The World Cup, Software Adoption and Customer Success

The most amazing thing happened after recent World Cup game. The Japanese spectators all cleaned up after themselves in the stadium. Many of them had even brought their own trash bags to make sure that they could leave the place spotless. When have you ever heard of such a thing happening at the sports events you have attended? 

So, what do Japanese sport spectators have to do with software adoption customer success?  The answer is they both depend on behavior and showing respect for others. Let me explain. The BBC article about the Japanese spectators discusses how this is a cultural phenomenon. Japanese children are taught from an early age to be respectful and to pick up after themselves. This behavior is reinforced as they grow and continues even in adulthood. 

The key to software adoption and customer success is creating a culture in your organization that rewards desired user behavior. It requires you to build a culture where everyone is focused on how they do their jobs, and how they use software, to ensure that everyone across the organization can use the system as designed and intended. 

Most organizations get into trouble with software adoption and customer success when they narrowly focus just on the system functionality. They tend to ignore modeling, driving and reinforcing the desired work behaviors. They ignore focusing on driving user behavior where everyone is conscious and intentional about using a software as it is intended.

The BBC article goes on to say:

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"With constant reminders throughout childhood, these behaviors become habits for much of the population." 

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The lesson here for software adoption customer success is that you need to constantly reinforce the behavior that you want with reminders. This critical effort is oftentimes overlooked in many organizations. Who’s job is it to model this behavior? Who’s job is it to give the reminders? Who’s job is it to actually identify the desired user adoption customer success behaviors? 

Another interesting point is that this behavior is a source of pride for the Japanese spectators. 

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"In addition to their heightened consciousness of the need to be clean and to recycle, cleaning up at events like the World Cup is a way Japanese fans demonstrate pride in their way of life and share it with the rest of us,"  - explains Prof North.

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How can you create a culture in your organization where it is a source of pride that everyone is using the technology well? How do you create corporate culture that rewards desired behaviors? How do you create a corporate culture where people are encouraged to make sure that not only doing their job well, but that they are doing their job, and using technology systems in a way that enables others to use the data and system to excel at their jobs as well? 

We can all take a lesson from these Japanese spectators about how to improve software adoption and customer success. To be more successful, focus your efforts on creating a culture and environment that rewards desired user behavior. What steps do you take to create a culture that reinforces desired norms for effectively adopting systems and technology? 

Create the culture of system users taking pride in creating high-quality data the is shared throughout the organization. Think of these Japanese spectators and engage your users around these behaviors and principles. Model the behavior that you want. Be aware and take note when you see people using systems and doing their job as intended.  Publicize it across your organization when you see examples of excellence in using the software effectively.  If you do, you will have much greater success from your software investments!

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