I'm a huge fan of "Jobs To Be Done", which is an approach to creating products and services. Today I thought I'd talk about Adoption and how this approach can help with building for Adoption.
Adoption and Knowing Your Jobs-To-Be-Done
As Clay Christensen, one of the originators of the concept explains "The idea behind jobs-to-be-done is that people hire your products to help them perform a job. If it does the job well, the next time we’re confronted with the same job, we tend to hire that product again. And if it does a crummy job, we “fire” it and look for an alternative." (source: https://hbr.org/2016/09/know-your-customers-jobs-to-be-done)
Understanding how to get your product hired over and over again to perform a job is what Adoption is all about.
If you really think about it, the number one issue that most products have when it comes to building and then marketing / distribution isn't Acquisitions. Acquisitions is actually fairly easy.
The fact is, the abandonment rates on apps for example are incredibly high. Most are downloaded once and abandoned. Most people only use a handful of apps on a daily or weekly basis.
I think one reason is because people don't look at Adoption enough and the factors that go into it. In many cases, people still start with Acquisitions and then move down the funnel. But acquisitions and optimizing for conversions is short sighted.
That's why I orient the strategies I do by looking at Adoption first.
Making the Switch
When it comes to Adoption, very often you are asking people to switch from something else to something you have to offer. More and more these days you are replacing something.
And understanding that is critical to your product and to your marketing and distribution strategy.
I work both with startups (one recent one in the same space as Digit) and big clients (a current client that is seeking to reduce calls to their call center and move customers to more of a self service model).
And it comes into play in both.
A Formula For Adoption
When it comes to making "the switch", there are (3) main factors I look at and build services (and customer on-boarding and engagement strategies) around.
I call this approach "Creating Adoptable Products".
1. Better choices.
Better choices mean for example that when I go online, I get presented a better set of choices that are more flexible and more relevant to me than I would have if I had called (for example).
And it's not just about lots of choices, but the right ones and what technology can do to create these better choices for me. Machine learning & personalization is definitely at the forefront of this.
2. Better control
We all want to control our destiny. And we want products that help us get control of the things we care about, by putting the power in our hands.
Some of the best products give us a sense of control over our daily hectic lives. It's that sense that I am the puppet master of my life (or situations that arise) and I control it vs. it controlling me.
It's what provides those "put me at ease" moments. Those "at ease" moments are what products like AirBnB know if they get that right, will be a major contributor to people hiring them again (and again).
3. Better outcomes
This to me is THE MOST IMPORTANT factor when it comes to switching and Adoption. In other words, I will switch if I am more successful in accomplishing my goals by going online vs. calling (or using one product over another). In other words, I simply get better results and it's less effort / easier to get those results I seek.
Again with AirBnB - my outcomes with them, whether it's been traveling to Austin or using them to make my way around Bali for a month, was so significantly better, easier (and frankly not only less stressful but delightful), that I will never use travelocity again. I used them once in Bali and it resulted in my poorest experience.
So I fired them.
Asking for the Right Job To Be Done
One of my clients recently told me that reduction of calls is one of the major cost reduction priorities for this year. And so they asked what we can do to understand how that switch happens.
Besides looking at the three main factors above, I came up with a formula to follow - the thing we should ask ourselves and in particular our customers to uncover that jobs-to-be-done.
"What can we do that would stop _____<customer>_____ from calling in under ______ <situation or circumstance> _______?"
In other words what is the thing that needs to happen to stop calling from being their default and to Adopt?
By answering the switching question and going for Adoption, you most likely will find a more unique or interesting insight that others are missing.... and a more sticky product that people will want to hire over and over again.