Implementing a super-app: Blink’s steps to success

When looking to upgrade from Workplace from Meta, it is crucial to understand what the implementation process will look like for your workforce.

What we'll cover

With the news that Workplace by Meta will be shutting down within a year, there are going to be thousands of companies looking to replace their employee experience platforms soon.  Sure, finding a new solution for internal communications with the right features and functionality is important, but just as important (and not talked about enough) is the implementation and rollout experience for employees. 

In my mind, a great product implemented poorly is no longer a great product.  So, what does a great implementation process and experience really look like? 

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your employee app before Workplace from Meta shuts down or you’re just curious to learn more about Blink, here is my take on what a great implementation experience should look like. 

I’ve spent over a decade in the implementation space and know how common it is to hear that a vendor will “go the extra mile” for a customer during the crucial time between signing the contract and launching the technology. 

Rarely, though, is the extra mile enough; sometimes, what it takes is the extra 1,600 miles. 

Prior to my role as Head of Implementation at Blink, I spent the first 8 years of my career in technology consulting working at large firms like Aon and Accenture. In that time, I travelled to 30+ countries and learned how to deliver business value through broader people and technology transformation at multinational enterprise companies. 

In all that time, I have never worked in an organization that goes so far above and beyond as Blink. This is truly a whatever-it-takes company, even when it takes a 1,600 mile road trip through 8 states to visit 6 different plants to ensure one of our customers launches the right way. On this particular trip, we met with Plant Managers, HR, Production Managers and more, to build out a use case strategy, run training sessions, and hold focus groups to ensure we were delivering a comprehensive roadmap for their new employee app.

This hands-on approach is why we have an industry-leading user adoption rate of 90% across all our customers. But it’s more than just our willingness to traverse state lines that creates a great implementation experience. 

The values that drive our implementation process

I know two things to always be true about implementation: first, customers are busy.  Since launching an employee app often involves a lot of contributors and stakeholders, sometimes getting everyone on the same page is the biggest barrier to launching on-time. 

Second, and most important, we’ve only got one shot to launch your platform right.  Change is often met with scepticism or some resistance, so we bend over backwards to set you up for the best first impression on launch day, from a seamless onboarding experience for employees to quick, demonstrable value for your executive stakeholders.

Our approach and our values that drive the team are done with these two things in mind to ensure each customer sees a high adoption right out of the gate. 

So what goes into our process that makes it so successful? There are five things I’d like to highlight:

The experts

When you sign up with Blink, you’ll be guided through the implementation process by an experienced team spread across the US, UK, and Australia. All of our implementations are done solely in-house.  Over the years, we’ve developed a playbook of best practices to follow and accumulated deep industry knowledge to recommend the best course of action for your unique needs. 

Once you’ve launched, the Implementation team is still there with you. Not only are they helping ensure a smooth transition to your Customer Success partner, they’re helping gather metrics and feedback on the launch and supporting your efforts to hit the user adoption target in those early days. 

Our employee-focused strategy

Whether you’re rolling out your first employee app or you’re replacing an old solution like Workplace, getting your employees to buy-in to Blink (or any new technology) is so important at launch.  For companies with deskless workforces, where communication is a challenge, in particular, getting that early buy-in is a virtuous cycle where the employees start telling their colleagues about Blink. 

When Stagecoach, one of the largest transit providers in the UK, rolled out Blink, their post-launch survey found 100% of the drivers would recommend the app to their peers.  With 21,000 bus drivers across the country, word of mouth helped accelerate adoption as much as any top-down messaging. 

That’s why, when we plan for a launch at your organization, we ensure there is functionality that your employees want to help get them invested early on.  We’ve got an extensive catalogue of integrations that give them easy access and notifications for paystubs, time-tracking, vacation requests, IT help desks, and more. Pair that with Single sign-on, and employees will be doing all these things with one-click access through Blink.  

The result of providing quick value to your employees is a high usage and adoption rate.  Stagecoach, for example, has an average of 6 app opens each day from 89% of their drivers. That level of employee engagement and communication is critical to keeping everything running smoothly. 

Rollout success you can measure

Everyone who implements Blink will know exactly what success looks like. We outline the six key pillars to a successful rollout early on so you have a benchmark for what to expect:

  1. We’re going to get the leadership team aligned around the opportunity driving the rollout
  2. We’ll determine the key metrics and KPIs for success with you so everyone is working towards the same goals
  3. We’ll help you build your company’s digital front door—turning Blink into the single point of access for everything they need—to maximise adoption
  4. We’re going to ensure the look and feel of the app matches your company’s brand to build trust in the early adoption phase
  5. We’re going to build a comprehensive activation strategy to reach every employee, while taking into account the unique challenges posed by disparate and diverse workforces  
  6. Lastly, we’re going to help you build out and optimise the app after launch by introducing new functionality and soliciting user feedback to guide the improvements

Our clear roadmaps

With a feature-rich solution like Blink, unleashing the full experience is like asking employees to drink from a firehose. 

To avoid overwhelming people, we help you develop a clear roadmap for the long-term experience. It starts with the Day 1 MVP that’s focused on addressing the most pressing needs and quick wins for the employee experience. From there, we help you bring new functionality to the employee experience in a way that boosts adoption without overwhelming users. 

Every roadmap is tied to the KPIs you outlined earlier, so there is a definitive business value for each phase. If, like many Blink customers, you’re trying to save money by modernising outdated processes, that KPI can be tied to functionality like payslips being put into the app instead of being mailed out. 

That simple change saved one Blink customer $300,000 per year on mailing and printing costs—and we were able to measure that impact because of the KPIs we had established early on.

Low-Lift Launch

We understand how busy our customers are, so we want every app to be launched quickly—but with as little effort on your part as possible. While you and your team are going to be involved, we keep as much of the work behind the scenes to minimise the disruption to you and your team. 

When you combine our expertise with the out-of-the-box functionality and pre-made assets, getting to launch day is simple and fast. We measure implementation in weeks, not months and quarters. You can have users onboard in as little as 6 weeks, while still delivering a compelling first impression with your new employee app. 

These five pillars can't capture all of the hard-work and care that the Implementation team has here at Blink. That doesn’t happen without having a team that’s willing to go above and beyond for every single customer.

Change management while implementing Blink

The implementation journey is an intense period for the stakeholders. It’s a lot of work to do quickly, and one of the ways we help ensure you’re staying on course is through our comprehensive Change Impact Assessment. 

With so much change, it is easy to lose the forest for the trees and get lost in the day-to-day minutiae of the launch process. The Change Impact Assessment is designed to keep you on track by helping you understand how Blink will affect the following areas:

  • Operations: How will Blink affect current workflows, and what adjustments are needed to seamlessly integrate it into your existing processes?
  • Company culture: What changes in team dynamics and communication can we anticipate? How will this software align with your corporate culture?
  • Resource allocation: What are the costs, both financial and time-based, for training, implementation, and long-term management of the platform?
  • Technology integration: How does Blink fit into your existing technology landscape? Can we integrate into and leverage compatibility with existing systems?
  • Return on investment expectations: How does introducing Blink to ADQ map into your business goals? We’ll establish metrics to measure the effectiveness and ROI to ensure change is actively happening and tracking to your business goals.

Hands-on support, on-site or online

Some of the most memorable moments for us come from our on-site, white glove support for the implementation process. Whether we get to visit a corporate headquarters in Chicago to run use case discovery workshops or trekking out to a distribution centre to train frontline managers to use the app to communicate with their team, we’re always hyped to work alongside our customers. 

Even if we’re not spending weeks on end at your office, we’re shooting for the same launch experience with every customer. Our job is to ensure you’re going to be successful in delivering enough value to your employees that they fall in love with the Blink app. 

So, virtually or in-person, you get hands-on support experience from us. We’ll help you find, train, and empower a network of advocates and experts within your organisation who will help ensure launch-day communication is on point. 

Adoption drives feedback drives adoption

Launch day success is not the end for us. Once your employees are onboard, we’re going to canvas for your people’s first impressions to understand what’s resonating and what’s missing the mark. 

Getting this survey feedback early on helps us course correct, if necessary, to take you from 70% user adoption at launch up to the 90% user adoption rate we want for all of our customers.

The surveys are rarely surprising, though, because of all the work that went into the implementation journey.  From getting stakeholders aligned on KPIs to running frontline focus groups, we know the value is going to be felt from day one.  

Blink. And you’re set up for success.

When I take a step back and think about everything that goes into launching each company’s employee app from the people—executive sponsors, project managers, Comms, IT, Operations, managers—to all the planning, content creation, and communications efforts, it’s amazing to think about how all that work leads to something as simple as a text or email invite on launch day. 

All the hands-on work that we do prior to launch is to ensure that your employees have a seamless experience from day one. That starts with the invitation to download the app and login to their “digital front door” for the first time.  From there, they’ll be able to communicate with secure chat, post in the Feed, search for policies and documents in the Content Hub, and access important information like payslips, vacation requests, and scheduling—all without leaving the app or having to enter another login.

Our job is to make getting to launch as effortless as possible. Because, we know, once your employees login to Blink, they’re going to be more engaged, more informed, and, ultimately, more likely to stick around. 

Employee communication and engagement is more important than ever in the remote-work era and for the frontline. You can put your trust in my team’s experienced, hands-on approach to help you deliver the most value to your employees. It’s what we’re so passionate about and what we do best.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves: the first step is signing up for a demo today to learn more about the Blink platform.  

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