When optimizing your products and services for increased adoption, you can easily find yourself too close to the situation to fully understand how your customers are using them effectively. The best way to get a detailed look at how your technology is being consumed, and even where it can be improved, is to ask your users directly. While the input of your average user is always valuable, there’s a subset of customer whose help you should be leveraging in order to unlock your solution’s full potential: the “power user”.
What’s Getting in the Way of Adoption?
The customer-supplier relationship is rapidly changing to focus less on products and services, and more on the value a supplier can bring to their customers in the form of business outcomes. (Tweet this!) When customers successfully adopt your technology by using it to its full potential, more opportunities for expansion (cross-sell and upsell) and renewal present themselves.
However, if you’re repeatedly seeing that your customers are having a difficult time adopting certain aspects of your solution, it could mean that your solution is not as easy to use as you think it is. Unfortunately, these types of usability roadblocks can alter, and even undermine, your customer’s perception of the value they’re receiving, which can negatively affect your adoption rates. It’s times like this where it’s important for your company to be open to critique of how you can better optimize your products and services and keep your customers happy.
Get Honest, Unbiased Critique
To ensure that you focus only on the attributes of your offerings that have real potential versus those that just aren’t going to make the cut, you should seek feedback from someone with an unbiased, critical eye who is familiar with the ins and outs of your technology. Luckily, you have a valuable resource for constructive feedback within your own customer base, as your power users (or super users as they’re sometimes called) are a great source of expert advice and first-hand experience. (Tweet this!)
Who is a Power User?
Power users are a subset of your customers who live, eat, sleep, and breathe your solution, and are most familiar with its advantages and pitfalls. (Tweet this!) Through their deeper knowledge of your technology, they can provide you with more actionable comments than any customer survey, as they’ve gained an intimate knowledge of what works best, and what needs improvement.
If anyone is going to find an issue with your offering or processes, it’s them, and chances are, they know more about your technology than you do. It’s important to listen to what they have to say, even if it’s not what you want to hear, because they are the best source of honest and constructive feedback for how to better optimize for adoption.
How to Use Power User Feedback
Based on comments from your power users, you’ll be able to improve your solution and increase adoption rates for your entire customer base. By finding out which features and offers are actually beneficial, as well as what doesn’t work, your R&D team can fine-tune your offering to be an even better version than what you had before.
This feedback is also incredibly valuable for your customer success team, as their number one priority is ensuring your customers are receiving the most value for their investment in your technology. By applying the feedback from your power users to build a better solution, your customer success team will have an easier time guiding your entire customer base toward achieving their desired outcomes. As an added bonus, your team can continue to reference this knowledge base of insider tips and tricks from your power users to ensure your customers receive the best performance, and most value, from your technology.
In his blog “Customer Success Key Capabilities”, Executive Director of TSIA, Thomas Lah summed it up the value of power user feedback:
“While an average or casual user may stick to using a handful of features, your power users will push the technology to its limits, learn it inside and out, and often be the first to come across problems that need fixing or offer suggestions for better ease of use.
The reports generated from this type of in-depth customer feedback are crucial when measuring your adoption rates and choosing the next steps in product development.”
The key to higher adoption rates is not always about adding more features or services, but improving the overall function of your existing offers. (Tweet this!) Frequent communication with your power users is the best way to get an inside look at your own product from the eyes of the people who truly know it best so you can provide offerings of the highest quality.
About the Author
Nicole Dornsife is the publications editor for TSIA. She has over 7 years of experience writing for the software industry, and joined TSIA in 2014. She regularly collaborates with TSIA's research team and partner companies to publish their insights on the latest news in the technology services industry. Nicole may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.