Blog post

New Research on Voice of the User Publishes

By Craig Roth | October 18, 2021 | 1 Comment

Tech Buying Behavioral InsightsTechnology Marketing EffectivenessVoice of the User

Have you wondered how user behaviors influence buyer behavior? Then you’ll want to check out “Cultivate the Voice of the User to Generate High-Value Adoption of Software Products”. It is culled from a survey of 4,953 respondents taken in mid-2021. The respondents were technology users at staff level (no managers). And with no direct influence on enterprise IT purchasing since we wanted to dig into how indirect influence is exerted and how users express their voice about the software they use.  

I co-led the survey with Jeff Chamberlain and was interested in shedding light on aspects of user behavior that I hadn’t seen addressed in other surveys:

  • In what ways is the voice of the user expressed (what is the “currency” of users)?
  • How often is the voice of the user expressed in productive versus subversive ways?
  • How often did the voice of the user influence other peers or IT?
  • Do users feel their voice is heard and valued by management, IT and vendors?

We found that anyone who still thinks buyers are in total control of users, like a well trained dog on a leash, is living in the past.  Users have found their voice and express it in a variety of ways according to our survey.

Survey says …

We found that 81% of users have taken actions that could, when taken by clusters of like-minded peers, potentially influence purchasing decisions or churn rates. These actions include ramping their own adoption up or down, communicating opinions to others, or even self-purchasing software. For our survey we honed in on what users do after a good or bad experience with the software. 

We found that 40% of users resist applications that have provided a poor experience. They have many ways of passively resisting applications they don’t like, with their favorite being to just use the bare minimum of features to get by. The next most common behavior is to put off using the application, followed by deflecting their usage to others.  By 2025 we expect more than half of users will resist applications that deliver poor experiences since the users are being empowered by SaaS and the democratization of IT.


More to come

This first survey doesn’t have all the answers. You can’t prove the revenue impact of users just by asking them. I expect these results to be very useful for vendors that consider user adoption and satisfaction a core competency. Which, I hope, is every application I have to use!  And over time I hope to triangulate through user-focused questions in surveys for other pieces of the puzzle such as buyers and CIOs.

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1 Comment

  • Julian Woodhouse says:

    Hey Craig,

    Interesting but unsurprising read to be honest. Users are “just” another type of customer and for me adoption is directly related to the quality of the scope of requirements and where they were obtained from before developing or investing in any solution. I would recommend collating as many user journeys as user types exist in the organisation and using that to make informed decisions. With that I believe adoption and embediment will be optimal and the ROI more likely to meet target expectation.