As Relationship Managers, the most common question we get asked by our brands is, "How can I increase engagement on my platform?" What you are really asking is, what can I do to get my users logging in more often and get more value out of my platform?
Working with over 200 brands, we have plenty of ideas to share with you, but before we get into that, let’s first explore what engagement is – and how we measure it.
We define engagement as the percentage of active users who have logged into the platform in any given month. For example, a score of 91% means that 91 out of 100 active users logged into the platform at least once in that month. We then rank those results in order, so the higher the percentage, the better the ranking and that is the number we share with you. The brand with the highest engagement (e.g., 99% is ranked Number 1).
There are plenty of tips and tools on the platform that will encourage engagement, here are our Top 10:
1. Utilise tools from all four Products
One thing we notice with brands sitting towards the top of the rankings, is that they tend to use multiple tools across all four products in the platform, not just Training and Communication. Having a range of tools in operation gives the user more reasons to log in and gives them something different to do each time.
*Disclaimer, this is not always the case, and there are brands that operate with only two or three products and still get good engagement results.
2. Make it a Habit
Another common element we see is brands who encourage logging into the platform as a daily habit have better engagement results. Reasons for logging in could include completing a daily location checklist or cleaning audit and whilst there, checking for outstanding training. Another trick to getting users logging in for their information, is to use internal links in your communication. For example, if you create a notice which is sent out via email, include an internal link which forces them to log into the platform to see the document, instead of attaching it to the email.
3. Lead by Example
What makes a huge difference, is when managers lead by example and use the platform for all their communication and operational functions. For instance, instead of emailing the store outside of the platform to the store email address and not knowing who will read it), use the Notices tool to address all members of the team, or create a Forum post, so that everyone can respond and be part of the conversation. This often works well for area managers addressing a group of stores to update them and rev them up for the week. Don’t forget that all business-critical information can be tracked and reported on for compliance purposes by using the ‘mandatory setting’ in the Notices tool. Adding Learning and Operational goals to the KPI’s of managers also helps to "encourage" further use!
The Forums tool is a great way to engage team members and have them logging in to check posts and respond. Creating a specific forum thread and giving clear instructions on what you expect helps; and offering weekly prizes and giveaways to encourage participation works wonders as well. Ask users to share on a variety of topics and post anything they like, including pictures, videos, links, stories (work-related or not)- the main purpose should be to entertain or inform, create a connection with others, and to make someone else’s day better.
5. Daily Checklists (Location Reviews)
Another great way of getting team members to log in every shift is to create a daily checklist (using the Location Reviews tool) that outlines tasks that need to be completed. Think of it as an electronic to do list, it also acts as a useful training tool for new starters, allowing them to check off a series of tasks to ensure they have completed everything they need to do when starting or ending a shift. A setting you might like to consider using is ‘modifiable by others’ which allows another user to complete a review that was started by someone else earlier in the day. This works well when the review or checklist spans across several shifts and each new person contributes something to the same form. You could also use it to create an electronic version of the store communication diary, allowing team members to leave notes for their fellow workers.
6. Service Desk
Service Desk is one of our most popular tools and is a sure-fire way to get users logging in on a regular basis. Brands use this tool to manage requests for assistance throughout the business, it allows for greater visibility including the ability to track response times and highlight areas that might need attention – persistent requests for maintenance might prompt an investigation into a service provider, for example. Categories can be as generic or specific as you like and tend to include IT, Payroll, Training, Warehouse, Property, Accounts Receivable, Retail Ops, Marketing, to name a few.
7. Leave Requests (Incident Reports/ Forms)
A common way to use the Incident Reports tool (or Forms) is to push all leave requests through the platform and use the Escalation or Action Plan features for approval. Leave request such as annual leave and personal leave, are applied for and saved in the platform, with visibility by payroll and assigned managers. When a team member requests time off, they fill in the appropriate form, attach relevant items such as medical certificates, and submit for review by their location manager. Once this has been approved, the form is then 'escalated' through to HR/Payroll. Action Plans can be used to communicate to the team member if further information is required.
8. Video Widget on Dashboard
Video is another great way to draw users to the platform. Sharing a personalised video from the CEO, for example, or dropping an exciting clip showing the latest product release, means users must login for the privilege of viewing that information. Directing users to the platform on a regular basis is imperative to ensure they are not missing out.
9. Image Gallery
Uploading and sharing photos into the Image Gallery is a great way to create buzz and competition between your sites especially around the holiday season or special promotions and events. Users can demonstrate how they have styled the latest campaign, or share their visual merchandising set up with others in their region or brand. Doing this can inspire other locations to up their game! You can choose to have an admin upload the photos or users can upload their own images directly into the gallery folder.
10. Updating your Dashboard
And finally, last, but not least, updating your dashboard on a regular basis with new content, videos, and widgets, makes for a more interesting destination for your users. A fun way to do this is to match up the changes with promotional campaigns or special times of the year such as Easter and Christmas or change the images according to the seasons. A bright and colourful ‘summer version’ followed by the muted colours of autumn or winter can make a world of difference to your homepage – it is entirely up to you. There are plenty of free design tools around which can help you achieve a new look every few months. Check out Canva, Joomag, or Yumpu which can turn your content into sleek-looking designs. Have fun with it - you can be as visually creative as you like.
So, there you have it, 10 ways to improve engagement on your platform. If you would like to discuss any of these ideas in more detail, please reach out to your Relationship Manager to schedule a meeting, we would love to help you.