As we enter the era of the digital workplace, many companies are realizing the need to make the most of their existing technology investments. Over the years, tools and systems have accumulated and it’s becoming almost impossible to know the background or purpose of any one solution.
The issue is that they purchased a solution to solve a problem, but it never ended up solving the problem. For a number of reasons: the problem changed, implementation took too long, the problem became a different problem, or perhaps the most common reason: no one ever used it.
Unlike most consumer apps you download today, enterprise applications sometimes struggle to have a user experience that makes it explicit as to how the user should be leveraging the tool or know where to go to extract premium value out of the application. It’s almost as if a successful implementation and launch represented the end of the journey, and everything after will take care of itself.
But herein lies one of the reasons we live in such a cluttered digital workplace. A significant amount of a company’s time, money, and resources goes into implementing tools and technology that are meant to help – be it organize company information, make employees more productive, or optimize the way work gets done – only to sit idly after launch because engagement was never part of the plan.
If the focus does not shift to sustained engagement beyond launch, organizations will have a difficult time quantifying the value of their solution, and getting buy-in for new solutions in the future.
Let’s explore three benefits of integrating a product success platform within your collaboration solution today.
1. A more personalized user experience
While modern intranets are designed to address broad business challenges, like communication, collaboration, knowledge management, and workflows, it’s important to have a device that creates a more personalized experience for employees inside that framework. Besides, if people can’t see how the system will help them get their specific job done, they surely won’t feel compelled to come back.
By collecting data about a particular person or segment, a product success tool can deliver a more personalized experience via guided and contextual walkthroughs. If the person feels that a workflow has been specifically designed for them (based on their role, location, or even past behavior), the probability that they see value will increase. Plus, if you can guide them while they are engaged in a specific task (e.g. submitting product idea), it will feel much more intuitive and natural than if they had to go away and find information or instructions elsewhere.
While it requires some planning and upkeep, guided workflows based on user data can be quite effective in achieving prolonged engagement in your community.
2. More control for business owners
An easy-to-configure help solution allows business owners to create and control their own guided experiences based on the goals of the application– without having to alert or involve IT. In this sense, improved information discovery becomes a shared responsibility, and as a result, company news or updates can be communicated in a more timely and relevant way.
Now, with any major business changes – like re-orgs, acquisitions, new leadership – these business owners are empowered to use in-app messaging to gently guide employees to “suggested content” containing information that matters to them, or that they may not find otherwise, even through HR and executive communications.
3. Analyze (and act on) data to achieve real business results
Many community managers have to resort to soft or shallow ROI metrics to quantify the value of their collaboration platform. By layering a product success platform over a modern intranet solution, organizations will have access to a host of new metrics that will help the organization identify opportunities to make changes that result in positive – and tangible – business outcomes.
For example, a key part of the sales enablement function is ensuring your sales reps have access to the latest marketing assets and selling tools. But through commonly available analytics, an organization sees that only 40% of the team visits the internal marketing knowledge base (KB) on a daily basis. Knowing that’s the one area where the Marketing team distributes new collateral, Sales leadership can assume the rest of the Sales team is pulling files off old shares, re-creating the work themselves, or worse: not using any assets to support their prospect conversations.
With a product success tool, organizations can recognize this type of behavior and course-correct by prompting people (based on their role) with a message directing them to the right place. For example: Did you know there’s a list of assets categorized by industry in the Marketing KB?
By cross referencing user details and usage data, a product success tool can improve information discovery, optimize workflows, and prevent the duplication of work – which are all ROI metrics that can help justify the cost of your collaboration solution.
The power of a good first impression: Meet Dave
Here’s a simple analogy: Navigating your modern intranet without guidance is like shopping for a new car when the dealership is closed. You walk in, take a quick inventory of what’s available, and wander around to see if anything catches your eye. If you don’t see something that speaks to you, you simply shrug and head away without giving it a second thought. You start to question why you went in the first place. Do I even need a new car?
Now picture this: You walk on to the lot on a busy Saturday and you’re greeted by a friendly salesperson. He welcomes you, introduces himself as Dave, gives you some general directions, and reminds you that if you have “any questions at all” to just let him know. He observes your first few steps and starts to get a sense of what you’re looking for. You have two kids in tow and you continue to gravitate toward the mid-sized sedans, so Dave quickly realizes that you’re in the market for a family-friendly set of wheels.
With this new information, Dave can customize his approach, relying on his expertise in family cars, and help you make a decision about which car to purchase. And you get the benefit of having a helpful guide in Dave, so you’re not left to peruse the lot on your own.
By having a tool that allows organizations to assess a user’s behavior, and act on it in an intelligent way, your company increase your probability of achieving the objectives that were outlined at launch while creating a better overall experience for your employees.
A modern approach to engagement
When it comes to collaboration solutions, there is no shortage of engagement techniques: providing rich content on a regular basis, introducing new processes in a fun or interactive way, or leveraging leaders to help drive traffic to your new community. These are techniques we advise our customers on every single day.
But there are other ways to increase engagement in a community that go beyond traditional tips and tricks. A more meaningful approach to engagement is to find a way to measure it early and be able to react and adapt to user behaviors quickly. Encourage it from behind the scenes using a tool that gathers data and allows organizations to create guided workflows to help employees get their work done and access information that they may not have found otherwise. Providing a more personalized user experience by analyzing activity within a community will lead to a better first impression and sustained engagement beyond launch.
And when it comes to measuring engagement and demonstrating ROI, you could argue that there are several different ways to measure the value of a technology investment. Each metric, however, should be tied to business value – and should result in actionable business outcomes.
This article was originally posted on the Pendo Blog on December 7, 2016.