5 Tips for Getting Your Team On Board with Software
Recently, Jobber’s Success Team migrated over to a new ticketing system to help improve how we manage client interactions. That got us thinking about our own customer’s challenges implementing Jobber and other software, so we decided to put this how-to article together to help field service companies introduce their staff to new software, and get them to use it successfully.
Before you get started
Many owners and operators of field services companies invest in software to help get organized, but successfully implementing new technology, and getting people to actually use it the way they’re supposed to, can be challenging.
Even if the new software can help your team do everything they need to throughout the day sometimes employees will still resist adopting new software because they find it confusing, or they’re ‘used to the old way.’ The simple reason for this is that change is hard, even when it’s for the good.
Often times, the frustration that people feel when forced to adopt new technologies comes from the experience of a new tech not meeting their expectations of how things could, or should be. To pre-empt such frustration, leave time before the actual implementation process begins to gather and respond to your team’s questions and concerns.
Even if the new software can help your team do everything they need to throughout the day sometimes employees will still resist adopting new software because they find it confusing, or they’re ‘used to the old way.’
Use something central like a Google Doc to note and share each of these questions and take the time to formulate good answers that set clear expectations around what your team can expect from the new software.
By managing communications early-on, you’ll eliminate a lot of risk from your new software implementation, while making your employees feel more like a part of the change, and less like it’s something they’ll just have to deal with when it happens.
1. Have a plan for onboarding
Take the time to study the features and functionality of your new software before it’s activated. It may be that there are particular capabilities you will ‘switch-off’, or emphasize, depending on your specific needs. You want to sort that out ahead of time, so you aren’t wasting time and energy training people on elements of the software they don’t need to know about.
The training process itself can be taxing. A few ideas to help flatten the learning curve:
- If you’re going to train everyone at once, try and get the more tech savvy users on your team to assist others as they go; sometimes it’s just easier to learn from a peer than a manual or an instructor.
- If possible, train just team leaders first, get them up to a level of proficiency, and then have them train more junior staff. This creates a handful of more proficient users and establishes a clear development path when introducing new features, adding or transferring staff, etc.
- Prioritize individual training based on roles. Your field technician needs to be able to work through scheduling, job details and payments collection regularly, so train them on those things first. Your office admin may be prioritized for client communications and reporting, so train on those items first. Remember, software usage is not one size fits all, but adapted to individual roles.
- Designate in house ‘experts’ to be the domain area pro on all things invoicing, time management, or reporting. Whenever someone has a user issue, they will know exactly who to turn to based on the nature of their problem.
If you’re going to train everyone at once, try and get the more tech savvy users on your team to assist others as they go; sometimes it’s just easier to learn from a peer than a manual or an instructor.
2. Create test scenarios
The best way to get people comfortable with new technology is to get them using it in a native way. That means creating ‘dummy’ client accounts, invoices, etc. and mapping out the workflows for completing common functions. For example, you could create a series of client accounts with multiple jobs, associated invoices, a CRM history, payments, etc.
From here, work with your team during the ramp-up process to identify common tasks that must be completed (e.g., creating and sending an invoice out in the field).
Pinpoint what the normal communication path and paper trail looks like to accomplish that task, then set the goal of creating the new software workflow to do the same thing. As your team takes-on and succeeds at these challenges through training, document those workflows and share them with others to help make things easier and save work down the road.
This approach will not only identify and document common work scenarios, it will also help you to pinpoint early-on any issues with the configuration of your software, gaps in data integration, inadequate user permissions, etc.
3. Encourage and incentivize usage
Once your new software is implemented and you feel good about the level of training provided, your biggest challenge will simply be making sure people routinely use the technology the way it’s meant to be used.
Less forceful approaches, such as offering a monthly prize for best usage of your software—say, for taking advantage of a particular feature that you know saves time and work cycles—are also a great way to incent adoption and use. On a similar note, some of your employees may be motivated to achieve proficiency with your software if, for doing so, they are rewarded with certificates of recognition, or perhaps granted higher levels of permissions within the software, or a financial bonus.
If using timers to track work time on a job site is a must, you could have a policy of ‘If you don’t use the timer, you don’t get paid.’ That’s a strong approach but it will certainly encourage disciplined use of your software.
4. Develop supporting content
Following on the idea of creating a library of common scenarios for testing and training, try tapping your software provider for additional content (for example, help.getjobber.com is a resource for Jobber users), or simply create your own.
Most field services businesses rely on time tracking, invoicing and expense management to a large degree. Consider creating articles or even simple instructional videos to complete these tasks from beginning to end in the particular way your business requires. As feature functionality evolves, you can edit, replace, or add to these resources in order to stay current.
5. Ongoing problem solving
Good planning, well-constructed resources and a clear chain of command can solve many problems, but there will still be times, either in the office or out in the field, when your employee needs a bit of help to solve a problem they are having with your software.
To that end, always make sure your team has up-to date information for accessing any third party support via chat, email or phone. For example, Jobber offers unlimited support via in-app chat, by email, or phone. Also, be certain to appoint someone in your office to be the point person authorized to escalate any dangling issues with your software provider (i.e., let them be the champion of the cause).
Finally, make sure that the individual user’s permission levels with your software are aligned to the nature and level of support that they can reach out to (your most junior site technician probably doesn’t need to know how to access your financial reporting, etc.) These permissions can always be updated as roles evolve.
Change is hard, particularly when it comes with a learning curve. The key to success for implementing new software in your field services business is to empower your team from Day 1 to be a part of the evolution and improvement of your business.
Here are 6 lessons we learned while switching our Success Team to new software.