How Microsoft Get Millions Of People To Use Their Software
Making amazing software is one thing. But getting people to use it and fundamentally keeping them as clients and customers is another thing entirely.
In this week’s episode, I talk to Steve Crompton, ex-Microsoft adoption specialist who helps companies take full advantage of Office 365 and how businesses everywhere can adopt the same principles to improve customer engagement and retention.
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3 Key Points
- Getting people to use your product or software involves identifying and communicating what the benefit is to them and how it will make their life better.
- Creating ‘digital champions’ or brand advocates creates pockets of engaged people who will spread the word and engage others.
- ‘Gamification’ and incentivising people with things other than money can be a very powerful way of getting people to engage and also making them feel good about themselves and you.
Steve shifted quickly from an interest in CRM (Customer Relationship Management software) to ‘Enterprise Social Networks’ (ESN) as a much more attractive and social way of working.
After writing a dissertation on the startup, Yammer, Steve was offered a job at the company.
‘Adoption’ is the acceptance of new processes or new ways of working. Steve’s company, Changing Social, do so by first identifying the benefit for the employee, then crafting this into communications to those employees.
Steve identifies ‘digital champions’ within organisations who are essentially people that are really sold into what the company is trying to do. This is kind of like brand advocates in B2C commerce.
Whereas in most organisations, people are ‘voloun-told’ (as opposed to volunteers), Changing Social identify those people and the incentives that will make them act.
Steve focuses on providing ‘soft-skills’ to digital champions, enabling them to tell stories, engage and influence the people around them.
Gamification acts as a non-financial reward to make people feel good about their involvement without monetary or tax implications.
UX (User Experience) is a big part of making good software, but just as, if not more importantly in making software ‘sticky’ (well retained) it’s important to make it broadly accessible.
It’s important to get users to engage early on in order to not just retain, but also to up-tier them to become more valuable, premium tier customers.
The most important messaging that Steve deploys revolves around “here is how Office 365 is going to make your life easier” with a strong focus on the relevant people.
‘Micro-Videos’ form very brief, concise and useful communications in the form of 30 second, informational videos. These are far more effective than long training videos.
Taking inspiration from commercial social media like Instagram and content like list articles provide short and consumable content that’s extremely effective getting enterprise employees to engage and take action.
Technology adoption has flipped in the last 100 years. Whereas during the industrial revolution businesses adopted technology first and it trickled down to consumer, companies now build technology for mass market and businesses adopt later.
Businesses can take an innovative step forward by understanding that the new generation of workplace employees have grown up using social media and adopting enterprise social media to accommodate this.
Innovative companies like Siemens Gamesa have already shifted from using traditional communication structures like e-mail to using Yammer transforming the way and speed their business works.
The SME coffee roasters, Clifton Coffee use data manipulation and cross tabulation in Power BI to understand how factors like geography and even the weather effects what demand for types of coffee.
Follow Steve / Changing Social
Steve helps organisations in all sectors quickly and effectively adopt the entire Microsoft Office 365 Suite making them happier, more efficient and more profitable.