How can we improve adoption of new features?

The number one reason customers don’t take advantage of new features is because they’re not explained in a manner that’s relevant to how people do their job. Most new features are communicated as follows:

  • Here is a great new feature.
  • Here’s how it works  (usually spoken in the language of gratuitous buzzwords like “streamlined” and “multidisciplinary”).
  • Here’s the benefit.

What’s missing? Context. If you can’t give your users a scenario (job task) that’s familiar to them and how the new feature set will help, chances are, they won’t use it.

For example, “Here’s a great new feature that will make your job easier in the following scenario:”

Let’s say a customer calls for technical support and during the call they also want to know… This new feature will allow you to research and answer that question without transferring the customer to another technician where they’ll have to wait in the queue and then repeat their customer information all over again. Our goal with this feature set is to make your job easier and give your customers more reasons to stay loyal.

When it comes to announcing new features, your communications should be written in context of what a user would be doing, why it’s challenging and how the feature will make their job easier.

Here’s the kicker. This user scenario should have been defined exactly as stated above long before the feature set was ever designed and built. If you do that, you don’t have to create a whole new dialogue during the release phase. Just repurpose the user scenarios into the appropriate customer communications, marketing and sales dialogues and your work is done.