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Overcoming the Technology Adoption Curve With Help Lightning

April 10, 2020
Two workers wearing hard hats and looking at a tablet, overcoming a technology adoption curve

When talking about change management, a statistic that often gets thrown around is that 70% of change initiatives fail because of user resistance. The percentage itself is debatable and hard to accurately measure, but there’s still a kernel of truth here: Humans don’t like change. This is especially true when it comes to technology.

The steeper the technology adoption curve is, the less likely users are to adopt it. Service leaders have to make changes to the ways their teams are delivering customer service so that the process is easy, effortless and smooth. That’s why it’s so important to identify the best practices for such a transition.

Fortunately, at Help Lightning, we already have! We’ve seen what works and what doesn’t in the real world when it comes to user adoption of remote visual guidance solutions like augmented reality and mixed reality. We teach best practices to our new customers and then work with them to continuously measure and monitor their adoption results.

Here are eight best practices to increase the chances of users adopting new technology:

1. Put Leadership in Place

This is first on the list for a reason. Identifying and installing the right leadership is the most important step companies can take to ensure a successful remote visual guidance program. There are three distinct “leaders” in every successful program:

  • Executive Sponsor: This is the person who brings remote visual guidance into the company. This person sees the value of the technology and how it can help their organization meet their business goals and objectives or address the challenges they’re facing.
  • Program Leader: This is the “make or break” position. The program leader is responsible and accountable for the day-to-day operation of the remote visual guidance program. They oversee the program and are responsible for its success. Although this usually isn’t a full-time responsibility, the more time and effort the program leader devotes to helping employees overcome the technology adoption curve, the more successful the program can be. Without this person, new technology programs often fail to meet expectations. Remote visual guidance can’t be a launch-and-leave initiative; it takes ongoing, proactive management to be successful.
  • Change Champions: These are early adopters of the technology who influence other team members by communicating the value they’re getting from the solution.

Ensure you have these leaders in place and properly reward them for their efforts.

2. Train and Train Again

When end users are well-trained, they’re more comfortable with remote visual guidance solutions. Comfort leads to deeper adoption, and deeper adoption leads to greater value. But users won’t be comfortable and competent with the technology after a single 45-minute session, even with the best smart glasses or other devices on the market today at their disposal. Training has to be ongoing and reinforceable.

This is where the idea of “train and train again” comes in. Measure and monitor end users’ competency with the new technology. Observe them as they use it and focus on those who seem to be struggling the most to overcome the technology adoption curve. Hold both individual and group training sessions. And use online materials to complement in-person training.

3. Communicate Value

Put yourself in the shoes of the people you’re asking to adopt the new technology. You want them to get out of their comfort zones. You want them to change their mindset and behaviors. These are big asks, so it’s important that you communicate the value and benefits end users will see when using this remote visual guidance software.

Try to focus on what’s in it for individual employees, as opposed to what’s in it for the company. Will using a remote visual guidance solution make their job easier? Will it mean more time with their families because they can more effectively service their customers? Can it keep them off airplanes and out of hotels by fixing customer issues remotely? Will using the technology result in a year-end bonus based on better customer feedback and higher NPS scores?

4. Best Practices for User Adoption

When introducing new technology, most companies use the Pull Change Management model, where service executives and program leaders gently pull their service team members in the direction of change. But this model often doesn’t work when it comes to adopting remote visual guidance solutions.

Customers who are the most successful at implementing AR in different industries use the Push Change Management model, where they require their service team members to use new technologies. They’re NOT optional; it’s expected that these enterprise collaboration tools will be used and team members will be competent with them.

The best way to accomplish this goal is to set daily, weekly and monthly usage goals for both individuals and teams, and to measure and monitor use of the technology on a daily basis. Recognize and reward individuals who are overcoming the technology adoption curve; have regular meetings with those who aren’t to find out the reasons why. Are they technology-averse? Have they not been trained properly? Are they not sure when to use the technology? Get to the root cause of the lack of adoption and make the changes necessary to get them to use it. Don’t give in to those who refuse to adopt. Make it clear that the company has invested in this technology and it can provide great benefits for both the company and individual employees. And make it clear that not adopting it is NOT an option.

5. Choose Use Cases Wisely

Give some thought to how you intend to initially use your remote visual guidance solution. What challenges are you trying to address? Identify the specific goals you want to achieve and problems you want to solve. How wide is the gap between where you are and where you want to be, and how can remote visual guidance bridge it?

At Help Lightning, the most common initial use cases we see are:

  1. Expert Support to End Customer
  2. Expert Support to Field Service Engineer
  3. Field Service Engineer to Field Service Engineer

Don’t fall into the trap of initially trying to use remote visual guidance for too many different use cases. Focus on the one — or, at most, two — cases that will add the most value in the fastest time.

6. Build Remote Visual Guidance Into Your Service Processes

One of the major stumbling blocks service technicians run into when asked to use remote visual guidance is determining exactly when to use it. If this is unclear and left solely to the technician’s discretion, adoption falters.

Our most successful examples are customers that have reviewed their existing service processes and determined the best points within them for remote visual guidance. For some companies, that point is determined by the length of a call to technical support or the amount of time spent at a customer site. For others, dispatching a field service engineer isn’t allowed until and unless a remote visual guidance call is made.

Some service companies won’t escalate a customer issue unless the initial triage of the problem has included a remote visual guidance session. Others have identified specific customer issues that have been fixed remotely in the past, and when these customer issues arise, they automatically launch a remote visual guidance call.

When you take the guesswork out of when to use the technology, it soon becomes a natural part of the way your teams deliver customer service.

7. Communicate Early Successes

Don’t allow your remote visual guidance initiative to live in a vacuum. One of the best ways to tackle the technology adoption curve is by sharing early success stories. When employees see the potential value of the solution, they’ll want to use it themselves. Articulate who used the solution, the situation it was used in and the end result.

Don’t forget to communicate these successes to your customers, too. That way, they can fully appreciate the value your company brings to them.

8. Don’t Be Afraid to Make Changes

Your program isn’t set in stone; changes are inevitable. At the 30, 60 and 90-day marks, take an honest look at your program. Which of these best practices are working and creating value? What isn’t working? This will identify stumbling blocks and challenges to adoption. Every company is different; some of these best practices will work better for you than others. Talk to your service team members on a regular basis, whether in person or virtually. Pick their brains on ideas to improve their experience using the remote visual guidance software,

and make changes based on their feedback so they know their voices are being heard.

In Conclusion

These best practices are based on things learned from the change model at the Bose Corporation. It states that the probability of overcoming the technology adoption curve is based on:

  • Dissatisfactionwith the present (i.e., the challenge or problem)
  • Visionfor the future (i.e., the gap)
  • Energyrequired to move the workforce in the direction of the change (i.e., adoption and utilization)

To start a positive change toward better customer service for your own company, get in contact with the Help Lightning team today! And to see Help Lightning in action, sign up for a free demo here.

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