ways to encourage suppliers to add a personal note to confirmation notices.
What are you doing to help customers adopt your tools?