Investing in job management software is a big decision. So why would you want to spend money on training on top of that? Why should your company invest in it? Well, this is exactly what you'll find out by reading on.
In a hurry? Skip directly to the section you're interested in! We'll be covering three main subjects: why you need training when implementing a field service software, why your company should pay for software training, and why companies are reluctant to pay for software training.
Nowadays, it’s a fact that the field service industry is going paperless. Digitising your processes sounds like a tough thing to do but is, in fact, just a way of saying that instead of wasting time and risking errors with a paper-based system, you’d like to switch to a computer for all your management tasks. Now, small businesses usually try to get by with spreadsheets and emails for as long as possible, but for a company to grow, it’s important to accept that resources need to be smartly allocated.
Wasting hours upon hours of your office staff’s time on organising papers and folders is a resource that could be put to better use. We’ve written quite a few articles on how job management software can improve your business and help you take it to the next level. Let’s say you decided to do the best for your business’ future and invest in a professional job management software. What now? Well, the answer is exactly what you’d expect: use it. You’ve obviously paid for it. But in order to use it to its fullest potential, it’s important to know exactly how. And this is where training comes into play.
Generally speaking, job management software is not difficult to use. It’s meant to make things easier for you, after all. Anyone can figure it out but in order to use it properly and make the most out of your investment - maximum bang for your buck so to speak - training is paramount. These are the reasons why:
While it’s true that most people can pick up a skill through trial and error, very few account for how much time it takes to do it this way. Imagine if you were starting a completely new job and no one would show you how things worked but expected you to know everything already. On top of that, you wouldn’t be allowed to make any mistakes. Not a nice experience, right?
It's the same when it comes to your team and any new software. Many underestimate the importance of having someone walk them through the process, in a patient but efficient manner. You could sit down and look for every bit of information, try all the numerous options available without knowing exactly what they’re designed for, and clean up the system after. Or you could go straight to the point and talk to a friendly member of a client services team. They will most likely be an individual who is thoroughly educated on the software and will show you every nook and cranny of it as well as little tips that they’ve picked up after training hundreds of people.
Just a little anecdote from around our own office.
People will usually have a go at the software before beginning training. It’s all perfectly normal and we even recommend it, just so they know exactly what to look forward to and the questions they’d like to ask. One of the many features offered by Commusoft is the possibility of automating invoices. Now, these invoices can be customised with your company’s branding materials (think colours and logos) but they also have a few options when it comes to text. Since it’s essentially a bill, many people are tempted to put a lot of red markers on it, even red text.
Despite it being a minor detail, our client services always point out that it’s a good idea to stick to black on white for important information since the person it’s addressed to might have an eyesight disability and red text is not very easy to read.
The moral of the story is that if you’re buying software from a professional vendor, chances are that they have a lot of experience with companies very much like yours. It’s always useful to make the most out of the information that they’re willing to share.
Learning by example is also much easier than by trial. Having someone show you exactly how the ideal result would look like is definitely going to help you replicate that result with real customers.
Simply interacting with the person training you is going to prove much more rewarding since this will always be a two-way process, where you get to ask questions as soon as you feel confused about something. The option of asking questions as soon as you can think of them is never to be underestimated.
Additionally, receiving any type of formal training will help you boost your resume. Proof of professional training will always trump the “I learned it on YouTube” answer. You’ll be the most up-to-date person in your office, as live training (be it in person or on the phone) ensures that you’re listening to the people who work on the software itself therefore they’re the most knowledgeable around. They might even let you in on what’s in development now or give you a chance to tell them what you’d like to see implemented in the future. At Commusoft, quite a few of our many integrations started out as client suggestions.
Sure, you’ve decided to get the training. If you’re the business owner, the hardest part is over. However, if you’re not, it’s more than likely that you need to convince someone else to approve it such as a manager or a director.
You've already spent the money on a shiny new software at this point. Assuming you went for a high-quality product from a trusted vendor, this software will have a lot of options as it was probably designed to grow with your company in order to serve you for as long as possible. If your team only uses 10% of these options because they don't really know what to do with the other 90% this means that a majority of your investment isn't being put to good use. Investing in training is a one-off event that ensures you your money's worth for as long as you plan to use the software (and from our experience that is a minimum of one year).
When a company provides training to an employee, it proves that it values that person's role and hopes to help them move forward in their career. By learning new skills, this employee will, in turn, provide value back to the company as they are now able to take on more responsibilities. This keeps them engaged in their current job rather than getting bored and starting to look for a new one.
Truth is that getting training for any activity - digital or not - benefits the whole team not just an individual. A well-prepared team means an efficient business with less time wasted on minute, repetitive tasks and more time to spend on high return-on-investment activities.
Moreover, if you’re a business looking to evolve, it’s likely that you’ll hire more personnel at some point. A well-trained team will have an easy time showing the newer employees around, teaching them how to use the software to its fullest. This way, they can settle in quicker and work better towards a common goal.
It’s no secret that things can get tight for companies sometime. Initially, it might seem counterproductive after buying a software to add more expenses to it. But truth be told, a software that can be used with absolutely no training will likely have fewer options and a growing business will find that it just doesn’t do enough to cover all their needs.
This means that they will resort to non-digital solutions or an additional one, effectively paying double than what they would have if they had selected the appropriate tool and training from the beginning.
Some employers fear that if they invest in training for their employees, they risk losing money if they decide to leave the company. However, studies have shown that employees who have opportunities to grow by educating themselves, will usually stay within the company. This is due to the fact that they perceive it as a workplace that values self-improvement and employee well-being. We've written quite a bit on how to retain your star employees and the conclusion has always been that top talent is hard to find so you better hold on to it as much as you can.
This fear is not altogether irrational. It is to be expected that if a team does not understand the software properly, they will abandon it at some point. Reverting to old, manual methods, will render your initial investment null. By training them, companies can ensure against losing the initial investment and making sure that the team is working at maximum efficiency.
Finally, schedule is an important hurdle as well. The field service industry is a round-the-clock affair and it’s simply hard to find time to train people even if you know that it’s the best course of action. This being said, those providing the training are aware of scheduling issues and there are always solutions that both parties can work on together.
The best option is usually phone training using tools like Zoom and TeamViewer to share screens and webcams. This way you save time getting to and from a location, you can schedule it from anywhere, and you get to interact with your trainer, ask them questions, and get to know the person behind the product.
Another benefit of your trainer being in their own office is that he's most likely surrounded by the rest of the team - from developers to directors - and they can answer any question you might have as well as give you some insights if, for example, you'd suggest a possible improvement.
The Main Takeaway
You will always be the person who knows your business best. You'll know its needs, its pain points, and the solutions that can actually be implemented. Therefore you're the best person to decide whether training is for you or not. But chances are that you've been in the field service business for some time therefore you know that the only way to get better at what you do is by learning from others. Software and training is no different from that.
At Commusoft, we believe that all our clients should make the most out of their investment. Therefore every package requires a personalised training where our Client Services team will work with you to schedule a time that fits your calendar best. After presenting all the ways in which Commusoft will help you improve your business and make life easier for your employees, we'll work with your own questions and needs. This way, we make sure that we'll accommodate the type of field service business you're running.
With the right training at the beginning of your job management journey, you’ll be able to increase your business efficiency and improve your customer relationships. Want a hint of what you can do? Watch the demo and learn more about how to take your business to the next level.
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