Can Salesforce Documentation Improve User Adoption?

Posted by Jonathan DeVore

IMG_2068If you want your organization to regularly use Salesforce, you have to clear the path for them so that using Salesforce is easy.

That may require you to make the user experience more enjoyable by changing the physical layout or workflow, but it can also be done by simply providing users with better directions.

Give your users better directions

I recently read about a study that was conducted to answer a very basic question - 

Can jerks be charitable, too?

Researchers decided they wanted to better understand why college students dontated, or didn't donate, to a food drive. They first created a list of students who were charitable (i.e. "saints") and a list of students who were not (i.e. "jerks") by polling students from a dorm. 

Then, the researchers randomly gave the jerks and the saints one of two letters:

  1. A basic announcement of a food drive, an invitation to donate, and the name of the spot where they could leave food.
  2. A detailed letter that included an announcement of a food drive, a request to bring canned beans, a map to the exact spot to drop it off, and a suggestion to drop by when they were in the area.

After the food drive was over, the researchers had a list of everybody who donated food. They compared the list of all students who donated to the list of saints and jerks from the dorm they polled - they saw some very interesting results.

Better directions = better actions

Of the students who received the first kind of letter (basic announcement), none of the jerks donated food and only 8% of the saints donated - the jerks lived up to expectations, but the saints had a pretty weak showing.

Of the students who received the second kind of letter (detailed map and recommendations), 42% of the saints donated and 25% of the jerks donated - a significant improvement for both the jerks and the saints.

So it turns out, jerks can be charitable - you just need to make it easier for them to donate. And if you want to see better performance from saints, the same thing applies. Clear the path and you get better results from everybody, regardless of their attitude. *

Make using Salesforce easier

The researchers found that when they cleared the path for making food donations, even just a little bit, it made a big difference in how students acted. Sometimes all people need are helpful instructions and some clear directions.

So when you're implementing Salesforce in your organization, or asking somebody to begin using Salesforce, think about ways you can clear the path for them. In most cases, you don't need to modify the physical layout or workflow of Salesforce to improve usage - you may find that you can see big results by simply creating better Salesforce documentation that provides a clear map of what to do and how to do it.

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*Source: Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, pgs. 182-183

Topics: Salesforce adoption