Avoiding Day Two Regret and Ensuring End-User Adoption
One of the biggest disappointments to companies that have invested in and deployed new technology is when end users don’t adopt and utilize the technology. I’ve been spending a lot of time focusing on end user adoption of UCC, and recently wrote an article entitled “If You Deploy UC, Will They Come?”, which discusses the need for end user training in order to increase end user adoption. As I pointed out in the article, many businesses are not utilizing their UC&C systems to their fullest extent. The reasons vary:
- They are too complex and users don't understand how to use them properly,
- They don't provide the features and capabilities previously available to users, or
- Users simply don't want to make the change to a new system.
I recently spoke with the folks at Estech Systems, Inc. (ESI) about what they call “Day Two Regret,” a form of buyer’s remorse. As they explain, businesses will buy a new system or sign up with a new cloud provider and then realize that those basic, yet critical features they used to be able to do are not easily found in the new system. As the company explains, customers often find
something unexpected happens a few days
after their systems go live; they can’t see who is on the phone, figure out how to put or pick up a call on park, can’t program a simple speed dial key, or do other basic tasks they took for granted in their old systems. For the most part, desk phones no longer have the ‘buttons’ or DSS keys that older models had – yet that is what customers so often complain about needing. Star codes are complicated for basic functions, and often end users just don’t use the phone, and not all users easily migrate to the web-based dashboard. There is currently a gap for both vendors and users as communication systems transition from the hardware on the desk to the software on the PC.
In order to increase user adoption and eliminate “Day Two Regret,” UCC vendors need to keep things easy and relevant to business customers, as well as intuitive for the end user. As Shawn Guenther, VP Product Management and Development at ESI explains, “When you pick up your phone, you want to do the things you’re used to doing without having a huge learning curve. We’ve all experienced getting a new phone system with a huge user manual, and instead of dealing with learning a new system, you just use your mobile device because it’s easier. Our rampant obsession with features and functions have made the products more complicated than what most people need. People will reach for their mobile phone since it’s easier.” This totally defeats the purpose of getting a new business communication system or service, wasting valuable time and money.
Day Two Regret is largely due in part to low adoption and awareness of the many features in business phone and UCC systems and how to use them. For example, some users may not know how to do a simple call transfer without a button on the phone, they now need to know a star code to accomplish a simple task. Due to “feature creep,” there are so many features on today’s phone and UCC systems that it can be overwhelming for users. Yes, the “sizzle” sells, but are people really using these “whizbang” features? What value are customers getting from these systems? We’re finding that there’s a gap between what vendors sell and the reality of how people are really using these solutions.
To avoid Day Two Regret and to ensure strong adoption of the new solutions, vendors and resellers need to understand how the various end users in the organization use their phones today – what features and capabilities do they rely on, are they mobile, do they prefer a desktop client or an actual desk phone, and so on? I heard a story about a company that had to send back their new system because it didn’t have the features and capabilities that the CEO’s administrative assistant relied on in a way that was easily accessible.
Usually the buying decision is made by the folks in IT, or for small businesses, the business owner, who don’t always have a handle on how the end users are actually using the system. UCC is about solving business challenges and providing the desired outcomes – it’s not about technology for technology’s sake. It is about finding a solution that solves real business challenges enabling users to be more productive. Understanding and increasing end user adoption should be part of the day one decision-making process. The decision makers need to survey and talk to representative end users to understand what’s important to them, what capabilities are necessary in order to get their jobs done.
Vendors and resellers need to ask the right questions and provide the right functionality in order to guarantee success, and they need to ensure that users can easily access these capabilities. ESI shares a great example of a dentist in business for 25 years who was won over by a pitch from a business phone vendor who supposedly specialized in dental offices. After the new phones were installed, the receptionist immediately noticed that she couldn't figure out when the dentist was on the phone, as there was no light on her phone indicating his status. With the previous system, people could see when someone was available, and would not bother transferring a call to someone who was on the phone, knowing that it would end up in voice mail or transferred back to the receptionist. Because the new desk phone didn’t have a button indicating when someone is on the phone, the office had to change the way they had been doing things for decades, with unsatisfactory results and user frustration.
I’m not saying that change is not needed in order to move businesses forward, but I am saying that it’s important for vendors and their channel partners to ask the right questions and provide the necessary capabilities in a way that is intuitive and convenient for end users in their day-to-day jobs. Whether it’s a button on the phone that lights up when the boss is on a call, or presence status displayed in the desktop user interface or mobile device, it’s important to ensure that the users understand how to use the various features and functions, and that the capabilities they rely on are available in a way that is easily accessible.
I mentioned earlier that ensuring user adoption begins prior to the purchase decision, but it doesn’t end once the solution is in place. Once the solution is deployed, training is essential. Regardless of whether it’s a cloud-based service for a 10-person office, or a sophisticated hybrid solution for a multinational organization, end-user training is a must. But it doesn't stop there - it’s also important to follow up with the end users after they’ve been using the solution. Are individuals using the desktop interface? Do they know how to access the mobile capabilities? Is it easy to get help when they don’t know how to use a particular function? Do they know how to set up basic find me/follow me rules? Are they setting their presence status to “unavailable” all the time because they don’t want to be disturbed? Are team members collaborating? Can they get online help without having to beg the IT staff for assistance? Vendors and/or channel partners have a responsibility to check on these customers and to make sure that 90 days into a new service, they are using the system fully. All too often companies sell and implement and then go on to the next customer. Instead, it should be about creating a customer experience that is excellent.
UC solutions can help improve worker productivity and provide valuable business results and outcomes, but it’s important to get the right solution to match your end users’ needs. Ensuring user adoption and avoiding Day Two Regret and buyer’s remorse requires understanding your unique business needs and consultation with end users.
I’ll be moderating a panel at Enterprise Connect entitled How to Drive End User Adoption of UC. Hope to see you there.
This paper is sponsored by ESI.