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How The Software Provider’s Customer Success Team Drives the Success of Your Digital Tool Adoption


What keeps company and team leaders awake at night when it comes to new software implementations or setting up new projects in an already implemented software solution?

The answer for this question lies in software ADOPTION. 

What is the meaning of adoption of a software system?

The adoption of a software system refers to the process through which an organization starts using a new software in its operations, replacing or augmenting an existing one. It is more than just installing and running the software – it is about integrating the tool into the organization’s workflow in a way that it becomes a routine part of the operations. This involves various stages including:

  • Awareness: The organization identifies the need for a new software and starts seeking solutions.
  • Evaluation: The organization assesses different software options based on their features, costs, benefits, and potential impact on business operations.
  • Trial: The organization tests the chosen software, often on a small scale or within a limited scope.
  • Activation: The software is integrated into the organization’s operations, with necessary setups and configurations done.
  • Adoption: The software is used by the organization on a regular basis and becomes a part of the organizational workflow.

The adoption process is not always linear and may require going back and forth between stages, based on the feedback received and challenges faced during the implementation. Critical to this process is the training of employees on using the software, addressing their concerns, and making necessary adjustments to fit the software into the existing workflows.

Why is the user adoption phase for a new software the most challenging process in project management?

Anyone responsible for projects and teams with several years of experience in selecting and implementing project platforms or information systems, often encounters common challenges. After months of evaluation, comparisons, sandbox testing, and process/workflow analysis, they frequently face scenarios such as:

  • “We chose the best tool in our opinion, but the implementation was horrible!”
  • “The end-users did not understand the value and boycotted the tool.”
  • “End-users in our company bypassed and worked around the tool/system.”
  • “We decided to look for a different solution as the value didn’t materialize.”

Acquiring a software tool and onboarding a large team to effectively use it is far from a simple task. Achieving success of software adoption requires overcoming resistance to change, providing comprehensive training events, addressing concerns about usability, and ensuring that the software aligns with the users’ needs and workflows. This process becomes even more demanding due to the involvement of multiple parties, including users, internal stakeholders, and software solution providers. Moreover, the software adoption process is vulnerable to disruption if communication and expectation management are not handled smoothly and effectively during this phase.

When do software adoption challenges typically arise?

Software adoption challenges often arise even before the purchase and setup of the system. Let’s backtrack to the evaluation phase to understand the reasons behind this.

When it comes to selecting the “right” software for your business or project, many individuals focus primarily on features and price. However, navigating through the maze of features and comparisons between different providers can be tedious, and usually end up going down the rabbit hole with a specific workflow that is really not essential.

Why does this happen? After launching a first version of a software (MVP) and hitting a bit of a nerve in the market, many software companies tend to grow in parallel to their growing financial capabilities. Typically, the core team of developers and founders remains highly product-oriented, stuffing new features around the initial value. Year after year, technicians continuously developing features within the same workflows can no longer see the world in a neutral way, which can lead to a blind spot.

In such a scenario, clients face significant challenges in integrating the tool into their workflows. As tools become more product-oriented rather than customer-centric, the onboarding flows become increasingly difficult.

How can one adopt a digital platform effectively?

What strategies can be employed to overcome software adoption challenges smoothly?

Forget about lengthy and complicated guides for adopting a new digital tool! The key to successful software adoption is simple: a balance between criteria related to features, customer success, and user experience during the evaluation and trial stage.

Software isn’t just a product; it’s a service that should be tailored to specific workflows, necessitating customized approaches from software vendors for setup, adoption, and ongoing support. This is where the magic combination of Customer success and User Experience comes into play. 

How to increase software adoption? The role of the Customer Success team in the user adoption strategy of your enterprise

In many SaaS (Software as a service) business models, the Chief Customer Officer (CCO) is considered one of the most important roles. This person  owns the dimension of what we call “The users Voice” – The power to bridge the gap between clients’ desires and technical adaptations. 

The CCO and the team of customer success managers and customer support specialists collaborate with both the software development team and clients on a daily basis. On one hand, the customer success team provides essential video tutorials and training sessions for users. On the other hand, they promptly address technical issues, providing support in a timely fashion. Consequently, they are well-placed to identify whether something is challenging or easy to understand from an end-user perspective.

If they identify that a certain feature or workflow lacks intuitiveness or generates concerns, they will log it into the “Customers Voice” process. This valuable information is then channeled toward discussions and incorporated into future versions of the product.

Finally, if a company is devoted itself to being customer-centric, and it’s not just a pose, the entire organization is originally and truly close to clients at all its touchpoints. Customer success teams stay close to the end-users throughout the relationship lifecycle by updating teams, coming up with new possibilities in the product, or simply offering continuous improvement and workshops to keep customers informed about cutting-edge technology and future developments. This type of relationship generates a bi-directional learning that will affect the ease of use of the system. This type of relationship fosters bi-directional learning, significantly influencing the ease of use of the system. Therefore, establishing a strong partnership with software vendors is the best way for any company to facilitate smooth onboarding flows and accelerate the software adoption process for new technology.

The best software adoption metric to incorporate in your strategy

As emphasized at the beginning of this article, the most crucial aspects of the new software for team leaders to consider is the software adoption strategies.

If the best tool in the world is hard to implement it is simply not the best tool in the world. Companies that are familiar with jumping between platforms of different providers, know how hard that is. The loss of time associated with such transitions is unacceptable. That is why when selecting tools, the guiding metric should be choosing “the one with the shortest time to value.” This ensures that our organization’s employees not only embrace the new tool but also maximize its potential beyond basic functionalities, creating a win-win scenario.

The adoption of a new platform or system by end-users in projects should ideally take just a couple of hours, and the system’s setup should be a task achievable within half a day for administrators.

In the AECO industry, the most important knowhow should be the knowhow of our core work – building assets, designing installations, engineering cost-optimal and high-quality structures, and efficiently organizing purchasing and site logistics. It should never be the know how about a communication platform and the labyrinth of possibilities behind it. This would be both ridiculous and impractical, a fact well understood by company leaders.

Catenda’s team of industry experts understands the unique challenges of adopting new technology in construction projects. That’s why we’re dedicated to providing exceptional support with our experienced customer success team. We go beyond just selling software – we partner with you to achieve your ultimate project goals.