Driving adoption is a critical aspect of the Customer Success Organization at Microsoft as we empower customers to achieve their desired business outcomes. When it comes to managing change, customer success teams typically use “lighter-weight” adoption frameworks in contrast to end-to-end, formal change management processes. However, sometimes supporting adoption gets complicated and these informal approaches don’t support progress. What then? That’s when we apply the Prosci ADKAR Model. Here’s how Microsoft Customer Success teams use ADKAR to influence buy-in and diagnose customer blockers.
At most Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) organizations, customer success is an included benefit that comes with the purchase of the service. The goal is to support customers in adopting the service and achieving desired outcomes. Generally, customer success managers (CSMs) also serve as a conduit for the voice of the customer back to product teams, and work to engage any additional support and services needed, such as paid customer success engagements or consulting projects.
Microsoft’s Customer Success Organization works with larger customers across our three clouds: Microsoft 365, Dynamics and Azure. The Microsoft 365 Customer Success organization uses the ADKAR Model primarily to influence buy-in and diagnose common barriers to customer success and adoption.
The Prosci ADKAR Model
Many customers underestimate what’s needed to adopt and realize value from the tools and services provided to their employees. Part of our role in customer success is convincing customers to invest the time to put together an approach that goes beyond training.
Here are three primary ways the Microsoft 365 Customer Success Organization uses Prosci research and the ADKAR Model to influence buy-in and get customers working with us.
Source: Prosci Best Practices in Change Management – 11th Edition
Once the CSM has built the awareness and desire in the customer to do change management as part of their project, the customer might find a need for additional knowledge and ability. This is where Microsoft consulting teams and partners are engaged, working alongside customers to achieve sustained change and value.
CSMs are themselves trying to get stakeholders and project teams through a change in the form of the technology or solution they are being asked to adopt. In addition to building buy-in for a change, the ADKAR Model and the Prosci Methodology can help you understand and address common barriers to adoption when working with customers.
Emma Stephen is an Adoption and Change Management Consultant and former Customer Success Manager at Microsoft. She is passionate about bringing the human element into the workplace and believes technology both enables change and can catalyze wider change efforts if introduced in the right way. Emma lives in Zurich and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in applied positive psychology and coaching psychology, which she leverages in her work with Microsoft customers.
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