*As the delivery manager for Skuid’s professional services, I servant-lead a team of talented solutioneers in delivering world-class expertise to our customers as they continue their journeys with Skuid.
I’ve been reflecting on where I see organizations become wildly successful, and where I see organizations struggle with creating, launching, and managing business apps.
For me, a pattern emerges. I’m not an expert, and 18 months ago I wasn’t thinking this way. I’ve learned from others, and experiences continue to change my thinking.
*During workshops, scoping sessions, or many pre-sales conversations for business apps and tools, something that rarely, if ever, comes up as a key success factor is user loyalty. In my experience, that's not an exaggeration.
Business ROI, impact, cost savings, process improvement, efficiencies, speed-to-market, less code, more value, more deals, more market, beautiful, delightful, user experience, user adoption... those come up all the time. But user loyalty, that term is rarely, if ever, used.
Considering the amount of effort, time, and money spent to deliver business apps, for users, it’s incredible that this concept is so often neglected.
Meanings matter, user adoption vs. loyalty.
I’m not at all suggesting that the sponsors of apps don't care about the solutions and how they are built. On the contrary, I believe they do care very much. As stated earlier, "user adoption" gets thrown around often but it doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing as "user loyalty."
Adoption is what happens hopefully in the first 1–3 months after a business app launches. Loyalty is what happens after three months, and continues to happen 2 or more years later. Adoption implies a choice.
Loyalty implies a belief. Choices are changed more easily than beliefs. User loyalty means users are willing to continue to use this business app, choosing it over an available (and sometimes better) alternative.
User loyalty means using the app in the spirit intended, not malicious compliance or under threat, but because it makes sense, it's the right way to go.
When users are loyal, you get feedback and engagement, where users passionately share what is right and wrong about the app. When something goes wrong, users give development teams the chance to make it right. User loyalty means widespread evangelism and serious ROI. Loyalty is powerful.
Why loyal users are more desirable.
When you create loyal users, they will build habits around your business app. They'll give grace when there are challenges, because they have faith that the app can, and will, get better. They'll buy more, of what you're selling, listening, saying, promising, and fixing.
Loyal users generate predictable business outcomes. Loyal users provide insights which otherwise might go undiscovered. Loyal users provide the ultimate job security. Loyal users believe that:
- Your app truly is the best way for them to be better at their job and succeed at work.
- The people supporting the app really do want users to be better at their job and succeed at work.
Building loyal users is often costly, and never easy. I don't have all the answers or a magic formula. But if I had to choose just one thing as most correlated to user loyalty, it would absolutely be this:
Behind loyal users, there is a loyal product team.
In this blog, I talk more about how to optimize product management. Ready to learn more about building apps that create loyal users? Download the free eBook, Drive CRM success through effective user experience today!