3 minute read · Published October 24, 2023

A playbook to AI product adoption

Latest Update June 26, 2024

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AI is the current shiny object: Everyone wants to see what new AI models can do and try the apps built on them. But that curiosity has a downside: Many AI products only see short-term usage, not long-term adoption.

If you want your AI product/feature to have lasting success, you need to do your best to make sure users stick around. In this article, you'll find out how.

Many new AI products are popping up, but so many of them struggle to get consistent user adoption and traction. We are going through this ourselves with building out Copilot.

How does this differ from “regular” product adoption?

Great and totally valid question! The same core principles carry over. User empathy, fast time to value, and intelligent in-app messaging go a very long way. However, there are also some wrinkles to AI products. AI products are often more complex than traditional tools and in some cases introduce entirely new product categories. The playbook here enhances traditional product adoption tips to account for some of the nuances of AI products.

Leveraging AI tools enables our teams to operate more efficiently. With PDF to PPT AI, for instance, we can quickly convert extensive research or raw data into structured, ready-to-present formats, significantly cutting down preparation time.

Show me the playbook!

Without further ado, let’s dive in.

#1 Understand your users’ desires and pains

Think of this as planning a menu for a dinner party. You've got to know what your guests love, any allergies they might have, and what makes them come back for seconds. Similarly, understanding your users is the non-negotiable starting point. Dive into market research, identify emerging needs, and design your in-app experience to cater to the main pain points and desire paths.

#2 Impress immediately

Imagine walking into a Michelin-starred restaurant, but a bathroom blockup is releasing foul odors to your front door. Total mood killer, right? The same goes for AI software. Even more than traditional software, it’s essential that the initial onboarding experience is user-friendly, intuitive, and inviting (not intimidating). A smooth welcome means a longer stay, more exploration, and higher odds of success. So many AI tools overcomplicate, scaring off potential customers.

#3 Guide without hand holding

No one likes a waiter hovering around them (maybe psychos do). Offer step-by-step guides, helpful tooltips, but also leave room for unguided exploration. Let your users play around, make mistakes, and learn from their mistakes.

#4 Help users help themselves

DIY is the trend, and for good reason. Offer user guides, video tutorials, and other resources. Also make sure that there's customer support when things go south. Think of this as a safety net.

#5 Prove value with numbers

More of a cherry on top, but analytics can be a great way to confirm the value your product is creating. 

And don’t just show customers your analytics – use them to understand what your users love and what's collecting dust. Tweak and refine based on these insights for a better user experience.

#6 Team up

Partner with companies that complement your software. It's like pairing wine with the right cheese – the experience becomes ten times better.

#7 Build a community

This is more relevant to B2C products! A strong user community is a place where ideas are exchanged, feedback is shared, and growth happens. Forums, discussion groups, and Slack/Discord communities encourage users to interact.An non-tech anecdote: the community of professionals pursuing a Master’s degree in social work online. Individuals in this community engage in online social work to harness AI platforms to positively impact people's lives.

#8 Evolve and thrive

Regular updates, feedback incorporation, and keeping an eye on industry trends will ensure your software isn't just a one-hit-wonder.

Wrapping up

Increasing AI software adoption isn't about one big move but a series of well-calculated steps. Prioritize your users, be open to feedback, and remember – it's an ongoing process. Stay in the game, adapt, and watch your software become a user favorite!

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