Lisa hosted this discussion.
You can still participate:
- Read the best practices below that Lisa shared during the day.
- Add a comment to ask a question or share your ideas. And read what others shared.
This Fine Tuning was about user adoption, including:
- Getting your agents on board with Zendesk
- Introducing your customers to Zendesk
- Keeping your agents and your customers engaged with Zendesk
Zendesk Customer Success Manager Lisa has worked on our success team since August of 2013. She has over eight years' experience with helping customers get the most out of the systems they use.
See all the Fine Tuning discussions .
Introduction: What is user adoption?
User adoption is a concept that is often overlooked in the excitement of introducing Zendesk to your team. It may be obvious to you, the Zendesk admin, how this new software is going to make your teams’ jobs easier, but it’s not always obvious to your staff. In fact, many software implementations fail because managers and decision-makers neglect one simple fact about their staff: they’re human, and humans abhor change. My colleague Rav Dhaliwal put it this way: the only person who likes change is a wet baby.
User adoption is less about the specific tool you introduce to your team, and more about encouraging positive behavioral change in your environment. Common issues that undermine successful user adoption can include:
- Lack of communication about the new software system
- Unclear objectives for making the change
- No incentives for changing tools (aka “what’s in it for me?”)
- An absence of system ownership, leaving staff unsure of who can help them
You can avoid some of these pitfalls by being transparent both internally and externally, and you can start by getting your team on board. In Part 1, I'll share some ways you can get your team excited about adopting Zendesk, and Part 2 will share some tips for helping your customers get used to your new system, too. Part 3 will cover ways you can keep your agent and customer engagement with your Zendesk strong.
While this discussion will at times take a high-level view of user adoption in general, I’ll also provide examples for applying these principles to your Zendesk launch.
Part 1: Get your staff on board
Your team - your agents in Zendesk - are the most important piece of the user adoption puzzle. Without their buy-in, your new tool will gather dust on the digital shelf while your staff retreats to old, familiar methods of getting their jobs done - even if those methods are inefficient and cumbersome (I’m looking at you, email).
Here are some things to consider when introducing your team to your new Zendesk platform:
- Communicate early and often. When you’ve made the decision to introduce Zendesk, let staff know about the decision, and talk about how it addresses your team’s pain points. Be sure to let everyone know about upcoming training and rollout schedules, too.
- Get executive sponsorship. Is your boss using Zendesk? Are you using Zendesk? Lead by example. Executive support and heavy usage factors highly in ensuring your team gets on board, too.
- Involve the team in the workflow building process. If you’ve got a large team, choose one agent (perhaps a team lead) to represent everyone. Talk about what’s currently working for them, and what they’d like to change. This way everyone feels like their voice and concerns have a seat at the table.
- Training, training, training! Get your agents the information they need to feel comfortable with Zendesk. Emphasize what’s familiar, and present process and workflow changes in a positive light. Most of all, explain why - when we know why a change is occurring, we’re more likely to go along with it. Leverage the agent guide in our forums, or take advantage of our new free, self-guided Zendesk Essentials for Agents online training course at Zendesk University.
- Pick a clear cut-off date for when you will stop using your old system. Make sure to provision your agents with their Zendesk user accounts and give plenty of product training beforehand so that they feel confident about making the switch. Having a clear cut-off date also works if you’re approaching your Zendesk launch in phases (for example, getting your support team into Zendesk first, and then your accounting team). You’ll just need to set a cut-off for each phase. Bonus - you can leverage agent experience from phase 1 to help train and transition agents in phase 2, and so on.
- Check in and support your team. Let them know you’ve got their back! Shadow your agents and make yourself available for any and all questions on the first day or week of your launch.
- Have fun! Incentivize your agents! Consider creating a Zendesk scavenger hunt - a simple set of questions for tasks and workflows your agents will need to know. Reward early adopters and promoters in a way that’s appropriate for your office culture - a free lunch, some sweet office swag, anything that will motivate them.
What do you think? Leave a comment sharing how your team successfully introduced Zendesk to your agents.
Part 2: Get your customers on board
Getting your customers to use your new Zendesk may require less change management on your end - it all depends on what you plan to implement for them. Customers are people too, and people dislike change. Just remember that your customers are the most important part of your business, so it’s equally important to consider their positive adoption of your Zendesk - after all, without them, your business wouldn’t be here!
Even if you don’t plan to change how your customers get in touch with you, you should still let them know that you’re introducing a new system internally. For example, if you’re switching to Zendesk to manage your customer service interactions, but only accepting requests via email, you could simply set up email forwarding for your current support email address - your customers would still use the same address to get in touch with you, but your agents would now be working in Zendesk. Think about how things may change for your customers after the switch: will email notifications look different? Will they receive more or fewer notifications? Keep these changes in mind and alert your customers to what’s coming.
Here are some tips for introducing Zendesk to your customers:
- Design with your customer in mind. Think about the ways that customers interact with your team, and what they’re currently experiencing when they do so. (Consider customer journey mapping as an exercise in a larger customer experience investment initiative.) Once you’ve got a clear idea of the customer experience with your team, you can design your support processes, email notifications, and Help Center to make that experience better.
- Communicate early and often. If you’re changing the way customers get in touch with you, start letting them know sooner rather than later. Include a blurb about it in your email signature. As your agents start using Zendesk, include a link to your Help Center in the agent signature . Work with your marketing team to create an announcement with links to send out via your social media channels, and add a mention to your main web site.
- Pick a clear cut-off date. Let your customers know when you’re shutting your old system down, and how to get in touch with you when that happens.
- Training, training, training! If you’re changing the way customers get in touch with you, provide training materials to illustrate how to submit a request. Feel free to use our End-user guide to help familiarize your customers with the system. Pro Tip : Use your Help Center to create articles about how to use the Help Center!
- Use web forms for support requests. Using a Submit a Request form enables you to collect specific information up front and potentially cut down on back-and-forth between your agents and your customers, thus hastening ticket resolution times. Help drive awareness and use of the form by adding Web Widgets wherever you can on your web site: your homepage, sales page, contact page, etc. You can configure the Web Widget to also suggest articles from your Help Center, which can help increase awareness of your knowledge base.
- Trying to move away from accepting email requests? Push your customers to your Submit a Request form by setting up a trigger that will automatically reply to all new email tickets with a link to your Help Center and/or your Submit a Request form. The trigger can also automatically close those tickets so your agents never even see them.
- Are you introducing a knowledge base? The best way to increase awareness and drive traffic to your new knowledge base is to link to it anywhere and everywhere you can--especially where your customers are. Read our best practices article for more tips.
- Incentivize your customers! Reward promoters and active forum participants within your community with company swag, gift cards, or simply recognition in your forums, documentation, and social media, e.g. “Great tip from Bob today in our forums!”
What have you done to ensure your customers have an easy transition from your old system to your Zendesk? Let us know in the comments below!
Part 3: Keep the ball rolling
User adoption doesn’t stop as soon as you launch your Zendesk. Post-implementation planning and support is crucial to ensure smooth sailing. Now that you’ve got everyone on board, it’s time to think about maintaining that adoption in the long term. Here are some ideas:
For your customers:
- Foster customer engagement with small changes to your Help Center landing page or with different questions in their ticket submission forms.
- Integrate social media channels into your support process, so your customers can get help from more channels.
- Support your customers - including their questions about Zendesk. If you make changes to the way your customers interact with your business, communicate those changes as soon as possible.
- Listen to feedback from your customers. Learn how to better serve them with our new feature and deep dive webinars .
For your agents:
- Keep supporting your team. Enroll yourself and/or your team in Zendesk University training. Have a follow-up lunch-and-learn with your agents every so often to talk about what’s working and what might need tweaking.
- Measure success . Define clear metrics, and use Zendesk’s reporting tools to show your staff how much their performance improves. You’ll also be able to measure who’s not performing so well, and may need additional training or encouragement.
- Have a friendly contest, and send your top-performing agents to a Zen U or Zendesk User Group session in your area.
- Check out our apps to increase agent productivity and inject a little fun into the workday.
- Review our Best Practices resources on a regular basis to learn recommended workflows and practices. Subscribe to our Best Practices and Recipes articles to be notified of any updates.
- Subscribe to our Announcements and Release notes forums, and pass relevant feature and product updates to your team.