Over the past several years, and more recently due to COVID-19 restrictions, many companies have made the switch from live demos to virtual demos and screen shares, and live training sessions to virtual training session. But are users able grasp the concepts of platform workflow processes with just a live demo? Are your managers still being pinged throughout the day to help users complete new or updated tasks? Instead of being virtually tapped on the shoulder, let Digital Adoption Platforms tap your employees on the shoulder! Digital Adoption Platforms like Walkme are all the rage in the age of remote hiring, onboarding, employee training and upskilling.
Skepticism from Purists
These on-screen, just-in-time training solutions that walk users step by step through a workflow have been touted to decrease support and help desk tickets, as well as ensure users are independently and successfully completing processes within platforms like Salesforce, Zendesk and Workday from their very first day of work.
However, instructional design and curriculum purists may be skeptical as to the long-term value of these tools, claiming that traditional and formal training methods are more robust and provide users with all Gagné’s 9 Events. How could this new tool possibly provide everything needed to learn new skills and workflows? Sure, digital adoption tools provide on-screen guidance, but what about feedback? What about the recall of prior learning?
Having worked as a Digital Adoption Solutions Consultant for the past several years I’ve seen companies at various stages of transformation who have benefitted from a Digital Adoption Platform. There was Lendingclub, a company going through a major hiring boom over the course of 6 months, Robert Half International who was migrating over 10,000 global users from Salesforce Classic to Salesforce Lighting, and currently T-Mobile, who is going through a major merge with Sprint, integrating data, employees, and products all over the course of a few months!
Having been part of and having lead the digital adoption efforts at these companies, I can confidently say that users being trained with a digital adoption platform, not only experience all 9 of Gagné’s events of instruction, but more successfully reach and complete each event as a result of the arsenal of solutions a digital adoption platform brings.
How can 1 single tool help a platform user reach all 9 events?
While there are a few digital adoption tools and just-in-time training tools on the market right now, I’m going to stick with what I know, and what is considered to the be pioneering Digital Adoption Platform, Walkme.
1: Gain Attention
Walkme’s main strength is that it reaches the user where they are, right in the tool! The user doesn’t have to dig for a paper-based job aid in a data repository, and most importantly, and effectively, Walkme can help engage the user right on the screen with ShoutOuts and SmartTips, guiding them towards content or the concepts. Nothing more attention grabbing than a balloon popping right up on your screen!
(Fig 1. ShoutOut informing CRM users that the account they are landed on has possible duplicates. By clicking Next, the user will be instructed on how to merge duplicate accounts).
2: Inform the Learning of Objectives
One of the most effective ways the learner is informed of the learning and training objectives is in the title of the Walk-Thru. These walk-thru names found within the on-screen Walkme menu help the user immediately understand the end goal such as “Download a Bill” or “Add a New User”.
(Fig 2. The Walkme menu in T-Mobile’s internal Platform, Accounthub for customer care agents)
3: Recall Prior Learning
While Walkme has several solutions to automate user processes, Walkme can’t exactly tell you which record to go to if you need to update a Contact or an Opportunity record. Walkme requires the user to recall prior and more rudimentary knowledge by instructing the user to go to a record page and resuming the walk-thru steps once the user as arrived at the page.
(Fig 3: This Walkme step instructs the user to recall more rudimentary knowledge to navigate to an Opportunity record in Salesforce to continue the new process.)
4: Present Content
Walkme doesn’t just present content to the user, Walkme presents the context right when and where the user needs it. The step by step balloons guide the user seamlessly through processes, some of which can contain upwards of 20-30 steps, all while ensuring the user is completing the process correctly and efficiently.
Earlier this year at T-Mobile, a comprehensive web-based training had been created for a new prospecting tool, ZoomInfo. However, after 3 weeks with the tool, even though 100% of users had completed the training, only 30% had engaged with the tool and performed a single prospecting activity. In response to this low engagement rate, Walk-thrus were created, helping engage the user to login to the tool and perform their first searches. Productivity within the tool rose by 30% within the first week, bringing content and context to their prospecting searches!
(Fig 4. The user is instructed to select the locations for their search in the tool ZoomInfo, reminding them not to select areas outside of their designated territory, part of our new sales model at the New T-Mobile).
5 & 6 Provide Guidance and Elicit Performance
Gagné’s events 5 and 6 go hand in hand with a Walkme experience, as walk-thru steps provide the guidance a user needs to complete a process, as well as in-context practice and performance right within the platform in a live environment. The user can use the Walk-Thrus to complete the process of “Creating a Lead” or “Logging Time Off” as many times as they need until they have practiced the process sufficiently to perform it on their own.
7: Provide Feedback
Processes like filling out CRM and HRM forms seem to take forever and it is easy to miss required fields, causing the system to throw up an error message when they try to submit the form. Walkme saves time and frustration by providing users with feedback right on the spot in the form of SmartTips, without having to wait for Workday or Salesforce forms to throw up an error message after having missed a required field.
As part of our new Territory Selling model at T-Mobile, Walkme supported our users in the New Lead form with a validation SmartTip. This SmartTip would throw up a red “alert” if the users entered in a Zip Code that was outside of their territory, informing them that they would be required to fill out an additional request form if they wanted to proceed and submit the Lead form. This SmartTip validation saved our users time and frustration by providing feedback on their process immediately and not waiting for their form to be rejected.
(Fig 5. As part of our new Territory Sales Model, the user will receive an error if they enter a zip code for a Lead that is outside of their assigned territory).
8: Assess Performance
Walkme does even more than just providing feedback and assessing performance through SmartTip validation. The step-by-step model of Walk-thrus means that users aren’t missing any steps of a process, and are completing a process correctly each and every time! A way to let users know they have completed a process successfully is to provide a “Toast” message, congratulating the user at the end of a workflow and helping them celebrate their success in completing the process.
(Fig 6. A “Toast” popup after successfully completing a Walk-Thru in ZoomInfo, celebrating the user’s success and letting them know the process is complete).
9: Enhance Retention and Transfer to the Job
A major benefit of Walkme, is that this step is already done as soon as they complete a Walk-Thru. There is no need to step outside of the LMS or webinar and try to take what they’ve learned to the CRM or HRM. They’ve already completed the action on-the-job, completely independent of trainers, managers or their peers. The employees also know exactly where to go if they need help performing the process again, leading to increased independence and success within the platform.
So, while many may still be ride or die for virtual or instructor led demos for systems and platform training, it’s hard to ignore the mounting evidence of the effectiveness of Digital Adoption Platforms. And even harder to ignore the hundreds of thousands of users who are independently experiencing Gangé’s 9 Events of Instruction with every single step-by-step workflow they complete!
I'm an industry leader in Digital Adoption Technology, Digital Learning, LX, and Employee Enablement with several years of experience creating disruptive and strategic technology learning programs for global companies.