The Epic Guide to Digital Adoption Platforms

8.12.2020, 5 minutes read

Why Digital Adoption Platforms?

There’s no doubt about it: business is incredibly tech-driven these days. Even if you don’t work in IT, you almost certainly spend a great deal of time using websites, software programs, apps, or other platforms as part of your job. As a customer, it’s also often the case that our routine interactions with product or service providers are through digital means.

For all their benefits, these online tools can be time-consuming for users to learn. Companies typically have sizable training & development budgets for this reason, with employees spending days or weeks each year in workshops, 1:1 or group training sessions, webinars, and presentations just to learn the ins-and-outs of their company’s suite of programs.

But, did you know that we forget up to 90% of what we’ve learned by the end of the first week? Shocking, right?
That’s because, despite having the best of intentions, training isn’t necessarily adapted to each user’s individual adoption journey. This means not only taking into account their current knowledge of a program, but also their individual learning style, level of tech-savviness, motivation to learn, and features they actually use.

As companies become more aware of the adoption aspect of deployment and onboarding, Digital Adoption Platforms (DAPs) have become increasingly popular to effectively teach people how to use digital resources in a way that works for them, while minimizing resource- and time-intensive in-person training.

So, what exactly is a Digital Adoption Platform? Our team of elves has put together this straightforward guide to help you sort through the technical mumbo-jumbo and answer all your burning questions.

 Table of Contents

  1. What is a Digital Adoption Platform?
  2. What are the benefits of using a Digital Adoption Platform?
  3. How do Digital Adoption Platforms work?
  4. What are the features of a DAP?
  5. Can DAPs be used with internal or external users?
  6. What type of companies and market segments is a DAP best suited for?
  7. How can a DAP drive business transformation?
  8. How much does a DAP cost?
  9. How does YesElf compare to its competitors?

What is a Digital Adoption Platform (DAP)? 

Let’s start with the most-asked question.

A Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) is a powerful software that enables employees and customers to learn how to use any corporate application or program rapidly, without the need for in-person training.

DAPs can help onboard new users (for example, new customers or employees) and to introduce product changes or new features.

The idea is that by learning the tool while actually using it in real life – rather than in a training setting – enables people to adopt it more quickly and cost-effectively.

When installed, the DAP overlays the company’s existing technology like an invisibility cloak. It then provides predictive on-screen guidance, visual tours, interactive guides, pop-up instructions, or tutorials on every aspect of the tool in front of you from basic functions like how to enter a password, through to more advanced actions such as creating or editing a file.

Visuals are supported by incredibly simplified, step-by-step instructions that are understandable to even the most non-technical, in-a-hurry user.

Bonus: as it’s all automated, user guidance is available 24/7, in real-time.

Another bonus: the right DAP can make learning not just practical, but enjoyable, too!

 What are the benefits of using a Digital Adoption Platform?

Problem: You have a corporate application or program that requires onboarding or has a lower-than-desired adoption rate.

Solution: Implement a Digital Adoption Platform to effectively guide users through any feature in real-time, with no extra support, and at a fraction of the cost. 

Business impact: Reduce user confusion, boost engagement and productivity, aid business transformation, and increase the company’s bottom line.

With business becoming more and more digital, everyone – from the CEO to customers – wants to get things done as swiftly as possible. Despite everything becoming so digitalized, not all of us are comfortable with technology. In fact, some of us will downright avoid it if it’s too time-consuming or impractical to bother with.

Employees may not have the luxury of avoiding the company’s tools, but customers certainly do. If they can’t figure it out quickly, nothing’s stopping them from taking their business and loyalty elsewhere.

That’s why making the technology interaction process intuitive, responsive, and quick is vital to your company’s bottom line and reputation. That’s where Digital Adoption Platforms come in.

A great Digital Adoption Platform can:

  • enable employees to be more productive, autonomous, and interactive - now and in the future

  • decrease customer support requests by making programs easier to interact with

  • slash support costs by up to 90%

  • help companies transform their business at multiple levels of the organization 

  • ensure users understand software with fewer errors

  • reduce training costs by 30%

  • facilitate faster adaptation to new software changes

  • minimize technology-induced stress = increased engagement and efficiency

How do Digital Adoption Platforms work?

Great question! 

There are literally dozens of Digital Adoption Platforms out there, all targeting various company types and market segments. They may vary in features, depending on provider and target audience. Some provide support in one or multiple languages.

So, let’s take a look at YesElf as an example.

YesElf’s Digital Adoption Platform leverages AI and machine learning technology to help companies create and edit intuitive software user guidance, even with no programming skills.

At the beginning of the partnership, YesElf works with companies to fully understand their needs, including existing user learning bottlenecks. We then fully customize, test, analyze, and implement the DAP to integrate seamlessly with the company’s software (just like the cool invisibility cloak we mentioned earlier).

The DAP then acts as a virtual, end-to-end training resource within the company’s actual program, providing simple instructions and widgets to show the user exactly how to use different features – as and when they need it.

But it doesn’t stop there. YesElf also provides post-implementation analytics and insights to enable companies to clearly understand how users are engaging with the tool, and to identify any issues along the way. Individual guide versions can be compared by conversion rate, efficiency, country, or language. The indicators appear in real-time and have a clear form.

Once implemented, the company can easily tweak the DAP to address future needs. We provide clear documentation on how to do this, without having to call in additional support or use a programmer to get it done. 

Fear not. We’ve got you covered.

What are the features of a DAP?

A really good DAP is personalized, comprehensive, intuitive, and adaptable. Once implemented, it should maximize automation and minimize any need for client intervention.

It should also offer a broad range of customizable features that can be adapted to the customer’s unique needs.

As an example, YesElf’s DAP features include:

  • Initial guidance expertise to deliver an outline of the onboarding process

  • Adaptive and responsive guidance positioning to keep the app responsive

  • UI changes detection to automatically move individual guide steps to the right position.

  • User behavior analysis, including predictive guidance

  • Personalization through segmentation, incremental learning, and personalized tours

  • Unique insights through A/B testing, mystery boarding, and analytics

  • Triggers, visual engagement, styling, and branding to support interaction and customization

  • Responsive, localized multimedia content and cross-device support

  • Multitenancy, on-premises software, and one-click publishing (enterprise clients) 

Can DAPs be used with internal or external users?

Either, or both! Basically, a DAP can help anyone who interacts with your digital tools. These tools may include a customer portal, mobile app, the company’s website, or internal systems.

While employees are a little more willing to learn how to use their employer’s technology (as their time is paid for), customers expect to complete whatever task they need to do almost instantly. If it takes too long, they’ll avoid the tool or seek help through time-wasting means for both sides (e.g., the company’s helpline). The worst-case scenario is that they simply take their business elsewhere.

So, the company’s digital adoption strategy needs to take into account customer retention as well as their overall experience. The product needs to be intuitive, easy to use, and fast for absolutely everyone – not just employees. A good DAP provider will be happy to offer guidance on this.

What type of companies and market segments is a DAP best suited for? 

No matter what your company’s size or market, if internal or external users need to access corporate applications or programs, then a Digital Adoption Platform is right for you.

DAPs are being used right now by Fortune 500 companies, along with mid-market and small organizations. As Digital Adoption Platforms are fully customizable, their features can be easily personalized for each company’s specific needs. The list of languages that can be supported by these platforms is also growing.

There are hundreds of reviews online which testify to the enormously positive impact – both financially and transformation-wise – that digital adoption platforms have brought to organizations all around the world.

Here are just some of the companies that YesElf is wowing right now.

How can a DAP drive business transformation?

Transformation is the process of making fundamental changes to how business is conducted.

When it comes to digital adoption, management may assume that everything will go smoothly with time, a bit of basic training, and a fragmented approach. But in reality, that’s not how people work. And that’s definitely not how to go about proactively transforming any organization.

While business transformation comes in several varieties, Digital Adoption Platforms directly impact:

a.   Organizational transformation – where the company is now and where it wants to be in future

b.   Management transformation – leadership actively guiding the company through changes in crucial operational elements such as processes and direction

c.   Information systems transformation – implementing leaner, modern, more efficient technology to achieve higher levels of efficiency, user engagement, and technical simplicity

d.   Business process transformation – radically changing elements of business processes (e.g. technology processes) to meet current and future business goals

e.   Cultural transformation – shifting the company’s culture at the organizational, department, or team level to align individual motivations with organizational goals, in order to create the best experience possible for everyone

How much does a DAP cost?

How long is a piece of string? 

The cost of a DAP will vary depending on provider, features, the number of users, and locations. Some DAP providers put a range on their website as guidance, which is absolutely helpful to get a ballpark figure. It’s important to remember that these are ranges, not the actual cost for your project.

That’s why it’s always best to get a customized quote for your specific requirements (and which is why we don’t publish ranges on our website).

We don’t believe in secrecy. But we do think it’s better to be pleasantly surprised by the quote than disappointed if it doesn’t fit an approximate range.

Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our pricing. We’re happy to sit with you to give specifics.

How does YesElf compare to its competitors?

We’re glad you asked. Extremely well!

Of course, while we love YesElf’s DAP, we recommend you compare success stories, testimonials, and case studies of other providers to make the best decision for your business. At the end of the day, successful digital adoption will increase user success and customer retention while decreasing support requests and user frustration. Selecting the right DAP provider is vital to achieving this.

Many DAPs offer free trials and personalized demos to give you better insight into the provider’s product and customer service. This is an excellent way of learning what works for your organization, without committing before you’re absolutely sure it’s the right provider for you.

Request your FREE no-obligation trial of YesElf to get you started on your comparison journey.


The success of YesElf’s DAP

Don’t just take our word for it. YesElf’s customers can enthusiastically vouch for the ability of our Digital Adoption Platform to truly revolutionize their business for the better.

As a recent example, when Aegon (NN) sought help to train thousands of users on its new insurance contract software, YesElf’s DAP was up to the challenge.

In close partnership, NN and YesElf analyzed existing user behavior, conducted meticulous usability testing, identified potential adoption issues, and carefully customized the DAP.

10/10. That’s how much YesElf bowled over NN in terms of functionality, support, relationship management, and customer service. Thanks to the epic DAP:

  • NN’s IT department activated and integrated YesElf super easily

  • YesElf’s training guides were accessed ~12,000 times in peak months

  • at least 80% of users utilized DAP training guides overall

  • YesElf scored a resounding 10/10 on every success metric

Pretty nifty, huh?


So, there you have it: Digital Adoption Platforms in a nutshell. As we’ve learned, a DAP can shorten the digital learning curve, increase engagement and productivity, save time and money on (re)training, and ultimately transform organizations for the better.

If you’d like to learn more about how YesElf works, this 1-minute video explains our key features.

Have we missed something that you’re keen to know more about? Our elves would be delighted to answer any questions you may have!

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