Technology is constantly evolving, and keeping up with technological updates is vital for any company. But if employees or customers aren’t able to adopt new technology quickly and completely, serious issues can arise. More than 91% of enterprise software errors are related to the user, design, or process rather than being system-related. If your employees and customers cannot use the software properly, your company will waste valuable time answering support tickets and prolonging employee training. This, in turn, results in lost IT ROI, since the technology you invested in is not enhancing productivity.
One solution is using a Digital Adoption Platform to guide your current and future employees and customers through (and beyond) the technology adoption process. Here’s how to leverage such a platform for a more seamless transition. But before we get into the details, let’s first understand the definition of a digital adoption platform.

What Is a Digital Adoption Platform?

A Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) is a software designed to simplify the adoption of new technology, especially enterprise application software. It falls under the category of Digital Adoption Solutions(DAS). The DAP overlays on top of the application to guide users through basic processes in the software, step-by-step. The DAP integrates seamlessly into the technology so that the guidance isn’t disruptive to the learner.
A good Digital Adoption Platform is adaptable, and it will have detailed, easy-to-follow steps for each action a user might take inside the enterprise software. This includes everything from basic skills, like changing a password, to more advanced actions, like logging a sales lead.
There are many digital adoption platform companies in the market due to the need that has arisen for such a solution. One popular example of a Digital Adoption Platform is Whatfix. Whatfix DAP works within your technology and provides comprehensive walkthroughs, even for your most entry-level user. In comparison to the other vendors in the market, Whatfix is one of the leaders in the space.
what is a digital adoption platform - whatfix
This screenshot shows Whatfix operating in Salesforce Lightning. The Whatfix Guided walkthroughs take the user through every step of the task. As you can see above, the “change my password” walkthrough has nine steps, and each step has a separate balloon that will appear and tell the user what to do. As they complete a step, the next balloon will appear.
The formal guidance of a Digital Adoption Platform Software helps lower the perceived complexity of the new technology, which increases end-user adoption rates.

How Can a Digital Adoption Platform Help My Business?

The features of a typical Digital Adoption Platform fall into three major categories, with each one helping with a different aspect of technology adoption. For each feature, we’ll use Whatfix on Salesforce Lightning as an example.

1. Training and Guidance

Training and guidance are two of the key functions of a Digital Adoption Platform. These use cases are particularly important as users move into each new area of technology.
Guided walkthroughs take the user step-by-step through the section of the technology they are trying to learn. Typically, the specific walkthrough is triggered by the goal the user is trying to achieve. For example, the goal “change my password” would have an accompanying walkthrough taking the user through each step of changing their password.
Digital Adoption Platforms can ensure accurate data entry by telling users, in real-time, if the data they entered is accurate, based on pre-established criteria. The DAP will also show the user the necessary steps or requirements for entering the correct data. Whatfix, for example, checks for valid formats and field lengths to ensure that the entries meet the appropriate conditions.
what is a digital adoption platform - validation
If the correct criteria aren’t met, the entry field shows up red to alert the user.
Micro-learning plans take the user through a series of tasks so that the user completes a broader lesson. Each micro-learning plan may be made up of several different walkthroughs or videos, and as each task is completed, it’s checked off. The checks allow managers to track each user’s progress through their lesson.
what is a digital adoption platform - whatfix demo lightning
In this screenshot, the overarching lesson would be “Whatfix Demo Lightning,” and the individual tasks needed to complete the lesson are listed in the left-hand sidebar below the lesson name.
Digital Adoption Platforms also allow you to create alerts to guide users to changes or new features. Communication is key to effective change management. After all, users can’t adopt and start to use new features if users aren’t aware of them. You can even schedule alerts for important information so they appear when the largest number of users will be online.
what is a digital adoption platform - beacons
In Whatfix, a red beacon tells users there is something new, and clicking the beacon opens a walkthrough to guide them through the new feature.
The training and guidance features in a Digital Adoption Platform are designed to ease the process of technology adoption and help users quickly become comfortable with the new technology. These features are useful not only for existing employees, but also for onboarding new employees and helping them more quickly reach a productive level of work.

2. Self-help

The self-help aspects of a Digital Adoption Platform help users quickly find answers to questions without having to search through a separate knowledge base.
The DAP will integrate your existing knowledge base so none of your existing information is lost. Then you can organize the collected information by topic and the knowledge base can be easily accessed by users when they are in the relevant part of the software.
New content created using the DAP is also stored and organized in the self-help menu. The menu is a single, self-serve source for all support content, both pre-existing and newly created, easily accessible on-demand when the user needs it.
In Whatfix, the knowledge base appears as a self-help tab users can click to expand. The knowledge base articles, videos, walkthroughs, etc., shown there are only the ones relevant to the location or module the person is using within the application.
what is a digital adoption platform - self help
Here, the user is in the “Leads” tab, so all of the knowledge base information shown is related to leads. As well as organizing by topic, you can also determine which articles and walkthroughs each person can access based on their role in the company.

3. Analytics

The analytics of a Digital Adoption Platform help you determine what’s working (and what’s not) so you can make adjustments to your DAP content as necessary.
By tracking user engagement and content use, you can see what portions of the software employees or customers use more often, and what portions are ignored or underutilized. For example, in Whatfix, you can track how many times a walkthrough is played and determine which walkthroughs are most popular.
what is a digital adoption platform - flow analytics
You can also see the number of successful searches made within the platform and identify which search terms were unsuccessful. You can then create walkthroughs or articles related to the most common unsuccessful search terms, or use the insights to modify and customize existing training and onboarding programs.
what is a digital adoption platform - search data
User-specific insights help you understand the content and learning preferences of your employees. Then you can update the DAP on a more granular level and create personalized content for your users. Whatfix makes collecting user insights even easier with xAPI integration.
Sometimes the best way to determine how your end users are doing is to ask them. Collect direct feedback from users via surveys, and use the information to update your training and guidance features.
what is a digital adoption platform - user feedback
No matter what specific analytics your Digital Adoption Platform offers, you can use them to continually improve your processes and help improve the adoption of technology by your employees and customers.

How to Leverage a DAP to Increase Software Adoption?

There are two overarching uses for a Digital Adoption Platform: adoption of technology within your company, and adoption of technology by your customers.

How to use a DAP within your company?

If your employees don’t understand a new technology, they may simply decide not to use it. In fact, only about 46% of sales reps use their company’s CRM tool because they find it to be unwieldy and time-consuming to learn and use.
Even when employees use the technology, they may not use it to its fullest potential—about half of CRM features that companies pay for aren’t used at all. If you’re spending money on new technology, you want your employees to use it fully. The key to technology adoption is the perception that the technology is user-friendly and will support the employees’ current flow of work, without affecting their productivity and overall experience.
Technology is more user-friendly when employees don’t have to aimlessly explore the software, trying to learn it. One way to guide users is to create task lists. You can assign specific tasks to each user and track their progress.
what is digital adoption platform - tasklist
A DAP can also reduce the time needed for onboarding. Since all the walkthroughs exist within the new technology, users can practice using the features in a guided way. This improves onboarding speed compared with, for example, having employees watch a video and then separately try to remember and apply what they saw.
Additionally, integrated self-help features speed up onboarding because employees don’t have to exit the platform and go into a separate knowledge base. We’ve seen that using our Digital Adoption Platform also reduces the time it takes employees to find the answers to their questions by 25%.

How to use a DAP with your customers?

The average adoption rate for enterprise application software is just 30-40% in the first year. If your customers are frustrated by your technology and are not adopting it, they may look for alternatives. The guidance and training features of a Digital Adoption Platform ensure that the customer uses the technology appropriately and gets as much out of it as possible, with minimal frustration and errors.
Self-help features and a better onboarding experience not only put your customers more at ease with the technology but also save your company time. Whatfix reports a 45% reduction in customer support tickets during the first year of using their Digital Adoption Platform.
Using the survey feature, you can also get direct feedback from your customers to see why they might be having trouble, and then adjust your walkthroughs and knowledge base accordingly.

Make Technology Adoption Easier with a DAP

Digital Adoption Platforms are a powerful tool to help with technology adoption. They are used for everything from onboarding new employees to training existing employees and customers on new technology. Using a DAP like Whatfix, with a variety of customizable and adaptable features, is key to increasing your technology adoption rate and preventing customer churn due to poor technology onboarding.
To learn more about a digital adoption platform and how it can help your organization, schedule a conversation with our experts today.
If you want to hear from top experts in the world, about digital adoption, digital transformation, L&D and People Management, Register for our first-ever Digital Adoption Summit!

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