Why Digital Adoption Should Be A Priority For Organizations
Digital adoption is the single most important factor for a digital tool to become a digital asset.
Organizations spend millions on digital tools hoping to improve performance and generate revenue, but without digital adoption, they are unlikely to see a positive return on their investment.
Understanding what digital adoption is, what it is not, and how to ensure your company has it, can help you create strategies to improve the ROI of your digital investments.
Digital Adoption Definition
Achieving a state in which digital tools are being used as intended, and to their fullest extent.
There are two ways to view digital adoption:
- External Use – when an organization wants to improve how customers use digital products
- Internal Use – when an organization wants to improve how employees use internal digital systems
In simple terms, digital adoption is about using digital tools as intended.
To illustrate what this means, picture your email service. If you log into gmail or outlook to draft, send, read, and organize emails—you have adopted this digital tool. If however, you rarely log into your email, or only use it to save contact information as email drafts, you have not adopted this digital tool because you are not using it as intended.
A common case of poor digital adoption within an organization is the customer relationship management platform (CRM). All too often, a CRM is used as a digital rolodex, neglecting its most advanced capabilities. So, if everyone on the sales team uses the CRM to log, document, report and optimize their sales, it can be said that they have fully adopted the CRM. If however, the sales team has only some employees doing this, or if all of them only use the CRM sporadically, then the CRM has not been fully adopted.
Why is Digital Adoption Important?
Digital adoption is important in order to gain a positive ROI on digital assets.
For an external use case, this is fairly straightforward. If customers don’t understand how to use your product or service, they will find little to no value in it and not return. When a customer does adopt your service, using the features that give them the most value in it, they are more likely to return.
Despite its significance, this topic is seldom discussed for internal use cases. Large businesses, enterprises, and other organizations invest huge sums of money to equip their employees with digital tools. It would follow that there should be a tangent effort to make sure employees know how to make the most of these.
However, simply handing over a username and password to each employee is not enough to reap the benefits of even the most sophisticated systems. These systems can be underutilized if employees don’t know how to use the system, don’t know how to use the system properly, or find other, less efficient means to do their job.
When an enterprise platform promises improved efficiency or advanced analytics, these benefits are only possible if employees use the system as intended.
How to Achieve True Digital Adoption
It would seem that the solution is training, but training can be largely ineffective. Training a customer or employee to use every feature and process of a digital tool can be quickly overwhelming. Research shows that we forget 50% of what we have learned within an hour, 70% within 24 hours, and 90% after just one week. This means that you can count on up to 90% of your training efforts to be a waste.
And the challenge of training for digital tools comes with additional barriers. External use cases are tricky because the company has limited options and opportunities to interact with the customer. For Internal use cases, traditional corporate training methods are expensive, time consuming, and often ineffective. Further, they take the employee away from their work.
But there is hope. Where traditional training programs fall short, a new category of technology training has taken shape. Digital Adoption Platforms (DAPs), like WalkMe, place a training layer directly on your digital system. This allows customers and employees to receive the help they need, when they need it, in the place they need it. Customers are shown how to use your product directly on your product; and employees don’t have to leave their desk or even their URL to get the assistance they need.
DAPs encourage true digital adoption with contextual learning. The user is shown, step-by-step, in real time, how to complete a task. This efficient way of learning enables users to memorize the processes they repeat and have assistance to complete the processes that are needed less often.
Digital adoption platforms ensure your digital investments are used as intended and that you gain the highest ROI from their use.