6 Lessons We Learned About Getting Your Team to Use New Software
A new software to help you run a better business requires a significant time and money investment, so how can you get your team to use (and like) a new process?
So you make a time and money investment in a new process or software, then you show it off to your team and…it falls flat. They don’t like it, they’re struggling to use it, and they miss the old way.
Many of Jobber’s customers go through this. They’re running a healthy business, but their success has left them too busy to manage paperwork and they feel unorganized. So they subscribe to Jobber to manage their customer files, quotes, scheduling, invoicing, and more from one central place. A huge relief! But when it comes time to get their employees on board they get pushback.
At Jobber, we also use software internally to run an organized business, and we go through these same change management struggles.
Recently, Justine, our Head of Customer Success, and Matej, a member of our Data Operations team, switched our Success team over to a new customer service system that the team uses to manage customer emails, calls, and in-app chats. It was a big switch complete with to-be-expected successes and challenges.
We asked them what their biggest takeaways were from the process, and here’s what they had to say:
1. Ensure you can speak to the benefits of the change you’re implementing
“Part of my due diligence is to know and showcase why something is a better solution. You don’t have to have all the answers, but you have to be able to prove the benefits and determine pros and cons. All of this ensures that you get the buy-in from the people you’re presenting the solution to. The last thing you want to do is get into a situation where you’re presenting something that turns out to be insufficient, because then your credibility is gone.”
Pro tip: Jobber offers free onboarding for new users and a variety of webinars for both new and experienced users to help get you set up and using our software to its full potential.
2. Create a group of champions to help you get the rest of your team on board
“It’s important to involve the people who will be working with the software on a day-to-day basis: you might not know what exactly their day-to-day is like and what they’re dealing with. Get a small group of champions together—top performers, leaders—and get them on board so they feel empowered by the change, and that they’re helping to drive decisions. Allow them to interact with software and get a more in-depth understanding of how the solution is going to work.
Your champions have to understand the benefits of the change because they’ll help you drive it throughout the rest of the team. Once they’re on board it’s easier for the rest of the team to follow because people look up to them and respect them.”
“We took a slower approach of rolling out our new system to a couple of people, and got those people to become the champions of the product and really understand the program. They’re proud of taking on that learning ability, and they become the expert, the resource, the person that’s fully-behind the product, so that it’s not just your boss telling you what to do. If you’re told, ‘if you don’t do this you’re fired’—who wants to use the product then? No one.
They can help identify things that people don’t want to bring up to me. Maybe things aren’t working and by talking to a peer it doesn’t just feel like someone is just complaining to their boss.”
3. Acknowledge that change is hard but articulate why it needs to happen
“Having a good attitude about a change is hard. Even the tech-savvy people on our team who can pick up new technologies fast have challenges because you’re still reworking your day-to-day, and learning new workflows.
In order to help our team maintain a positive attitude throughout the change we spent time beforehand identifying what wasn’t working with our old process, and made that really clear, so that by the time we implemented our new software the team was really ready for a change.”
4. Think about how you can implement a change in stages
“It’s always better if you can pick a tiered approach rather than making all of the changes at once. Our first switch was email support (easiest), then phone, then in-app chat (the most difficult change). And with chat we just had a couple people use the new system at once to get used to it, then the rest of the team followed.”
“A staged approach doesn’t bombard people with too much information. They can learn each new portion and become an expert, and then move on to the next section.”
5. Approach training individually and allot plenty of time
“People learn at different rates and without proper training it makes things more difficult. It’s always best to have extra time for training before a change.
If that small group of champions gets time to get to know the product before it’s implemented, then they can actually help train everyone else. They know each other’s work styles, and how people like to work. I made sure people were ready, and if not, then I pushed the time of the changeover.”
“If someone is really resistant to the change then it might be an opportunity for more one-on-one training and conversations. Find out what their objections are. Maybe they’re having a harder time learning, need more training, or just need to talk through how change is scary. Not everyone is going to be the same, so you have to approach onboarding individually.”
6. Know that you’re doing your best for your team and your business
“Some of our users are coming from using paper, but there are times in the business life cycle that you need more sophistication, so you can access and use all of the information you’re collecting for reporting and planning.
Ultimately, you don’t know if a new system is going to work until it’s fully rolled out, but you’ve got to give it a chance. If you can’t get people on board you’ll never find something that will work.”
As tough as change can be, don’t lose sight of how exciting it is that you’re implementing a new process to help grow and organize your business! Hopefully these tips will help you get your employees on board, and on that note, Matej has a final tip:
“Don’t forget to reward your champions and your employees as they get going. It could be company swag, a coffee—something to help create that contagious feeling of excitement about the change.”
Make sure you buy yourself a coffee while you’re at it!