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Partner Voices: CDW on Driving Solution Adoption across Your Practice

February 18, 2014
at 9:57 am PST

As part of our ongoing Partner Voices blog series, I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Yvonne LeNoue of CDW regarding her blog, “Top 5 Areas of Focus to Drive Solution Adoption across Your Contact Center Practice.” I invited her to expand a little more on those ideas for our Cisco partners and she kindly obliged.

Yvonne is a principal contact center consultant for CDW, and she has more than 20 years of experience in the contact center space. She has helped numerous organizations create and adopt solutions; her insights in this area are invaluable.

During our conversation, Yvonne emphasized that most technology implementations focus on a successful rollout of solutions, that is with  little-to-no customer impact, as customers seek a hefty return on investment based on the operational benefits that will be recognized through improved functionality and advanced technologies. The onus of success is typically placed on the technical teams of integrators and customers. Fortunately, in many cases, successful migrations are second nature. However, the thought of supporting the end users through the transition is rarely discussed.

Because so many organizations fail to engage the end users through their transitions, customers struggle to adopt new solutions and the business process enhancements that accompany new technologies. As you’ve likely experienced in your own businesses, organization leaders can experience frustration following technology implementations as employees revert to old processes and solutions. What’s more, lack of adoption can impact business value, and repeat sales and overall perception of project success. With this lack of adoption, Yvonne points out, no one wins; organizational operations remain stagnant, ROIs are not realized, vendors struggle to drive interest in future technologies and end users feel isolated. Simply delivering solutions and products does not ensure solution adoption and no longer guarantees customer satisfaction.

As many of us understand, technologies are frequently implemented in phases as migration paths are considered for new, advanced technologies. For instance, a Unified Communications platform may be the foundation for varying solution integrations that can enhance productivity and collaboration across organizations. According to Yvonne, with this approach, solution adoption is pivotal for successful, long-term relationships with customers as their technical roadmaps develop.

In speaking with Yvonne, she quoted Samuel Johnson in saying, “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” Reading Samuel Johnson’s quote, I was reminded that people are creatures of habit. People handle change differently, some easily adapt while most need structure and support through transitions; particularly those that are externally driven. Yvonne pointed out that The Kubler-Ross change curve below depicts the common stages people go through as they adjust to change. The key to success is ensuring end users are aware that innovation drives opportunity.

Kubler Ross change curve

Yvonne, like so many leaders in her field, has outlined key areas to focus on in order to ensure organizational and technical investments are embraced by the user community, as leaders introduce new and improved technologies.

1. Communication: End users must be aware of the change and be engaged before they will accept it. Be prepared to ask and answer: What are we doing? How do we get there? How do we track progress?

2. Stakeholder Engagement: Engagement and acceptance across leadership and key users for support and example of user experience and appreciation.

3. Motivation: Collaboration and support across the organization to make the change about the people – not just the technology. Incentivize and motivate by creating excitement; include contests that incorporate the initiative.

4. Training: Ensure end user participation and encourage their input.

5. Implementation Processes: Align technology to business needs, engage the end user and leverage their input.

Organizations need assistance in executing a strategy that will drive adoption while supporting the end users through transitions. A clearly defined and deployed adoption strategy can enhance overall customer satisfaction and reduce project risk.

Thanks Yvonne!

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