Customer tips: clever ways to boost user adoption

We’ll get to the pig in a moment.

But first: we’re building up our LinkedIn community to help connect Central Desktop users, both to each other and to Central Desktop team members. One of the hottest topics in recent community calls, and certainly a point of emphasis during our Collabosphere conference, has been user adoption. We’ve recently showcased the top 10 tips for a successful rollout, as well as user adoption tips specific to agencies. Happily, we have some more great tips to share, courtesy of our user community.

Lipstick ain’t gonna cut it

If you have an idea to drive user adoption (of any sort of technology) and you catch yourself thinking in terms of “putting lipstick on a pig,” stop right there. No cosmetic trick or fun exercise will get your team to buy into a tool that doesn’t work or doesn’t address their needs and problems in obvious and intuitive ways.

“You may be so attached to your current process that you haven’t considered things could be done differently,” said SelectHealth’s Jordan Gaddis. “We tried to take our existing process and make it fit into Central Desktop only to realize that we were missing an opportunity to come up with a more efficient way of doing things. We sat down with key stakeholders and rebuilt our process from the ground up.”

Recruit pilots – then keep them busy

“This was extremely helpful with our implementation: we started a pilot with some of our biggest accounts, which had an array of different project types,” said Beth Lee, creative traffic manager at Ansira. “We could work out all the kinks before we released it to the masses.”

Early adopters aren’t just useful in the beginning stages of your implementation. Ansira schedules routine check-ins with its pilot group to gain feedback and ensure they are still on target with their original goals.

Baited email hooks

RAPP system administrator Mark Mecca told us about email blasts that purposefully omit complete information; instead, the emails drive readers into Central Desktop (or “Rendezvous,” as they’ve dubbed it internally). If you’re dealing with stragglers, this can be an effective way of reinforcing the need to log in.

Give your solution a name

As noted above, RAPP calls their solution “Rendezvous.” ScottMadden dubbed theirs “SID” (ScottMadden’s Information Destination) and even put a face on it. This is a great way of lending a personal touch to your collaboration process; ScottMadden employees talk about the balding, cigar-chomping SID as though “he” was sitting in an office around the corner.

Really think about design

RAPP plans to revamp its local office workspaces to reflect the preferences and lifestyles of the company’s on-the-go employees. Links to different workspaces or external platforms will appear sort of like apps on a smartphone. The goal is to make Central Desktop the true hub of all office activity.

Kathy Rakosky of Alexander’s Mobility Services and Greg Marchini or IEEE also shared some advanced workspace layout and design tips with the community. Personalized workspaces will help encourage buy-in.

Have fun (and involve food)

“User adoption” may not sound very fun to your users, but you can certainly find fun ways to tackle your goals. To get its employees more comfortable with the platform, Pinkberry set up a space for them to post new recipes with the chance of winning prizes. Employees could also post photos and connect (and put faces to) colleagues around the country.

SelectHealth set up a workspace called “The Corkboard” where team members can share photos and post polls – none of it related to their jobs whatsoever. Senior marketing editor/writer Jordan Gaddis – who recently shared a lot of valuable insights with us about people, process and planning – even used The Corkboard to revive a tradition in which managers don aprons and cook breakfasts for their departments.

Post by Adam McKibbin

Adam McKibbin is the content marketing manager for iMeet Central. His writing has been featured in Adweek, the Chicago Tribune and The Nation, and he’s produced content for some of the leading tech brands on the Fortune 500.