How to create training content that maximizes user adoption

Content creators drive user & problem-based content creation that maximizes digital adoption. Learn how the role of content creators as shapers of digital adoption is expanding and changing.

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Digital Adoption Talks - how to create training content that maximizes user adoption

The quick overview

Content creators drive user adoption through problem-based content creation. Learn how the role of content creators as shapers of digital adoption is expanding and changing how they create training content.

Listen to the podcast to learn what the role of content creators is like for digital adoption now and in the future. Including:

  • Why user adoption strategies and content should go hand-in-hand
  • How to create training content that compliments your user adoption strategy
  • Which kind of training content keeps users engaged
  • What partners can do better to support digital adoption with their current customers they’ve already deployed and in future projects.

Heidi Neuhauser (CEO Reenhanced), joins hosts Rick McCutcheon and Joachim Schiermacher. Neuhauser adds unique insight into how people not only use Dynamics CRM, but also how users embrace it or reject it and why. At her company, she specializes in building strategies to reach users, creating training content based on their needs and problems. Most importantly, she emphasizes that being less technical and more business-minded is always a critical factor in communication strategy.

Plus, don’t miss Heidi’s perspective on how the low-code, no-code platform has opened horizons for citizen developers. Learn how this technology is going to continue to empower citizen developers and what they will be doing more and more of (on their own!) in the future.

Listen and watch to the podcast on YouTube

The full conversation

[00:00:00] Heidi Neuhauser, Microsoft Dynamics MVP

Rick McCutcheon: Hello everybody. I’m Rick McCutcheon. I’m a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Applications MVP. And I want to thank you for tuning into digital adoption talks. Today, there are over 300,000 business professionals with digital adoption in their job titles on LinkedIn. On this show, along with my co-host Joachim Schiermacher, CEO of ClickLearn.

We talked to some of the leading digital adoption experts in the Microsoft ecosystem, and we’ve got one today. I want to welcome this week’s guest, Heidi, Neuhauser Microsoft Dynamics MVP. Heidi, say hello to the audience. 

Heidi Neuhauser: Hello. Thanks for having me, Rick. 

Rick McCutcheon: Okay, fantastic. So we’re going to start off with the first question to Heidi.

Tell us about your MICROSOFT DYNAMICS 365 history and what are you doing now with Re-enhanced, which is your company, and let’s talk about the outstanding content you’re now creating for the [00:01:00] Microsoft ecosystem. 

[00:01:00] Insight into why users embrace or reject Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Heidi Neuhauser: Yeah, sure. So my journey in Microsoft Dynamics 365 started as an end user. 

So I was a customer and I was a system administrator at a couple different organizations, a Fortune 100 company, a small nonprofit, and a medium size education company, which gave me a really interesting background of how people not only use Dynamics CRM, but also how users embrace it or reject it and why, and kind of build some different strategies to reach different users.

[00:01:33] Implementing Microsoft Dynamics on the Partner side

So I like that. I have that in my past because I feel like it gives me a different perspective. The last five years I’ve been on the partner side, so I’ve been implementing dynamics. So I’ve always approached it from a system admin perspective because I have so many of my formative years in system admin, which also involved end user training and getting people using the system.

[00:02:00] Content development: Focus on what problem you are solving for the user

So it’s kind of my history and why I’m focused on user adoption. And the question about content is really interesting too, because I feel like a lot of the content that I create develops from me searching for an answer from me trying to find how to do something. And if I can’t find it, I kind of dive in. I like to get hands-on with things and learn it that way.

And I figure if I have that question, I’m sure other people do too. So I drive a lot of the content from things that I need to do in the real world in Dynamics. I’m in there every day. I’m our system admin at Reenhanced. So, you know, we drink our own Kool-Aid here. It’s been really, really neat developing content from that perspective.

So everything that I’m building, everything that I’m creating on my blog or my YouTube channel or for a customer is really focused on what problem can I solve? And I, I try to be really, really conscious of the language that I use in my content to kind of be less technical with my speaking and more business minded, which I think is really fun.

Did I answer all of your questions? That’s, that’s a good start.

Rick McCutcheon: Joachim, would you like to add anything? 

[00:03:00] Out-of-the-box solutions lacking in customer engagement spaces

Joachim Schiermacher: I think that I’ve had the privilege of following your blog for quite a while, and I think there’s some super interesting and cool content there. And I was excited to see how far you’re going.

And I think one of the things that is definitely lagging in the customer engagement spaces are out-of-the-box processes for doing things, it’s limited right? Microsoft had the learning pathways that they tried to integrate into the solution, but they left it basically to the partners to enable that, and that didn’t really take off.

So I think that they removed it again as kind of not really succeeding, but I think that the instructional videos and how do you do specific things in customer engagements is necessary. 

[00:04:00] People need training in web apps too

I think that when I go into an average screen you know, an average form inside Dynamics CE. I will have access to around 114 different functions in one single screen.

So the idea that if someone comes to you and says, but it’s a web application, right? You don’t need that much training in this. It’s like, really? That’s wrong. That’s completely off. You really need training in order to understand some of the advanced topics in, you know, advanced search. How do you search for things?

[00:04:30] In-app help is the next wave

How do you bring that to life? It’s just enormous areas and I think that these types of blogs are going to come up. I look forward to the day when we are bringing that content into the experience of the application. So meaning that we, in the context of the user, are capable of serving Heidi content directly.

In the face inside CE, you don’t need to go to the blog. You got it right in front of you. That I think will be tremendously exciting. 

Heidi Neuhauser: Yeah, that would be, and if I can just, oh, go ahead. 

Rick McCutcheon: And if I can just comment on, you know, Heidi like watching your journey kind of through the lens of the user group community.

[00:05:00] Look at who will use a system and create content for that user

You know, all of a sudden this Heidi Newhouse starts showing up at meetings and she starts leading events and next thing I know, she’s an MVP and it happened very, very quickly. So I think you’re absolutely on the right track on the angle you come with when you teach. Right. You know, really there’s, there’s a lot of MVPs out there that I think just get too technical and narrow it down to, you know, who’s going to use this?

Well, yeah, a programmer’s going to use it. But I think what the community really needs is exactly what you said, Heidi. Like, who’s using the system? Who’s administrating the system? And then how do we, how do we pull all that together? 

Heidi Neuhauser: Yeah. 

Heidi Neuhauser: I just want to make one last comment, so that, that’s a great point.

There’s a lot of really excellent technical content out there for developers, but with this rise in citizen developers, I think the, the low code, or even better no code tools that you have available to you and kind of driving your content around that is more important now than it ever was before.

[00:06:00] Current and future role of content creators 

Rick McCutcheon: What do you feel the role of content creators will be in like digital adoption now and in the future? 

Heidi Neuhauser: That’s a really interesting question. So I feel like good user adoption and good content kind of go hand in hand. Your content should support your user adoption strategies. Right? 

If you have contextual information at the moment of the user’s need and provide it in small, easy to digest chunks. Like a tiny little video or a short little how to, or maybe just like a diagram. Whatever you can create just to have it available at the moment that user needs it, without them having to leave the application. 

I know there are, there’s like the skeleton of the potential to build this in CE today with the custom learning path and customizing your help pain. But it, it’s a little limited. 

[00:07:00] Always keep the end user of the content in mind 

It might not be the best experience, but I feel like, again, just really remembering who you’re developing the content for is probably the biggest struggle. So if you’re, you’re rolling out Microsoft Dynamics for sales, that’s probably a bit of different content that you’re going to build.

[00:07:14] Tips for content creation from Heidi Neuhauser

You have to use their dialect, you have to understand. What words make sense to them? What’s going to resonate with them? And if you can reflect that in all of your content, it’s going to be used and embraced more widely. And then you end up with content that complements your user adoption strategy and continues to help reinforce all the good habits that you want with the digital adoption.

Rick McCutcheon: Joachim, would you like to add anything?

Joachim Schiermacher: I think that there’s a gap here, right in this ’Trinity of Hell’ that we’ve built up with partners on one side, vendors, and then the customer at the end of the entire journey. 

[00:08:00] Starting from a vendor perspective is not the way to go

The problem here is that when we start from a vendor perspective, it’s very, very difficult.

It’s an almost impossible task to actually go in and understand all the processes that someone builds on top of your technology. From a partner perspective, they’re not getting paid to do that, and they cannot do a repeatable business model in delivering that content. So the customer is very often stuck on their own.

[00:08:15] Video content needs to be short and concise

And I can see that the way that people are training today in IT, they don’t sit down for six hours and watch a video. They want it fast. They want like one-minute, two-minute interactions and they want to get it to the point immediately. And there’s a whole new generation coming up that has, I mean, absolutely no attention span in terms of software not working.

[00:08:30] Cater to the YouTube audience

They’re used to uninstalling apps all the time if they can’t bring it to work in two seconds, they’re out. And I think that we need to understand how to cater for that audience. And they are the YouTubers. They’re, whenever they have a problem in their life, whatever it is, love you know, drinking wine, whatever, they’re going to go to YouTube and they’re going to watch something for one minute, right?

Rick McCutcheon: No, maybe even 30 seconds on TikTok. Right? So, exactly. 

Joachim Schiermacher: TikTok, that’s, that’s going to be a challenge for us. 

[00:09:00]  Think about what the specific end user groups need to accomplish

Rick McCutcheon: And Heidi’s comment about, let’s say, we’ll use a salesperson as an example. Most of the training out there, you know, doesn’t tell a salesperson how to create an opportunity. How to save that opportunity and say, change the stage.

That’s what the sales rep wants to do. You know, if we’re using a product like ClickLearn, we can go in there and create these snippets that do exactly what the user, because that sales rep’s going to use that application very differently than the customer service or the field service or the administrator.

And I think a lot of people think, well, you know, just let’s put the training together and, and this is how we’ll train everybody. 

So our next question, Heidi, I want you to take off your content hat and put on your partner hat for a second. 

[00:10:00] How Partners can support digital adoption

And what can partners do better to really support digital adoption in, you know, with their current customers they’ve already deployed and in future projects?

Heidi Neuhauser: That is a difficult question. So much of it comes down to developing and documenting your business process. Like we were talking about before, having all of that defined and understood and embraced. And then bringing in the content, because a lot of times you are building the content and you’re like, okay, let me just train on how we’re going to go lead to opportunity and what the steps and stages are.

[00:10:30] Content can become confusing with a one-size-fits-all approach

And then you discover like, oh no, this international sales group does it one way. And then the domestic sales does it a different way. And then you end up with disparate processes and training different people, and then your content becomes really confusing. 

[00:11:00] #1 Tip: Clearly define processes using language

So clearly defining your processes using language like ‘as an internal sales rep…’ and then wording your requirements that way from the person first, what does this user group need to accomplish? All of that’s going to help the team who’s building your content to build the right content for the right people. So I guess that’s one tip I would have.

Rick McCutcheon: Okay, great. Joachim, would you like to add anything about how, you know, what can partners do now and in the future to really help their customers? 

Joachim Schiermacher: Yeah. I think that one of the things that I often see in content is that we take the assumption that motivation lies within the description, right? So the idea that we describe a process is motivating enough for you to do it.

[00:11:35] Motivating users: Explain the ‘Why’

But we are dealing with adults, not, not children. You don’t need to motivate why you need to do. At least not in any adult sense. You, you can simply state, look, you need to learn this, and they’re going to sit down and listen to it. But if you’re talking about sales reps you need to motivate to explain why we are doing this.

[00:12:00] Motivating users: Performance support is key

And I think that that goes into sort of the multimedia world. I think that the video content and many of the things that you are doing, Heidi, where you’re putting yourself in the role of the person that is sitting at the keyboard is very important in terms of motivation. 

The second part of that is obviously there’s a performance support.

I know 90% of the task, I just need to have the last two steps. I don’t need to watch a 30 minute motivational video on that. I just need to get the steps done. And that’s where we drive in the performance support. But I think that what we will see in the future is more multimedia content in there.

The partners are going to look for technology that can provide all of that into a single box. 

Rick McCutcheon: Perfect. Okay, Heidi. For the last closing question, any closing thoughts on content on digital adoption that you’d like to share with our audience? . 

[00:13:00] Last words and advice from Heidi Neuhauser

Heidi Neuhauser: Yeah. I’ll just share a desire that anyone out there who’s creating content, just to remember, your job is to help somebody to do their job faster, more efficiently, quicker, and, and you have the power.

Isn’t that exciting to like, help create something that’s going to make somebody’s life easier? And when you’re, when you’re building your content, just make sure that you point out all of the ways that the technology of the platform is going to enhance the user adoption. If you can automate a report that saves somebody two hours a week, just focus on the what’s in it for me, for those user groups, and it will be different for your different user groups.

[00:13:30] Content with better reach is within your reach

 So really put on your hat to kind of sit down and feel what it’s like to be them (the end users). And your content will have a way better reach than you can ever imagine. 

Rick McCutcheon: Perfectly said. Joachim. Would you like to close with anything? 

Joachim Schiermacher: No, I wouldn’t, I would like to ask a question because now we have Heidi in the room.

[00:14:00] Possibilities in natural language, AI, and automation

Right. So, so I actually have a question. The low-code, no-code platform that the citizen development which I know that you are, you are absolutely one of the proponents about how do you see that moving forward inside the Dynamics CE environment and how do you see that changing?

Heidi Neuhauser: That’s a really good question. There have been so many enhancements in the world of natural language. This is what I’ve been diving into lately. So taking AI models and applying them to things. This is a little outside of CE, but it ties into things like Power Automate. So now, You know, as a citizen developer, a no-code person, I love Power Automate.

[00:14:30] Natural language will allow people to go farther without developers

I think it’s such a cool tool where you can automate many things, but I can only take it so far before I need to call in a developer and have them write an expression or have them take it where I want it to go. I can make the bones, but I can’t put ’em in the right order, or I can’t define the flesh layer that goes on top of it, but now they are rolling out natural language. 

So I can just say what I want from a business scenario and it builds that flow for me. It’s amazing. 

[00:15:00] Learn more about natural language capabilities

And I just was recording Power Tips with Kylie Kaiser and Malcolm McCulley, and we were diving into natural language that’s within Power FX on Power Apps, which is amazing. So you could say, ‘Show me the top 10.’ And it writes the Power FX formula bar for me.

So I think this is another example of how the technology is improving so much that it’s going to continue to empower citizen developers to do all of these things on our own. And it’s going to save, you know, the developer skillset for more intense things that they probably like better, right? Like build me this custom thing from scratch and they get to go do that.

[00:15:30] Citizen developers are moving beyond traditional boundaries

And then our citizen developers continue to build things that we didn’t even think was possible a few years ago. So I’m excited to see where all of this goes and how it’s all on the Dataverse platform, which is the same as CE. So everything they’re doing on Dataverse is going to affect us in CE, so it’s just going to be even more powerful, the things that we can do inside of CRM that are just so much farther beyond the old boundaries of customer service and sales and marketing. It’s just exciting.