10 Steps to Maximizing User Adoption

So, you’ve built a brilliant new app for your business. It has the potential to ignite sales, streamline operations, and wow customers. The technology is state-of-the-art, the design is beautiful. Soon, piles of paperwork will be replaced by a few easy swipes on the tablet. Your employees will love it. Right? That depends. 

Actually, we’ve seen some pretty incredible apps wither away and die because their owners forgot the most critical part of app development: getting users as excited about the app as you are. And retraining them to incorporate it into their daily routines. 

Whatever your app—whether it’s a new sales presentation tool, a virtual product demo, a time-tracking utility, a pricing estimator, or any other kind of business tool—these 10 important steps can ensure your app has a long and prosperous life. 

The takeaway

How To Create A Thriving Enterprise App

Whatever your app—whether it’s a new sales presentation tool, a virtual product demo, a time-tracking utility, a pricing estimator, or any other kind of business tool—these 10 important steps can ensure your app has a long and prosperous life.

10 Steps to Drive Adoption

1. Brand it

Like any newborn, your app needs a name. Choose something your users can appreciate, something that conveys the app’s unique features and personality. 

Then, give it an identity. Create an icon. Design a look that can be used on the materials you’ll develop to market this app to your employees. Write a one-sentence tagline that clarifies its purpose and power. If you’re developing a series of apps, create a synergistic theme to tie them together. 

Remember, your app’s brand will produce a strong first impression. It will speak volumes to your users about how well-designed the app is, whether it might be a pleasure or a chore to use and if it seems worth embracing. It will also communicate how much you have invested in the app. Create a brand that works in your favor. 

2. Tease it

A month or two before you deploy your new app, start building a sense of anticipation. Begin with some mystery and intrigue—don’t give it all away upfront. “Leak” the word that things are about to get easier/better/faster/more exciting/more fun. Keep your employees guessing about the rest.

3. Launch it

Start things off with a bang. When you deploy your app, do it with a level of energy that drives your employees to try the app immediately and pushes them through the first few weeks of adjustment.

4. Sell it

Do not assume your employees will automatically see the value in your new app. Market to them as though they had to buy the app— because, in a way, they do. They need to buy-in. They need to invest time and energy into learning the app and integrating it into their routines. They need to understand the features and benefits. 

Most of all, they need to know clearly what’s in it for them. Changing their habits will cost your employees something. Use all available means to win them over and get them excited about transitioning to a new way of working.

5. Accessorize it

Think about what will help your users get the most out of this app. Will they need any additional supplies, like a folder, easel, screen-cleaning cloth, stylus, case, a keyboard, or anything else? 

For instance, if your retail reps will be using a product selector app with store customers, equipping them with special holsters can ensure their tablets are always handy for on-the-spot service.

6. Incentivize it

Again, don’t assume employees will instantly start incorporating your new app into their workflow. Consider providing some personal motivation in addition to the general marketing efforts.

7. Support it

Make this transition as easy as possible by providing all the training and support your employees need. The more confident they are about using the app, the more they will. 

Training: Make sure every user is crystal clear on how to access and use all of the app’s features and capabilities.

Troubleshooting: Have an arsenal of resources available to help your users when they get stuck. You don’t want a bump in the road to derail any of your users. 

Tracking: Be sure you are monitoring usage and results. Leverage the info you collect to drive your next steps. 

Listening: Once the app is out there and being used, your users may begin to discover issues you hadn’t anticipated. This is simply a case of you don’t know what you don’t know while building an app. Some things have to be learned along the way. Be active about gathering feedback and suggestions from your users. They will be your best source for learning what’s working and what’s not.

8. Buzz about it

It’s important to keep talking about your app—before, during and after launch, and for as long as you want it to remain alive. Develop a few standard means of communication—maybe a regular column in the company newsletter, a weekly blog post, a monthly e-blast, a series of videos, or a combination of these and more. Establishing multiple communication vehicles will ensure you regularly catch all of your audience in one way or another.

9. Maintain it

An app that is being regularly cared for will stay vibrant and valuable to its users. On the flip side, as soon as users notice that an app’s content is becoming stale or things aren’t running smoothly, they’ll stop coming back. Don’t let your app go dormant, keep it fresh so engagement stays strong.

10. Optimize and evolve it

When you stop investing, your users will too. Release new versions of your app on a regular basis to make sure it remains an exciting and worthwhile destination for your users. If the app starts to feel retro or if other tools become easier or more efficient to use, you will start to lose interest, and user engagement will start slipping.

11. And repeat

Each time you launch a new version of the app, follow the steps listed above: Update the branding if needed, tease and market the new release, support your users through the transition, and continue to collect feedback and update your app on a regular basis. For most businesses, it’s helpful to have a partner in this process—an expert that can walk them through all the steps needed to ensure a thriving app. Many app developers are strong on the technology side but don’t offer much support beyond that. Design Center ensures both cutting-edge app technology and effective user engagement with its comprehensive App Deployment and Management program that has been successfully applied to over 200 apps. Connect with Design Center for more insights into keeping users engaged with your new app.