User adoption is one of the most critical parts of the customer journey. The user adoption process mostly happens during the onboarding phase of the user journey, but it can extend throughout other parts of the journey as well. Your brand’s user adoption strategy has a major impact on a user’s impression of your brand and their likelihood of developing a loyal, long-term relationship with your business.
Keeping your business’s user adoption rate high means your new users are embracing your business more frequently than they’re abandoning it. Developing more effective user adoption strategies should be a high priority for organizations that want to reduce churn, lower cost per acquisition, achieve a higher marketing ROI or improve customer lifetime value, just to name a few examples.
While user adoption often refers to customers, you can also deploy user adoption strategies to train employees to use newly implemented software. Let’s take a closer look at user adoption strategy and dive into some of our best tips for improving your organization’s user adoption rate.
User Adoption Meaning
Let’s start by establishing a clear user adoption strategy meaning. A user adoption strategy outlines a plan for familiarizing users with a new product or service with the goal of encouraging them to use it more frequently. The quality of a user’s onboarding experience heavily impacts how successful they’re likely to be with the product or service, how much value they receive from it and how likely they are to fully adopt it.
Why's User Adoption Important?
User adoption is a more important consideration for SaaS businesses than ever before. It’s always been a critical factor; customer acquisitions are expensive, so once you’ve gained a customer, it’s imperative to hold onto them. Improving your product adoption strategy is one of the best ways to make sure that your new customers acclimate well and the money you spent to get them in the door wasn’t wasted.
Unfortunately, one factor that cannot be ignored in 2022 is the state of the economy. The onset of a recession means companies need to be increasingly discerning with their customer success budgets. Since retaining customers is much more cost-effective than acquiring new customers, it’s critical to develop a user adoption strategy that contributes to a low churn rate.
Luckily, there are more options than there used to be for building standout user adoption programs. Companies can use LMS platforms like Northpass to build digital onboarding experiences for customers and employees, which introduces a list of benefits that were previously inaccessible before remote learning management tools had been introduced. Northpass can enable you to provide new users with a tailored onboarding experience that utilizes bite sized, self-paced content to maximize onboarding success.
Product Adoption Process
Product adoption is the journey customers take toward recognizing your product or service’s value. Full product adoption is achieved when the user has completely integrated the project into their life or work and gets so much use out of it that they could hardly imagine what they’d do without it. A strong user adoption strategy can contribute toward a faster product adoption process, since the very beginning of the customer journey is a critical time for product adoption.
Here a are a few strategies you can use to improve user adoption for your organization:
1. Find the Need
If your users aren’t adopting your product or service, it might be because you aren’t positioning it to meet their needs well enough. Investigate what your users’ needs truly are instead of focusing on flashy new features. Take a step back and determine what fundamental problems your users are trying to solve, then focus on showing them how to solve those problems.
2. Involve End Users
If you want to find out how to get users to adopt your products, there’s no better source of solutions than your users themselves. You can include a pilot program early in your technology adoption strategy to test out a new software tool on actual users in a controlled environment to help you understand what they find genuinely useful and what is unnecessary or detrimental. By testing the software with real users first, you can achieve a higher adoption rate right off the bat and improve it with minor adjustments instead of needing to make major revisions immediately after implementing the software.
3. Create a Rewards Program
A rewards program can encourage employees or customers to engage more actively with newly implemented software. Setting goals for team members or creating measurable milestones throughout the customer onboarding process can foster a healthy sense of competition and encourage faster user adoption.
4. Improve Communication
Just because your users are failing to adopt your products or services doesn’t mean the products or services aren’t valuable. The issue could be that your users just don’t understand how to access that value. It’s critical to maintain excellent two-way communication between your support team and your users, especially early in the user journey. Check-in with users often and find out how their experience with the software is going.
5. Prioritize User Education
You can use a learning management system like Northpass to host a user academy where users can access any kind of support resources they need to help them succeed. This can not only improve user knowledge and increase user adoption rate, but also reduce the amount of strain on your customer support team.
How To Measure User Adoption
To understand how to measure user adoption, you need to combine the data you gather from tracking a few key performance indicators into a full picture of your user adoption rate. The user adoption metrics you choose to use should match your goals — in other words, decide how your organization defines user adoption for your product and measure metrics that can specifically indicate progress toward meeting that definition.
Some of the user adoption metrics that matter the most include:
Product Adoption Rate
Product adoption rate is one of the most important user adoption metrics. Product adoption is a measure of how many users actually use your software as opposed to how many have signed up for it. You can calculate product adoption rate by choosing a specific window of time to measure and applying this formula:
(new active users / total sign ups) x 100
Feature Adoption Rate
Feature adoption rate is a lot like product adoption rate, except it measures how many users are using a new feature rather than the software as a whole. Feature adoption metrics are useful if you want to measure the impact of just one new addition to the software. You can calculate feature adoption rate with this formula:
(new feature users / total users) x 100
Time to Value
Time-to-value measures the length of time it takes a new user to recognize the value your products hold. Once the user starts to feel like the new tool was definitely worth the price, they’ve arrived at the product’s value. To measure time-to-value, you first have to define value for your organization. A common choice is to consider time-to-value reached once a new user has successfully completed the onboarding process, but the benchmark may look different for some businesses.
Time to First Action
Time-to-first-action refers to the amount of time a new user takes to use the software or a new feature for the very first time. If your customers are taking a long time between purchasing the product and taking their first action, it could indicate you aren’t taking an active enough role in delivering an engaging onboarding process and getting the customer interested in the product. Measuring time to first action involves deciding on a significant action to track and then counting the number of days between each customer’s signup and first action.
Onboarding Completion Rate
Onboarding completion rate measures the percentage of your users who actually finish your organization's onboarding process. A low onboarding completion rate could signal a number of different problems, including a disinterested audience or an inefficiently designed onboarding process. Northpass LMS is a great example of a tool brands can use to streamline their onboarding processes and improve onboarding completion rate.
User Adoption Plan
The key to improving your business’s user adoption rate is developing a smart user adoption plan. The best user adoption strategies take user need into account first and foremost. If your users aren’t adopting your product, it’s likely because the product isn’t addressing their needs effectively. Whether the product is actually not able to address their needs, or they simply don’t understand how to access the value, a better user adoption plan starts with understanding what users expect from the product and why they aren’t getting it.
A learning management system is a great tool for improving your users’ onboarding experience, but it can also help you understand your customer base better. By using Northpass’s analytics tools to track customer behavior throughout the onboarding process, you can determine exactly what isn’t working and needs to be adjusted for a better user education experience.